If you’ve ever had panna cotta, you must be wondering why / how on earth this one is green… Let me narrate the Pannacotta Saga in four episodes :
Pannacotta season 1, episode 1 :
My first dairy-free attempt for panna cotta came after I found a recipe here. It was pretty good ; I made it twice and served it with my own version of a naturally sweet, yet sugar-free strawberry coulis.
Pannacotta season 1, episode 2 :
Some time later at my workplace we celebrated the end of the school year and our chef made the real thing, with real cream. I am gluten intolerant but because of my husband usually do not eat dairy. However on this particular occasion I indulged and started wishing for a creamier version of the vegan panna cotta.
Pannacotta season 1, episode 3 :
The other night as we were having supper, my Significant Other told me that he actually had never had avocado before he had met me. (Do you see me coming here?) Come to think of it, he had first tasted one on the day my grandmother had us over for lunch for the first time. Anyway, then he added : « You know, those things basically don’t have much flavor. » No flavor ? I had a ha-ha moment : what if I included an avocado in the original preparation ?…
Pannacotta season 1, episode 4 :
So I did. And we liked it : the panna cotta was now smooth and creamy, without the disastrous side effects that milk / cream has on his health !
Ingredients (for 4 pannacottas)
– 200 ml non dairy cream, such as soy cream or almond cream, but NOT almond “butter”!
– 200 ml almond milk (or other non-dairy milk); make sure there are not suspect ingredients in it
– 4 TBSP organic agave nectar
– 2 g agar-agar powder
– 100 g avocado flesh (about ½ an avocado)
For the coulis:
– 160 g strawberries, fresh or defrosted (mine originally came from our garden)
– 40 g very tender pitted dates, such as Medjool or Mazafati dates (not sure whether y’all can find these where you live), preferably organic and of course not coated in anything
– a few blueberries
1. In a small saucepan, combine the agar agar powder with a little almond milk. When it is well mixed, gradually add the rest of the liquid. Do not add the powder to the liquid after it has been warmed, it will make lumps which are almost impossible to get rid of, trust me on this.
2. Add the agave nectar and bring to a slight boil, stirring. Lower the heat and let simmer between 1 and 2 minutes.
3. Scoop out 100 g from an avocado and blend it before gradually adding the previous preparation (i.e., the sweetened almond milk with the agar agar). You should end up with a thickish, well mixed liquid the color of pistachio! (See picture)
4. Pour into 4 ramekins, let cool down before refridgerating until set.
Coulis preparation :
At serving time, just blend the strawberries with the dates. Ta-dah ! Nothing to it !
Gently unmold the panna cotta onto dessert plates (I use the blade of a knife which I insert between the panna cotta and the edge of the ramequin), pour the coulis over, and decorate with some blueberries.
To be enjoyed in the privacy of your backyard !