This Raspberry Panna Cotta is a delightfully easy dessert that will be equally well received by your kiddos, guests at a dinner party or for a romantic dinner for two.
I’m calling this panna cotta, but based upon ingredients in true Italian panna cotta, some may think of this as it’s vegan cousin, raspberry pudding. Traditional panna cotta is made with cream, white sugar and gelatin. The name literally means “cooked cream”.
My panna cotta is made with coconut milk, maple syrup and agar, along with a raspberry and apple puree. Do you think since it doesn’t have cream it should have a different name? I was going to call this recipe raspberry pudding, but it’s so much like panna cotta that I decided you, the reader and home chef, can feel as fancy as I did and make and serve Raspberry Panna Cotta, which sounds much more decadent and fancy than raspberry pudding.
What is agar and how is it different from gelatin?
- Most people are familiar with gelatin because that is what Jello is made from. Gelatin is a protein substance produced from collagen in the skin, bones and connective tissue of animals such as pigs and cattle (1). Agar comes from the cell walls of red seaweed, so is completely plant based. It most commonly originates from the seaweed called Gracilaria (2).
- Agar is made up of water-soluble, indigestible fibre.
- Agar contains calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium and folate.
- Agar is also known as agar agar or Kanten, China grass or Japanese isinglass (3). It is colorless, flavourless, and rich in fibre.
- Agar flakes are firmer than gelatin.
- Unlike gelatin, refrigeration is not required for agar to set.
- Desserts with agar typically set within 60 minutes, whereas gelatin-based desserts take several hours to set.
- Agar has to be brought to boiling to dissolve.
- Agar is available in flakes or powder.
- One tablespoon of flaked agar is equal to 1 teaspoon of agar powder.
- Agar powder can be substituted 1:1 to replace gelatin.
Limitations of agar for gelling in desserts
Some fruits that are overly acidic or alkaline can interfere with the gelling process. Recipes with strawberries or citrus fruits may require additional agar to gel completely.
Where can agar be purchased?
Agar is available at natural food, health and some bulk stores. You can use either flakes or powder, but just remember that 1 tablespoon of flakes is equal to 1 teaspoon of powder.
Grab yourself some agar, raspberries, an apple, a can of coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla and treat your loved ones to Raspberry Panna Cotta tonight. They’ll love you for it. And don’t forget to tag me in your instagram photos @iamlorimoore when you make it.
Raspberry Panna Cotta
- 6 oz. fresh raspberries
- 1 apple peeled and cored
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 Tbsp agar flakes or 3 tsp agar powder
- Add raspberries, apple and water to high speed blender and blend until smooth, about 60 seconds.
- Strain with cheesecloth or pour into strainer and push liquid through strainer with spatula. Discard seeds from strainer.
- Pour fruit mix into saucepan. Add coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir to mix.
- Sprinkle agar flakes on mixture and stir.
- Bring to boil to dissolve agar flakes. Reduce to medium and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour into individual bowls and leave for at least one hour to set.