*Agar-agar is known as "kanten" in Japanese and is a natural gelling agent made from seaweed; available in many health/natural food stores, it's an ideal replacement for animal gelatin and is tasteless, odourless and colourless.
- 500ml milk-type liquid (can be coconut milk, dairy milk/cream, rice/nut milks, in any combination you enjoy)
- 1/3 c. sugar (I've used maple syrup, agave syrup, Demerara sugar, brown sugar, etc. For anything other than white cane sugar, start with less and add to taste as it dissolves)
- 3 leaves gelatine (approx. 5g), soaked in cold water OR 2 tsp. agar agar (methods differ, see below)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. matcha tea powder
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. lemon/lime zest, or grated ginger
- 2-3 tbsp. fruit purée
- cinnamon, nutmeg, and any other spice or herbs to taste
Method for pannacotta with agar agar:
- Mix cream, milk & agar flakes in medium sized heavy pot. Whisk well and let sit 15 minutes.
- Add sugar and vanilla and heat mixture to gentle boil on medium heat, whisking all the while.
- Reduce heat and keep whisking another 5 minutes.
- Strain mixture into individual ramekins and let cool in fridge at least one hour.
- Serve and top with toasted nuts, fruit, crumble, fresh herbs or any other garnish of choice.
Method for pannacotta with gelatin:
- Soak the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes.
- Heat the milk/cream and sugar over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved then add vanilla extract.
- Remove from heat when mixture is very warm (but not boiling). Squeeze excess water from gelatine leaves and mix into cream/milk mixture until completely dissolved.
- Pour into 4 lightly oiled ramekins and cool in fridge until set (two hours or more). If you are pressed for time, simply pour into martini/cocktail glasses without unmoulding.