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What started out as a tart ended up being just a panna cotta. The tart was yummy, but I didn’t care so much that lifting the tart out of the pan it started to crumble apart. Wet crust! The panna cotta itself was made from a base of coconut milk, unlike ones made from cream. This experiment turned out to be surprisingly delicious and very pretty.
The texture and flavor was that of flan and a nice change from the heavier dairy based dessert. I think that serving this just as it reaches room temperature to be great and really shows how creamy the texture can be.
I shied away from adding any coconut flavor; however, you can add some coconut liqueur to the coconut base for a grand dinner party dessert. Would your dinner guests know that it is dairy-free? When they discover that there were no cows milked for this one, they might be surprised.
Coconut Panna Cotta Recipe
1-15 ounce can coconut milk
¼ cup granular sugar
2 inch piece of vanilla bean, scraped
1 ¾ teaspoons powdered gelatin
2 Tablespoons cold water
Vanilla Fig Syrup [see recipe below]
Fresh Ripe Figs [adorable garnish]
1. In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over the water and stir. Set aside to bloom.
2. In a small sauce pan heat the coconut milk, sugar and vanilla bean to a boil.
3. Strain coconut milk into a mixing bowl.
4. Whisk in as much as a quarter cup of the coconut milk into the gelatin to melt.
5. Pour gelatin mixture into the remaining coconut milk.
6. Fill desired jars, compotes or bowls and place in refrigerator for 4 hours.
7. Serve with vanilla-fig syrup spooned over the top and adorn with fresh ripe figs.
Fig Syrup Recipe
¼ cup granular sugar
4 large ripe figs, halved
2 Tablespoons Grand Marnier liqueur [-or- water]
1 Tablespoon water
1 inch piece vanilla bean, chopped
1. Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer.
2. Continue to simmer until figs have released their flavor and color.
3. Strain and cool.
*note: If you prefer, you can keep the poached figs and include them as part of the desert.