Panna cotta is a delightful pudding. Sweet but not too sweet, relatively light and ridiculously easy to make, but shhh don’t tell anyone. Instead of using cows milk I opted for delicious almond milk to give it a slight nutty undertone to accompany the vanilla.
The Pressery has just relaunched with a pure, long-life organic almond milk, which is utterly delicious and perfect for this recipe. The list of London locations where you can purchase the milk is growing by the week so I am sure there will be somewhere near you where you can pick up a carton. Take a look here to find out the locations.
I love the combination of strawberries and black pepper, so thought I would accompany the panna cotta with a smooth coulis made from the two ingredients. Equally you can simply just serve the panna cotta with fresh strawberries with a pinch or two of black pepper.
This sweet delight is perfect after a number of dishes from my recipe library – here are a few to point you in the right direction.
slow cooked lamb with tomatoes, dried fruit and spices, warm lentil and goats cheese salad with a fresh basil dressing, chickpea, chorizo and cod stew, umami rich portable mushrooms, sun dried tomato and black garlic pesto
Let me know how you get on. Do you like the strawberry and black pepper combo?
Almond Milk and Vanilla Panna Cotta with a Strawberry and Black Pepper Coulis
Serves 4-5 (depending on the size of your ramekins)
250ml almond milk
250ml double cream
2 tbsp agave nectar (or 25g white sugar)
2 vanilla pods or 1 tsp vanilla extract with seeds
3 gelatine leaves
30g caster sugar
150g fresh strawberries, stems removed and sliced
1 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
- Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 4 minutes.
- In a pan gently heat the almond milk, cream, agave nectar/sugar and vanilla (if using pods split them lengthways and scoop out the seeds and leave the pods in the milk to infuse). Let it simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Squeeze the water out of the gelatine leaves and place in the pan with the almond milk. Stir well so that it dissolves into milky liquid.
- Sieve all the liquid into a jug and discard the vanilla pods if using, and then pour even amounts into your ramekins. Allow to cool before placing in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- In a new pan add the water, caster sugar and fresh strawberries and gently heat so that the sugar dissolves.
- Use a hand blender to create a smooth sauce. If you find the sauce is too thick do add a little more water at this stage. You are aiming to have a sauce that is the same thickness as a single cream.
- For the final stage you have two options. Either sieve the strawberry coulis into a serving jug or if you prefer to have the black pepper bits in the coulis do not strain. Both ways work well, that latter naturally having more pepper bite, which I personally love.
- Place the coulis in a serving jug and when it is cools place in the fridge.
To serve the panna cotta, gently use a sharp knife to loosen the top rim of the panna cotta. Then place the bottom of the ramekin in a bowl of hot water for a couple of seconds maximum. Place the serving plate on top of the ramekin and then turn over and gently shake the ramekin so that the panna cotta gently slips onto the plate.
Either allow guests to serve the coulis themselves or place a little around the edge of the panna cotta. Equally you can add fresh fruit as well as the coulis or instead of. Strawberries or blueberries would work beautifully.
As an alternative idea to turning the panna cotta out onto a plate you could serve them in vintage mismatched tea cups.
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