I think I have expressed my affection for custards several times before on this blog. And as the custard-making foods like eggs and cow dairy go AWOL from my diet and join the Allergy-Bad-They-Want-to-Kill-Me camp, it’s really nice to find some custards that I can actually eat.
Panna cotta is truly dreamy. I don’t think my recipe is dreamy, but I think it’s as close as I’m likely to get for a while. My next attempts with panna cotta will probably be in the savory category and include chevre and bacon, something along these lines. I think the chevre would give it the richness and mouth feel I’m craving.
For now, this works pretty darn good. I’m sorry it’s not vegan. I worked on this for a while, so I kind of ran out of steam to go that extra mile. However, I’m sure now that it could be done by a determined vegan using arrowroot powder, nut or rice milk, and coconut milk. If you come up with something, do let me know. I can no longer experiment with this recipe because I’ve eaten twice my body weight in coconut milk this month.
Panna Cotta for the Cow-Allergic
1/2 c goat milk
all but 3/4 tsp of a gelatin packet
1 can of coconut milk
1/4 c agave syrup
pinch of salt
1 tsp coconut or vanilla extract (depending on your end flavor goal)
1/4 c sheep yogurt
Put the goat milk in a bowl and gently sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let that stand for about 10 minutes or so to soften the gelatin, like so:
In a saucepan, heat one can of coconut milk with a pinch of salt over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1/4 c agave syrup and 1 tsp of extract. Whisk in the goat milk-gelatin mixture.
When the mixture is warm-ish, add 1/4 c of sheep yogurt (I find it’s less tangy than goat, and here you want less tangy; otherwise, this just ends up tasting like stiff yogurt). Pour this mixture into ramekins and refrigerate overnight.
Important Note: You really need to let it sit if not overnight, then several hours or it won’t gel correctly. You don’t want it stiff. You want it to just hold together and be lovely.
To serve, either eat it straight from the ramekin, like so:
Or add some fruit on the side or a quince glaze, thusly:
Or, my favorite, add some chocolate sauce for a little Mounds bar theme. If you can eat almonds, sprinkle some of those around and call it Almond Joy Panna Cotta.
If you’re going to eat it out of the ramekins, dislodging it can be tricky. First, hold a warm cloth to the ramekin for a few seconds. Next, run a sharp knife around the edge. Then put a plate face down on top of the ramekin. You see where we’re going with this right? Now turn the whole thing upside down to plop the panna cotta onto the plate. Your goal is something like this: