The recipe for these little pannacottas was inspired by farmer George Gonthier’s vanilla crop in Far North Queensland.






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  • 800 ml pouring cream
  • 300 ml buttermilk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 150 g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 titanium-strength gelatine leaves


Vanilla-roasted plums

  • 8 plums, halved, seeds removed
  • 2 vanilla beans, split, seeds scraped
  • 65 g (¼ cup firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 1 hour 30 minutes
Chilling time 3 hours

Place cream, buttermilk, vanilla bean and seeds and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar, then remove from heat, add 1 teaspoon of pepper and set aside for 1 hour.

Place gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside for 5 minutes to soften. Return cream mixture to medium heat and bring to a simmer. Squeeze gelatine leaves to remove excess water then add to pan and stir to dissolve. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug, and stir through remaining 1 teaspoon of pepper, then divide among 8 x 150 ml serving dishes. Cool to room temperature, then cover and chill for 3 hours or until firm with a soft wobble in the centre.

Preheat oven to 200°C. To make vanilla roasted plums, place plums in a roasting pan cut-side up and sprinkle with vanilla seeds. Scatter with sugars, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water. Add the vanilla beans to pan. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn and roast for a further 10 minutes or until sticky and caramelised. Cool completely. Top pannacottas with roasted plums to serve.



Photography Chris Chen. Styling Kirsten Jenkins.


As seen in Feast magazine, July 2014, Issue 33.