Mango Panna Cotta
cool and creamy
Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made by heating gently fresh cream and sugar together. Gelatine is added to make it into a semi firm dessert. Vanilla panna cotta is the most common one as it can be served with chopped fresh fruit, chocolate or caramel sauce, fruit coulis, nuts etc. The first time I had vanilla panna cotta with strawberry sauce at an Italian restaurant Via Milano in Bangalore. I fell in love with the dessert and started my search for a recipe. I collected several but never got down to making it at home. Browsing through the tonnes of recipes collected, I came across the panna cotta recipe. I made mango panna cotta without gelatine. Its very easy to make this dessert and sets within a few hours. You can replace the mango puree with any other fruit puree. If you are going to use pineapple, use tinned ones or cook the fresh ones before you puree it. The protein digesting enzyme bromelain does not allow gelatine or agar agar to set well.
Most recipes nowadays use milk and not just cream to make the dessert a bit light on the the stomach. Agar agar is basically a vegetarian gelatine obtained from a certain variety of sea weed. Its readily available in stores and health shops either in the flake form or powder form. In Kenya its sold in most stores as china grass.
MANGO PANNA COTTA
1 cups double or heavy cream
¼ cup milk
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsps agar agar flakes
1 cup thick yogurt
½ cup chopped mango
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped fresh fruit of your choice
- Put about 1½ to 2 cups of yogurt in a muslin cloth over a sieve. Leave it for about ½ hour for the water to drain out from the yogurt. You need 1 cup of thick yogurt for this recipe. Save the remaining for a salad or a smoothie.
- Puree the chopped mango with ¼ cup milk and leave it on the side till required.
- Combine cream, sugar and agar agar in a pan and leave it for 5 minutes.
- Heat the cream mixture gently and stir all the time. Heat till the agar agar melts and there are little bubbles appearing at the side of the pan.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down for 5 minutes.
- Add the mango puree and process it in a blender or with a hand blender till the mixture is smooth.
- Add yogurt and vanilla extract. Blend it for a few seconds.
- Divide the mixture between 4 glasses or bowls.
- Cover with a cling film. Put it in the fridge for an hour to set. Leave it in the fridge till required.
- Top with chopped fresh fruit and serve.
- Try ½ tsp ginger powder or cardamom powder instead of vanilla extract.
- Serve with fruits like kiwi, berries, mangoes, passion fruit etc.
- Serve with pureed mango on top instead of chopped fruit.