Buttermilk and sage panna cotta

Buttermilk and sage panna cotta with honeycomb

  • serves 4
  • A little effort

This recipe for buttermilk and sage panna cotta with black pepper honeycomb from Rachel Karasik may sound odd but it really, really works.


Try this buttermilk panna cotta with honeycomb, then check out our vanilla panna cottacoconut panna cottawhite chocolate panna cotta and more Italian-style dessert recipes. For more expert tips, read our recipe guide on how to make panna cotta.



  • oil
  • gelatine 2 leaves
  • double cream 280ml
  • golden caster sugar 60g
  • sage leaves 15
  • buttermilk 120ml
  • bicarbonate of soda ½ tsp
  • golden caster sugar 40g
  • golden syrup 35g
  • black pepper crushed to make ½ tsp


  • Step 1

    Lightly grease 4 ramekins with oil. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Gently heat the cream, sugar and sage in a pan, on a low heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture just comes to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover and leave for 5-10 minutes to let the sage infuse. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl and discard the sage.

  • Step 3

    Squeeze out any excess water from the soaked gelatine and stir into the warm cream until it is completely dissolved. Add the buttermilk and mix.

  • Step 4

    Divide the mix evenly between the ramekins and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

  • Step 5

    Before you begin to make the honeycomb, measure out the bicarbonate of soda, line a small tray or pan (a bread loaf tin works well) with greased baking paper, and have a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to hand.

  • Step 6

    Slowly heat the sugar and golden syrup in a small pan, stirring often. Let the sugar dissolve fully, then turn the heat up slightly until it begins to boil and turns a rich caramel/golden brown colour. Turn off the heat, add the bicarb and immediately begin stirring the mixture quickly, to make sure there are no pockets of bicarb hidden in the mix. It will begin to foam and expand. As soon as it’s fully combined, pour the mixture into the lined tin. It will continue to expand and will bubble a bit more.

  • Step 7

    Sprinkle the cracked black pepper evenly across the top of the honeycomb. Let it set until it is completely solid when you press on the top (about 20-30 minutes). Once solid, use the edges of the baking paper to lift the honeycomb out of the tin and onto a cutting board. Use the tip of a knife or a rolling pin to break the honeycomb into shards.

  • Step 8

    Run a knife along the edge of each panna cotta and dip the ramekin into very hot water for a few seconds (no longer or the panna cotta will start to melt) before turning it over onto a plate. Sprinkle the honeycomb shards on top.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 498
  • Fat 36.6g
  • Saturates 23.6g
  • Carbs 34.5g
  • Fibre 0.1g
  • Protein 3g
  • Salt 0.5g