Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until they are soft.
Split the vanilla pods in half and scrape out the seeds.
Place the milk, cream, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and then add the softened gelatine leaves. Stir to dissolve the gelatine.
Pour the liquid through a fine sieve into a jug and then into moulds.
Chill in the fridge until set (at least 2 hours).
Preheat the oven to 140'C.
Wash the rhubarb in cold water and trim off the ends.
Place the sticks of rhubarb in a deep baking tray and sprinkle on the caster sugar. Add the white wine, star anise and the zest of the orange.
Cover the baking tray with foil and seal the edges.
Cook in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until the rhubarb is soft to touch. Do not overcook the rhubarb or it will turn into a puree.
Allow the rhubarb to cool in the liquid and once cool, remove the rhubarb from the liquid and cut the rhubarb into batons.
Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan and reduce the liquid over a medium heat until it has reached a syrup consistency.
Increase the oven temperature to 180'C.
Dice the butter. Split the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds with the point of a knife.
Place the butter, vanilla, flour, salt and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse until a ball begins to form. Do not overwork in the food processor. Remove and finish kneading by hand until you have a firm ball of dough. Roll the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Remove and cut into shapes while the shortbread is still soft.
Return to the oven and bake for a further 3 minutes. When golden brown on the edges and firm in the middle, sprinkle with the caster sugar whilst still hot and then allow to cool.
«Vary the fruit in this recipe by using soft fruits that are in season.»