Panna Cotta as a Light Summer Dessert: Delicious Recipes with Agar-Agar and Homemade Cereal Milk
Are you planning a summer party and need a light dessert that everyone likes? Take your guests to a café in Italy with a delicious panna cotta! This Italian dessert not only looks beautiful, but can also be prepared quickly and easily in large quantities. We shall give you two great twists on the classic that you will surely love.
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Panna Cotta Recipes for Summer
The name Panna Cotta comes from Italian and means “cooked cream”. This creamy dessert is very popular in summer because it is enjoyed chilled. You can add seasonal fruit like melon, berries, peaches or whatever you like. The dessert can be served in a glass or on a plate and garnished with seasonal fruit of your choice.
Vegan Panna Cotta without Gelatine – with Agar-Agar
Cream and gelatin are traditionally used in this classic Italian dessert. However, if you want to make it vegan, then you can substitute these two ingredients with their plant-based alternatives. We will now show you how to prepare panna cotta with agar agar, almond milk and vegan yoghurt to satisfy your vegan guests too.
Please note: the dessert takes only 20 minutes to prepare, but it needs at least 4 hours to cool down.
How to Make Panna Cotta with Agar-Agar
Agar-agar is a plant-based alternative to gelatin. The gelling agent is made from algae and is available in powder form. In contrast to animal gelatine, agar-agar has to be boiled so that it gels.
Vegan Strawberry Panna Cotta with Agar Agar Recipe
For the vegan strawberry chia jelly:
- 4 fl oz/125 ml water
- 1lb/500 g strawberries, divided
- 1 teaspoon agar-agar
- 1,3 fl oz/40 ml agave syrup (or more to taste)
- 2-3 tablespoons of chia seeds
For the vegan panna cotta:
- 8 fl oz/250 ml almond milk
- 1 teaspoon agar agar
- 1,3 fl oz/40 ml agave syrup
- 3,3 fl oz/100 ml pure vegan drinking yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- fresh strawberries or raspberries
- mint leaves
- For the jelly: In a blender, puree 3/4 of the strawberries and all the other ingredients for the jelly except for the chia seeds until smooth. Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove the pulp and place in a small saucepan.
- Cook for 5-10 minutes until the mixture has reduced and taken on the consistency of a watery jam. Remove from stove and set aside.
- Chop the rest of the strawberries and add them to the pot along with the chia seeds. Stir for 5 minutes until the chia seeds have puffed up and are evenly distributed in the mixture.
- Pour the jelly into glasses. Set the glasses on their side in a muffin tin for a slanted effect. Let cool completely for 2 to 3 hours until firm.
- For the panna cotta: Place the almond milk, agar agar and sugar in a small saucepan and whisk together. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the agar-agar powder.
- Once everything has dissolved, remove from the heat and stir in the yoghurt and vanilla. Allow the mixture to cool slightly (2-3 minutes) and then pour over the hardened strawberry pudding mixture.
- Refrigerate the desserts for 2-3 hours until set.
- Decorate with fresh berries and mint leaves before serving.
Cereal Milk Panna Cotta – A Trendy American Dessert
This recipe has become famous because of the Netflix show Chefs Table. It was featured in an episode about American pastry chef Christina Tosi and now everyone wants to try her Cereal Milk Panna Cotta.
What is Cereal Milk?
Cereal Milk is the trendy drink invented by the master confectioner in New York. This is milk flavored with toasted breakfast cereal and brown sugar. It tastes like the dense, slightly sweet, starchy, grainy milk from the bottom of the cereal bowl that everyone loves to enjoy at the end of breakfast.
How to Make Cereal Milk?
- Preheat the oven to 280F/140C.
- Spread 2 cups of cornflakes evenly on a baking sheet.
- Place the tray in the middle of the oven and roast the cornflakes for 10 minutes. Note: Roasting the corn flakes is optional, but it deepens the flavor and makes the milk really addictive.
- Remove the tray from the oven and allow the cornflakes to cool completely.
- Pour the toasted cornflakes into a pitcher or bowl.
- Add 3 cups milk and 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar and stir well.
- Place the pitcher in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse.
- Then remove from the fridge and stir again to completely dissolve the sugar.
- Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl or pitcher and pour the milk through it to separate the grain from the milk. Press down on the grain to squeeze out as much milk as possible. Discard the remaining cornflakes (or eat if you wish).
Cereal Milk Panna Cotta Recipe
* A variation of Christina Tosi’s original recipe
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 9 oz/250 grams of whipped cream
- 8,5 fl oz/250 ml Cereal Milk
- Corn flakes for garnish
- 3 gelatin sheets (check the manufacturer’s instructions, you need gelatin for 500 ml of liquid)
- Place the gelatin sheets in cold water and let them soak for 5 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, heat a small amount of cereal milk (do not boil, just warm it for the gelatine to dissolve).
- Squeeze the gelatine to remove excess water, then add to the warm cereal milk and stir vigorously until dissolved.
- Pour back into the pitcher, stir and divide into 4 glasses. Place in the refrigerator until the gelatin has set, usually a couple of hours.