Veggies on the counter

Vegan Panna Cotta with Stewed Blackberries

Posted in desserts by veggies on the counter on September 13, 2010

The other day, my mom went to the park to pick up some blackberries. She came home with a bag full of them, and asked me to use them as part of a dessert. I couldn’t help myselft but thinking of a delicious, simple, spoon dessert, made of coconut milk, agar agar, and stewed fruit. You may have heard about agar agar before: it’s a gelatinous substance derived from an algae, mostly used in asian cuisine. It’s all natural, 100% vegan, and doesn’t have the artificial ingredients gelatin generally does have (I’m not even mentioning the part that gelatin is derived from animals’ bones…).

I’ve been working with agar agar powder as a substitute for gelatin for quite some time now, but it took me a while to get the best out of it. The main problem I’ve found while using it in various spoon desserts, is that it tended to harden way more than I wanted it to. The consistency I’d get, although reminding that of gelatin, wasn’t as soft as the latter. But after some experiments, I think I came up with the right ratio: for each 300 mililiters of liquid, add 1 and ½ teaspoons of agar agar flakes. Less than that, you’ll get a runny consistency; and adding just a bit more for the said amount of liquid, will make your dessert a bit on the hard side.

Now, this recipe for Vegan Panna Cotta is a favorite around here; it’s dead easy to make and really tasty. Not only adding the right amount of agar agar powder but also using coconut milk, are really important things in here, so do not try to substitute any of those ingredients. The coconut milk with its rich and subtle flavor really complements well the sweetness of the stewed berries. As far the fruit goes, you don’t really need to use blackberries in here; others, such as blueberries or even strawberries, will work out. I even tried once to make this dessert using stewed figs – delicious. Just bare in mind you want a fruit that is delicate and soft, but still firm enough to hold part of its structure after being cooked.

Vegan Panna Cotta with Stewed Blackberries

(serves 3)

¼ cup regular sugar

¼ cup water

300 grams blackberries

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

400 ml coconut milk

5 tablespoons agave nectar

1 and ¾ teaspoons agar agar flakes

1. Heat a saucepan over low-medium heat, add the blackberries, vanilla bean, sugar, and water. Cook, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the liquid has thickened a bit but hasn’t all evaporated. Let it cool and discard the vanilla bean.

2. In another pan over low-medium heat, add the coconut milk, agar agar flakes and agave nectar. Bring the mixture to a simmer (do not let the coconut milk boil) and stir constantly, for 15 minutes. When it’s done, remove the pan from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

3. Divide the coconut mixture equally among 3 cups. Refrigerate the cups for at least 2 hours, or until the mixture has harden to the consistency of gelatin.

4. Now, add the blackberries as well as the liquid that has been realeased while stewing them, on top of each cup. Cover the cups with cling film and refrigerate for additional 1 or 2 hours before serving.

Advertisements

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. papacapim said, on March 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    Ola, Joana

    Minha primeira tentativa de fazer panna cotta vegana foi um desastre. O danado do agar agar é dificil de controlar. Na lista de ingredientes voce fala de agar em po mas nas instruçoes voce fala de agar em flocos. Qual dos dois voce usou na receita? Sei que as quantidades variam dependendo se o agar é em flocos ou po, então prefiro esclarecer esse detalhe antes de me aventurar novamente com panna cotta. Obrigada.

    • veggies on the counter said, on March 31, 2011 at 3:43 am

      Olá! É em flocos. Obrigada por teres reparado no lapso, vou já corrigir a receita. Também já tive muitas más experiências com agar agar, mas acredito que a quantidade usada nesta receita seja a mais próxima do ideal. Espero que a próxima experiência corra melhor! : )

  2. Eva Elvelin said, on March 2, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Making this right now!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: