I’ve just bought Rachael Yamagata’s latest album, Heavyweight and it feels right to listen to her while I made this panna cotta last night while the boys were having their Poker nights.
Panna cotta is a classic dessert of Italian origin, where cream, sugar and gelatin are mixed together, simmered over low heat before being chilled in a fridge. It is usually served with berry coulis (a thick fruity sauce). But what attracts me to this recipe is how it incorporates coconut milk and (key) lime. So different from what I usually do.
This recipe also calls for a sachet of gelatin. How many grams exactly is that? The gelatin powder I bought in Cape Town weighs 10 gr, while the French Vahine weighs 2g per sachet. The recipe author estimates her sachet equals to 2.5 teaspoon. Luckily both sachet is used for half a liter of liquid.
And half and half is basically mixing full-cream milk and heavy cream/whip cream in equal proportion.
Oh, if you’re planning to unmold the panna cotta, best is to make them in silicone molds. They can be easily dislodged. Not as easy if you use ramekins. Good luck with that.
COCONUT & LIME PANNA COTTA
(source: The Cafe Sucre Farine)
1 Cup (236 ml) heavy cream
1/2 C (118 ml) half and half – or use full cream for a lighter, more jiggly texture
1/2 C (118 ml) coconut milk
3/4 C (169 gr) sugar
1 sachet unflavored gelatin – for 500 ml liquid
zest of 1 lime
1/4 C fresh lime juice – about 2 limes
- In a saucepan gently heat the cream over low fire, half and half and coconut milk.
- Add the sugar and gelatin and whisk well until the mixture thickens and smoothen.
- Add the grated lime zest and juice. Bring the cream to a simmer and keep at low simmer for about 10 minutes or so.
- Transfer to silicone molds or serving glass and chill in the refrigerators at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Unmold and serve with fruit coulis of your choice.
If you have access to wild berries, they make the best coulis flavor. But for us in Angola, we’re not that lucky. I was ready to prepare a Kiwi coulis (kiwi and lime are wonderful together, just check your local Slushies maker) or a Nectarine coulis. H was ready to eat with his favourite raspberry jam.
Lo and behold, the supermarket is selling local strawberries! On their own, the local strawberries are pretty bland and quite tiny. But the good thing is that they are not expensive and just about the perfect coulis ingredient.
(yield enough to garnish 2 panna cottas, and some extra)
8-10 small strawberries, halved or quartered
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water, optional
- In a small pot over medium to high heat, boil the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice.
- Using spatula to gently press the strawberry to release the liquid.
- Add 1 tbsp of water if you’re in a rush. I’m always in a rush.
- Stir well. Taste and adjust the sugar and/or the acidity.
- Remove from heat and pour over your panna cotta.
Have a relaxing Sunday and a great week ahead.
**** UPDATE: Dec 15, 2012
I made two more batches for the going-away party of my yoga teacher. But I ran out of cream and didn’t have enough to make half and half. Hence altering the recipe from 1/2 cup of half and half to 1/2 cup of full cream milk.
What happened is a lighter panna cotta, I think the way panna cotta should be. A little jiggly and not too thick. You still can taste the lime and coconut milk.