Panna Cotta for Dessert, Please
Panna Cotta and I became familiar probably during my first modeling trip to Milan back in 2008 (10 years back already??). I tried the classic Italian versions where panna cotta is creamed to perfection with just the right amount of sweetness and fresh berry sauce poured on top. But it can't be perfect all the time, so obviously I had a few dissapointments throughout my panna cotta tasting career as well. I sometimes wonder how much does one have to not care to serve something so stiff and overly sweetened. Yet it happens & that's when you figure out to start making your own and maybe even change a few things. I experimented with coconut milk and agar agar to share my attempt with you, but you can use gelatine too, if you're not avoiding animal based products. Gelatine amount will be different so study the liquid to gelatine ratio before. Happy Cotta'ing!
My version - extremely coconuty, only slightly sweet and very summery. If you like a sweeter panna cotta - add sugar into the coconut mixture, baby, don't be shy.
Makes 4 small jars | 1 teaspoon - 5 ml | 1 tablespoon - 15 ml
- 400 ml (1 can) of full fat coconut milk
- 4,5 teaspoons of agar agar
For the strawberry layer:
- 120 g of fresh puréed strawberries
- 3 teaspoons of agar agar
- 3 tablespoons of unrefined brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons of water
- lemon zest and berries to garnish
Make the Coconut Layer
In a small saucepan, heat half of the coconut milk and sprinkle agar agar flakes on top. Keep heating on low and stirring with a balloon whisk until the agar flakes are fully dissolved. This might take up to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and pour into prepared jars or ramekins. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before pouring the strawberry layer on top.
NOTE: If you leave some grains undissolved, you will feel them in the panna cotta once it sets. If you generally prefer sweeter desserts, add some sugar to the coconut mixture.
Make the Strawberry Layer
In a small saucepan heat the water with agar flakes until dissolved, stirring with a balloon whisk. Whisk into the strawberry purée and pour the mixture on top of the panna cotta jars. Keep in the fridge until fully set: at least two hours or until serving. Top with lemon zest and fresh berries.