Who thinks vegans can’t eat panna cotta? Wrong!
I’ve been experimenting lately with agar agar as a setting agent to replace gelatine.
Agar agar is derived from a form of red algae seaweed and comes in powder and flake form. It’s used extensively in Asia for both sweet and savoury recipes.
It’s a completely vegetarian/vegan alternative to gelatine which is, of course, taken from the insides of various animals skin and bones. Sorry if you didn’t want to hear that!
During my experiments I found that 1 teaspoon of agar agar powder is equivalent to 1 tablespoon of agar agar flakes and that the powder can be substituted for powdered gelatine in the same amount.
So if you can’t find agar agar in your local Asian supermarket and don’t mind eating gelatine then I’ve included the amount to use in the recipe below.
Also, agar agar sets much more quickly (and a little softer) than gelatine and can even do so at room temperature – it’s quite amazing! You’ll probably find that this recipe is set within an hour, but I specify longer because I think the final result tastes much better when thoroughly chilled.
Vegan chocolate panna cotta recipe
750ml chocolate flavoured soy milk (I used Vitasoy Chocolate Soymilk)
200ml coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 teaspoons agar agar powder (or 2 tablespoons of agar agar flakes, or 4 teaspoons powdered gelatine)
1. Heat the soy milk and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Take off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
2. Mix the agar agar powder with 2 teaspoons of cold water and stir until dissolved. Sieve the mixture to make sure there aren’t any lumps.
3. Add the agar mixture to the soy milk mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour into 1 cup capacity ramekins and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Salt & Pepper tofu w/ mushrooms
Pear crumble cake
Pomegranate granita w/ lychee & gin
Vegan vanilla sponge cake
Harissa baked eggplant
Roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad
Sweet potato and coconut soup
Organic roast beetroot w/ vegan coriander pesto
Summer greens w/ fresh tomato sauce