I have tried Panna Cotta in absolutely every restaurant that I have been to all over the world. So there is no denying that I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur on it. Try this great Coconut Milk one from Kelly Thomas.
I normally don’t make it because I like to keep it as a treat when I am out. But then Kelly came home from California, and with her, this delicious coconut Panna Cotta which she made for us . It was different to any other that I had tasted. Normally it is made with cream, milk and sugar, but this one was made with coconut milk, yoghurt and sweetened with agave syrup, making it a healthier option. It was subtle, yet with just enough coconut flavour to give it interest, and to top it all, the perfect consistency. Most people are under the impression that it isn’t easy to make and yes it does take some practise, but hey presto this one seems to work perfectly every time , so give it a try if you like coconut milk.
Kelly uses Agar (natural seaweed) instead of gelatine. You can find it at most health food stores in the US. You would use 1 tbls of Agar flakes and stir it in with the coconut milk then let it stand for 10 minutes before straining the milk. Otherwise use gelatine which is in the recipe.
An Italian restauranteur friend once told me – “Panna cotta should be like a young woman’s breasts – firm yet slightly wobbly to the touch” What an apt way of putting it – thats an Italian for you!!!!
It is traditionally from Northern Italy in the Piedmont, but is eaten all over Italy where it is served with Fruitti di bosco, (Fruits of the Forest ) which are mixed wild berries or with a chocolate sauce. I have added some gorgeous baby tinned pears in a little Agave syrup to slightly sweeten them. I think this is a more subtle flavour as opposed to the mixed fruit which can sometimes be a bit sour and overpowering.
- 1 (140z) can coconut milk
- 3 leaves gelatine or 1 Tbl Agar
- 1 vanilla bean pod
- 4 Tablespoons agave syrup or honey
- 1 cup plain yoghurt
- Lightly spray 10 muffin silicone cups with Spray and Cook or oil lightly.
- Split the vanilla bean pod and add the seeds and the pod to the can of coconut milk and heat until boiling. Take off the heat.
- Place the 3 leaves of gelatine in a small amount of water to soften.
- Squeeze out excess water from gelatine and add the soften leaves to the pan of boiled coconut milk.
- (If using Agar flakes instead of gelatine add to the coconut milk when heating then let it stand for 10 minutes before straining the milk. )
- Whisk until dissolved.
- Add the agave syrup.
- whisk in the yoghurt and then pour into the prepared silicone cups.
- Allow to set overnight.