Blogging Marathon: Week 3/ Day 8
Theme: Seasonal Dishes – Winter Dessert
Dish: Chocolate Panna Cotta without Gelatin (with Agar Agar)
This is a rich chocolaty dessert that is perfect for a holiday party. I was always under the impression that Panna Cotta is a fancy and very “gourmet” dessert. But come to find out it is quite simple to make and what better time than the holidays to serve this sinfully rich dish.
With a house full of chocolate lovers, my obvious choice was to make chocolate panna cotta. I used agar agar powder instead of gelatin to make a completely vegetarian dish. Agar Agar or China grass needs be dissolved in hot liquids in order for it to gel or set.
Chocolate Panna Cotta with Agar Agar
- Keep 6-½cup molds/ ramekins/ bowls ready.
- Combine heavy cream, milk and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan; bring the mixture to a boil.
- Lower the heat and add the agar powder. Whisk vigorously until it completely dissolves; simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and then stir in chopped chocolate. Whisk well to melt the chocolate.
- Next add the vanilla and mix again.
- Pour the mixture into the selected molds/ bowls. Cool a little bit, then refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
- When ready to serve, dip the mold in hot water and run a sharp paring knife around the edges and then invert onto the serving plate.
- Serve with strawberry sauce (recipe follows) and/or whipping cream and/or vanilla ice cream and some grated chocolate.
This sauce is very simple to make and can be used on ice creams, pancakes and just about anything that needs some sweet, fruity goodness.
- Combine the berries, sugar and ¼ cup of water in a medium sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, about 6-8 minutes.
- Add the jam and then cook for another 3 minutes. If you want a smoother sauce, blend the mixture. I left the berries whole this time.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use as needed.