For those of you who have never heard of panna cotta or at least never tried it. It means “cooked cream” and it’s made of sweetened cream that is thickened with gelatin. It’s often served with berries or caramel or chocolate sauce.
Before I became vegan, panna cotta with strawberry sauce was one of my favorite desserts (right after crème brûlée and tiramisu I think), but cream and gelatin isn’t exactly vegan, right? Well, we’re lucky: it’s just as easy to whip up a vegan version! And it’s actually just as delicious – if not even better!
For me it kinda sounds like archaic war cries and when I first heard of it, I just had to think of these stone age people holding their lances and shouting “agar agar!”.
Well obviously, that’s not quite what it is. As Wikipedia explains, agar or agar-agar is a “jelly-like substance, obtained from algae”. And just like tofu and tempeh it comes from Asia, or more specifically from Japan. It was discovered in the mid 17th century, so they have been using it for centuries before it became a popular vegan substitute for gelatin. It’s actually a better solidifying agent than gelatin because of its better solidifying temperature.
You can buy agar in major supermarkets (it’s usually in the section for exotic foods), health stores, and of course Whole Foods. You should also be able to find it in most Asian supermarkets. And of course you could also order it online.
For the panna cotta:
- 1 13, 6 oz can full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1 heaped teaspoon agar powder
- 1-2 teaspoons agave (depending on how sweet you want the panna cotta to be)
- For the blueberry layer and sauce:
- 1 1/2 cup blueberries
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon agar powder
- Scrape out the vanilla bean and put it together with the coconut milk and the agave in a small pot and bring to boil. Stir in the agar and whisk to avoid lumps. Cook for 2 minutes. It’s not supposed to thicken up yet, so don’t worry.
- Fill about half of it in two small glasses and put it in the freezer for about ten minutes, so the single layers don’t mix up.
for full instruction please see : veganheaven.org