T’is the glorious season of rhubarb and roses, one of my most beloved flavour combinations. And since practically everyone I know is eating keto, I was inspired to create these Keto Rhubarb-Rose Squares. With a buttery ground almond base and a creamy pannacotta style filling, these rosy tart “no bake” darlings are sooo simple to make!
I made two versions, one with organic grass fed whipping cream and butter, the other with coconut cream and coconut oil, both held together by a good quality grass-fed gelatin. I stress organic, pasture raised and grass fed here because you want as clean (and humane) animal products as possible.
I kept to natural plant-based sweeteners, a combination of stevia, monk fruit and birch derived (non-GMO) xylitol. I find a combination of these three tastes best – but be careful with xylitol as it is highly toxic to dogs! And I use liquid stevia for baking, it gives a good final hit of sweet without an aftertaste. In the recipe, I just specify sweetener – meaning a half and half combination of monk fruit and xylitol, but you can use just the monk fruit too. Of course, you can make this recipe with regular sugar and skip the sweeteners, just substitute granulated sugar in the same amounts.
You’ll need about 3 cups of rose petals for this recipe. All roses are edible, it doesn’t matter what kind you use as long as they’re as fragrant as possible. I used climbing roses from my back garden, some rugosa roses, with a few wild roses tossed in. The rugosa roses are highly coloured and perfumed, and the more you use the more fragrant and pinker your bar!
Half of the petals go directly into a pot with the rhubarb to make the rose- rhubarb purée, the other half is infused in whipping cream overnight (for the dairy version only), this becomes the base for the Panna Cotta filling.
Before assembling these bars which literally takes minutes, you’ll make the rose infused cream and rhubarb-rose purée (recipe provided separately below). For the cream, you’ll place petals in a bowl with just over a cup of cream, cover with a towel and let sit overnight. In the morning you can sieve off the flowers – or leave them in. Up to you!
Rhubarb-Rose Panna Cotta Squares
- 2 cup rhubarb-rose puree (recipe below)
- 2 tablespoons powdered gelatine
- ¼ cup powdered sweetener (plus 2 tablespoons for crust)
- 1 cup rose infused heavy cream (or substitute coconut cream)
- 2 cups coarse almond flour or ground almonds
- ⅓ cup warm butter or coconut oil, melted
- Teaspoon cardamom powder
- Pinch of salt
- Add gelatin to 3 tablespoons cold water to bloom for 10 minutes.
- In a bowl combine almond flour, melted butter or coconut oil, cardamom, salt. Mix thoroughly. Should be soft and firm and hold together in a ball when squeezed. Press mixture into the bottom of a square 8 or 9-inch baking pan. Take the bottom of a glass and press down firmly, smoothing and flattening it out. If you wish you can pop this crust in the oven at 350 F for 20 minutes – this will add a toasty flavour – but is optional.
- Place the rhubarb-rose puree, rose-infused cream in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to just below the boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the gelatin mixture until dissolved. Let cool -but not completely.
- Pour the warmish pannacotta mixture over the prepared almond crust and refrigerate for 3 hours or until completely set. Cut into bars.
Rhubarb & Rose Purée
- Approx. 2 lbs chopped rhubarb
- 1 3/4 cups of loosely packed rose petals (you can add more for additional flavour)
- ¾ cup of mixed monk fruit sweetener, xylitol or erythritol
- 2 droppers full of liquid stevia (or more or less to taste!)
- ¼ cup water
- Add chopped rhubarb to a medium saucepan with the sweetener and water. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the rhubarb is completely soft.
- Remove from heat and add rose petals while still hot. Stir well. Let cool
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and purée until smooth.
- Set a sieve or strainer over a bowl and pour the rhubarb mixture through. Press through with a wooden spoon, leaving behind most of the pulp.