Light and yet creamyI find making pannacotta one of the most easiest desserts. I love the creamy texture and the most charming thing about this dessert is that it can be served with fresh fruit, coulis, fruit sauces, pureed fruit, chocolate sauce etc. The options are endless. Pannacotta can be made using gelatine or agar agar. I made this dessert for a post diwali party using agar agar. I made it a day ahead to save on time and since getting a suitable fresh fruit to go with it was difficult, I added some semi frozen concentrated passion juice on top. My husband had the remaining one the following day without any topping and enjoyed the rich vanilla flavour. The vanilla and passion fruit combination was lovely and adding chia seeds made it special. I felt great when guests commented on the brilliant idea.
VANILLA CHIA PANNACOTTA
Serves 6 to 8
3 cups whole milk
1 cup fresh double cream
4 tbsp agar agar flakes or 4 tsp agar agar powder
6 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp chia seeds (falooda seeds)
½ cup water
6 passion fruits
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp water
a pinch of salt
- Soak the chia seeds in ½ cup water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain out the mixture into a fine meshed sieve.
- Soak the agar agar in ½ cup of warm milk for 10 minutes.
- Put the milk, cream and agar agar mixture into a saucepan. Heat the mixture gently over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook till the agar agar dissolves completely. Add sugar and mix well.
- Let the mixture cool for a bit.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
- Divide the chia seeds into 6 or 8 individual serving bowls.
- Add the cooled milk mixture and put the bowls in the fridge to set for 2 to 3 hours.
To prepare the topping:
- Remove the pulp from 5 of the fruits into a blender.
- Blend briskly so that you get some juice.
- Strain the mixture through a sieve.
- Heat sugar and water in a small pan till it becomes into a syrup.
- Let it cool a bit.
- Add the passion fruit juice.
- Remove the pulp from the remaining fruit and add it to the juice.
- Mix well and put it in the freezer till required.
Either de-mold the dessert onto a serving plate and pour the semi frozen juice over it or leave it in the bowls, top with the juice and serve.
- Rinse the bowls in cold water before adding the milk mixture. This helps to remove the pannacotta on to a dish easily.
- Serve with any fruit puree, coulis or chopped fruit of your choice.
- If you want to add fresh vanilla, split open the bean, scrape out the seeds and add it to the milk mixture before heating it.
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