Tag Archives: pannacotta

Light Agar posset with almond and orange blossom

Perfect for Red Nose Day

Perfect for Red Nose Day

The trouble with the British posset or the italian pannacotta is that they are full of cream and sometimes I want a pudding that is a little bit lighter than most. I have been experimenting with Agar Agar lately and – with a bit of trial and error- I managed to get some small successes!

This silky Agar pannacotta with orange blossom water is one of those: A fresh and creamy combination of almond milk, almond butter and orange blossom with the undertones of an oriental pudding ; recalling visions of elaborate flower’s water possets in overflowing banquets such as those described in The Arabian nights.

The story of Sharazad is my bedtime read at the moment and I am deeply enjoying plunging into a language as rich and expressive as a persian carpet…

The recipe itself come from a book on Agar recipes given to me by a kind friend and written by Cléa of Cleacuisine. Agar Agar has many health benefits and is a clever ingredient for anybody conscious of their waistline… I post this for the group of friends who came to cook with me yesterday and all enjoyed the taste of this dessert. Thanks for being so supportive and fun, I had a lovely time sharing tips and novel ingredients with you all!

Ingredients list

  • White almond butter (in health shops), 160g
  • Agave syrup, 10 tsp
  • Rice or almond milk, 400ml
  • Agar Agar powder, 4 small teaspoonful or 4 g
  • Orange blossom water, 2 Tbsp
  • A few drops of bitter almond essence

Mix the almond butter and the agave syrup in a small bowl.

Heat the milk until just below boiling point,then dissolve the agar powder in it and let it simmer for 30 seconds.

Mix in the sweetened almond cream until melted. Add the orange blossom water and a few drops of bitter almond essence to enhance the almond fragrance. This is also the reason why I use almond milk if I can rather than rice milk.

Pour into 6 individual pots or jars. Let it cool and reserve in the fridge until serving time. It is not necessary to take them out of the pans but you can if you wish. For a friends dinner I would probably serve them with a fresh raspberry and passion fruit sauce but that would raise the sugar content and I am so pleased those little desserts are sugar and dairy free I would not want to compromise tonight!

They are heavenly virtuous and that is what I want right now…

Spoon in and have your private Sharazad moment…

View of Istanbul and its port

View of Istanbul and its port

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Goat cheese panacotta- Macrobiotic version

The Beach House goat cheese pannacotta/ My Macrobiotic and veggy version!

I made this for  lunch and used ingredients that are non-dairy and suitable for vegetarians. I am trying to keep to my summer diet of fresh vegetables and non animal food but at the same time, I am REALLY missing the cheeses… So this recipe includes a light, fresh goat cheese which is satisfying  enough and at the same time, keeping away from the cream and milk of the original version, is better for your digestive system. A fresh yet creamy, flavoured yet subtle, beautiful take on the classic pannacotta recipe.

Ingredients list: This makes 6 portions

  • Soya milk 300ml
  • Soy cream 300ml
  • Fresh soft goat cheese 250g
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp of Agar Agar (flakes)
  Add the Agar (a veggy gelatine)to the cold milk bit by bit, making sure to leave no lumps. Mix well.
Simmer the milk and cream until too hot to touch but not boiling yet. Season.
Add the goat cheese and strain through a fine sieve, pushing the mixture in with a wooden spoon.
Now pour into the moulds – mini puddings pans do very well.
Leave to cool outside then put in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours.
Serve with a salad of mixed leaves and black grapes, dressed with olive oil and light balsamic vinegar. Plus slices of homemade soda bread on the side!

I am very influenced by the Macrobiotic way and books like “Macrobiotics for Dummies”, at the moment, are on my bedside table – so you will hear more about this new way of eating over the next few weeks, I promise you! And as I understand its workings better and will be able to adjust my recipes more often, I hope you will see the benefits as well and try it along with me…

Beach food on West Wittering

pitch perfect beach

For a long time, I mistakenly thought that all of England’s beaches were pebbly … until I came accross West Wittering! A vast expanse of pale grey sand, just south of Chichester, in West Sussex… No roads, no houses; just a few cows grazing and the sea.

Beach huts on West Wittering beach

We went for the August Bank holiday and stayed at the friendly and homely Beach House, in the only street of the village. A little walk away lies the beach, fringed with crystal clear waters and dotted with beach huts in all shades of blue and white. We had a blustery, sunshiny, showery weather which made our enjoyment of the beach all the more precious – if intermittent! But waking up by the seaside is priceless and I enjoyed by run along the waves in the morning…

The Beach House goat cheese pannacotta:

I had that for my lunch after pottering on the beach while the children took their windsurfing lessons and it was so fresh and clean on the palate that I could not have dreamed up a more pitch-perfect lunch! The kind people at the hotel let me have the recipe and here it is: A fresh yet creamy, flavoured yet subtle, beautiful take on a classic pannacotta recipe.

Ingredients list: This makes 6 portions

  • Milk 300ml
  • Double cream 300ml
  • Fresh soft goat cheese 250g
  • salt and pepper
  • One sachet or 8 leaves of gelatine
Simmer the milk and cream until too hot to touch but not boiling yet.
Add the goat cheese and strain through a fine sieve, pushing the mixture in with a wooden spoon.
Season and add the gelatine bit by bit, making sure to leave no lumps. Mix well.
Then pour into the moulds – mini puddings pans do very well.
Leave to cool then put in the fridge for 1 or 2 hours.
Serve with a salad of mixed leaves and black grapes, dressed with olive oil and light balsamic vinegar. Plus slices of ciabatta on the side!
Traveller’s notes : On our way back from the beach, we stopped in Chichester to visit the cathedral. A gorgeous, medieval cathedral with a window by Marc Chagall and a rambling, maze-like garden. It is only a couple of hours from London but well worth the journey!