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Panela syrup dumplings with espresso-caramel ice-cream

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for panela syrup dumplings with espresso-caramel ice-cream.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus cooling, freezing
  • Serves 6
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Panela syrup dumplings with espresso-caramel ice-cream
If you like golden syrup dumplings, you'll love the caramel notes the panela sugar brings to this version.


  • 225 gm (1½ cups) plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 90 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
Espresso-caramel ice-cream
  • 400 ml pouring cream
  • 120 ml milk
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) strong espresso
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 60 gm panela sugar (see note)
Panela syrup
  • 330 gm panela sugar
  • 90 ml maple syrup
  • 50 ml espresso
  • 45 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • 1
    For espresso-caramel ice-cream, bring cream, milk and espresso to the simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale caramel-coloured (4-5 minutes), then, whisking continuously, add cream mixture and whisk to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon thickly (5-6 minutes). Strain into a bowl placed over ice, stir occasionally until chilled, freeze in an ice-cream machine, then freeze until required. Makes about 1 litre.
  • 2
    Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, add rind and a pinch of salt, then add butter and rub in with your fingertips. Whisk buttermilk, egg and yolk in a jug to combine. Make a well in the centre of dry ingredients, add buttermilk mixture and stir to combine.
  • 3
    For panela syrup, stir sugar, maple syrup, espresso, butter, lemon juice and 330ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then bring to the simmer. Add tablespoons of batter, cover and simmer, turning occasionally, until dumplings are puffed and cooked through (5-6 minutes). Serve hot dumplings and syrup with espresso-caramel ice-cream.


Note Panela sugar is produced mainly in Colombia, where it's usually sold in block form; in Australia, it's more often seen as a granulated product.
Drink Suggestion: At the risk of going into a sugar coma, try this with a glass of Rutherglen topaque (the new name for tokay). Drink suggestion by Max Allen