The exotic panna cotta – Coconut panna cotta with pineapple, rum and mint chilled soup
Una panna cotta esotica – Panna cotta con noce di coco, e zuppa fredda di ananas, rum e menta
I have been on a strange coconut cravings lately, coconut and more coconut, if it was not as high in calories, I would eat it all day long and that goes the same for panna cotta which I absolutely adore. Vado pazza per la panna cotta! I realized that I do like desserts, as long as they’re fruit based. Maybe technically this cannot be called panna cotta, because it’s predominantly made with coconut milk, and a little cream, quindi la panna non c’è (there is not really panna).
Traditional panna cotta is delicious, but this one can be quite a pleasant surprise for your palate, as it’s lightly sweetened and creamy. I have been thinking and thinking and me creuser les méninges (litterally meaning to dig your meninges) to find a light dessert combining coconut and pineapple, and this one popped into my mind. Lately I have decided I will develop great recipes for entertaining which do not require the “host” to stay in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun next door. I do not like food that has been prepared too long in advance and re-heated at the time of serving. For some dishes, it could work, but for some others it doesn’t and taste like “réchauffé” (not only it means re-heated but also old and re-heated, with that unfresh after taste).
Pineapple has been crushed raw into a purée with an immersion blender, which is perfect for this kind of job. You get a perfect texture and do not need extra liquid. I used agar agar instead of regular gelatin sheets in the panna cotta since it’s a seaweed based gelatin and 100% natural and vegan. Agar agar has been used in Japan since centuries. It’s usually used to the proportions of 4 grams per 1 liter of liquid and needs to be dissolved in a small amount of cold liquid before adding it to the hot mixture.
This panna cotta is not too sweet, very light and so refreshing, so just THE little final note to a beautiful meal.
Ingredients for 4
For the panna cotta
- 10.14 fl oz (or 300 ml) coconut milk
- 3.38 fl oz (or 100 ml) milk
- 3.38 fl oz (or 100 ml) heavy cream
- 4 tbs sugar
- 1 tsp agar agar (or the equivalent of 2 grams)
For the pineapple soup
- 1/2 pineapple
- 3 tbs agava nectar
- 2 tbs rum
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ground vanilla beans powder
- 1 tbs mint, chopped
In a pot, bring to a light boil milk, cream and coconut milk, add agar agar dissolved in a little milk, and let it cook stirring for a few minutes, then remove from heat. Add sugar and stir to get it dissolved.
Place in small ramequins, let it cool and refrigerate until it solidifies (at least a few hours).
For the pineapple purée, mix all ingredients together (except for the mint) and using an immersion blender, mix until it turns into a thick purée. Cut mint very finely and add to the purée. Refrigerate for about one hour.
Remove panna cotta from ramequins and spoon some pineapple purée all around.
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