Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tasty Tuesday~Pina Colada Panna Cotta

I absolutely love panna cotta-I learned about it and developed a taste for it in culinary school.  It's extremely easy to make, in truth...it's basically milk jello.  Panna cotta is very versatile, you can blend bananas into the mix and top it with chocolate syrup, you can mix in vanilla bean and top it with berries, or, as I'm showing you today, you can make it a little more tropical ;)

I mentioned in this post about needing to use up some rice milk (and canned pineapple) that was coming up on expiration in our food storage.  I came up with the idea to try making a pina colada panna cotta since I also have some coconut milk powder that I bought a while back and have never used.


4 C milk (Traditional recipes call for milk and cream, I tend to just use milk to keep the calories down, or in this case, I'm going with the rice milk)
1-2 packets of unflavored gelatin (depends on the type of milk you are using.  If you go for whole milk/cream, you won't need as much.  Skim milk and rice milk need the most since they are naturally thinner.)
1/2 C white sugar (my husband thought this could have used more than this)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut flavoring to taste (we used the coconut milk powder, though not nearly enough so I don't have an exact amount to quote you)
crushed pineapple
Take 1/2 cup of the milk and put it in a small bowl, pour the gelatin evenly on it and let it set for several minutes.  This is called "softening" or "blooming" the gelatin.  If you skip this step, you'll end up with a nasty hot mess, it's worth the time.

With the other 3.5 cups of milk, get it on the stove with the sugar and coconut milk powder.  The milk powder I have doesn't really come with instructions...and I haven't been able to find a way to dissolve it well for other uses, so I used an immersion blender and made sure it incorporated well into the mix-no clumps!  Get this mix to boiling and add in the gelatin mixture.  Once the gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved, take it off of the heat and add the vanilla.  Foodie Fact: When possible, add vanilla to recipes last-boiling/cooking extracts such as vanilla weakens their flavor.

Pour the hot mixture into individual ramekins, bowls, or whatever dish you would like.
This recipe made 9 little dishes and a small mason jar that held about a double serving (that went in my hubby's lunch, packed the pineapple in a separate small container :) )

As with all food, let it cool down a bit before throwing it straight into the fridge, you don't want it to warm up all of your other food.  Once it's not steaming, pop it in the fridge for a few hours. 

For the topping, I went pretty plain-jane with just putting the crushed pineapple on top.  I might have been able to come up with something more enticing...but I'm a pretty simple gal.  I also am not a fan of other tropical fruits like mango or papaya.
All-in-all, not my fanciest or best tasting, I know with some more tweaks it could have been awesome.  I'd LOVE to hear other variations of panna cotta to try if you have any!

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