As the new year rolls around, I am as keen as ever to try something new in the kitchen. The challenge being, as I may have mentioned in a previous post, is that my mum isn’t so keen on me ‘messing’ her kitchen. And that’s been home base for us for the past few weeks. So it’s maximum use of minimum time. Sneaking in some oven time when her back is turned – no matter how old I am, I’m still her messy little girl (not as messy as my sister though)!
On the subject of time, as my little guy grows, I am beginning to accept that I’m likely to spend the next phase of my life on cricket sidelines each summer. I’m not sure what I’ve done in a past life to deserve this. This week the task was to leave a sporting store without the $120 bat he insisted on. A great piece of wood I’m sure, but bound to last three days in the hands of a four year old. He knew what he was choosing – a lesser model would not do. I am pleased to report we navigated the exit without said bat. This time.
Back to the recipes, despite the constraints, I am managing to rock out the odd new one. The one I’ll share today is a divine vanilla agave panna cotta. I’ve never used agave before, but it was at hand and I figure anything from the same tree as tequila has to be good. And, with the inclusion of Lewis Road Creamery double cream, it is bound to be a winner.
What you’ll need
3 tsp powdered gelatine (2 1/2 tsp may do)
50ml cold water, plus some boiling or very hot water
300ml cream – I indulged and used double cream from Lewis Road
125ml agave syrup (or honey)
2 tsp vanilla paste (or a good vanilla essence)
500ml natural Greek yoghurt – I thickened mine further by draining it in a paper towel lined sieve over night.
Put the cold water into a small bowl and sprinkle over the gelatine. Give it a quick mix and set the bowl into a bowl of very hot water. Mix briefly to help the gelatine to dissolve.
Meanwhile, heat the cream, agave and vanilla in a pot until just below boiling point, stirring from time to time.
Remove from the heat and stir through the gelatine mixture. Set aside for about 30 minutes to cool.
Prepare serving dishes – I use 8-10 small/medium size ramekins or glasses. If eating from the dish, there is no need to grease them.
If wanting to turn the pana cottas out, you may need to lightly grease the dishes. I often use plastic if turning out and mine don’t require greasing – it will depend on the material your dishes are made of.
When mixture has cooled, add a third of the liquid to the yoghurt and gently whisk. Repeat twice more, until the mixtures are amalgamated and smooth.
Transfer mixture to a jug. Pour into the prepared dishes.
Put the pana cottas into the fridge for at least four hours.
Remove from fridge before serving. Either top with berries or tun out onto a plate and serve with berries or a berry coulis.
While turning out panna cotta is the traditional way to go, they are equally delish served as I have done here. And easier for a holiday dessert.
As for the agave, I liked it. According to a health conscious and informed relative, it’s low GI so better for you than honey or sugar. I’m not up on the health benefits, but it’s a winner for me on the important taste front. Sweet but not overly rich and not at all sickly. Coupled with the divine creamy texture, this panna cotta was near perfect.
And it didn’t require long in the kitchen – most was done on the dining room table. This is a must-make-again. Try it, you’ll love it.
Looks yummy! I hate to share bad news but even though it is low GI agave is super high in fructose and about 1.5 times sweeter than refined sugar. Stick to the tequila!
You’re right Jossie, thanks for the feedback. Interestingly, despite this, the panna cotta wasn’t over sweet nor sickly. You could get away with using less agave if you want to. Maybe I’ll try tequila panna cotta next time!