Mango Panna Cotta (Vegan)

A creamy Italian dessert enhanced with the flavors of fresh mangoes, cardamom and pistachios
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Mango Panna cotta is a creamy dessert with Italian origins that is made with fresh mangoes. A perfect dessert for the mango season! The fragrance of mangoes, the richness of the cream and milk, and a touch of cardamom powder with a topping of roasted pistachios make this dessert very unique but appealing to all ages.

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert that has gained popularity all over the world. Panna cotta is a classic dessert that is highly versatile in composition and very easy to prepare. “Pàn·na” means cream and “Cotta” means cooked in Italian. As the name indicates, Panna cotta is primarily made by cooking cream with sugar and gelatin. We can create different flavors of this primary version of panna cotta by adding vanilla, matcha green tea, coffee, caramel, fruits, liqueurs, food essences, and colors. We can go a little more elaborate by accompanying the classic panna cotta with dessert sauces and toppings.

I have substituted gelatin with “Agar-agar” in my recipe as I wanted this to be a Vegan-friendly dessert. Gelatin is derived from animal collagen whereas agar-agar is obtained from edible seaweed.  My recipe uses the following ingredients:

For Mango Panna cotta :

  1. Fresh mangoes (fully ripe and not have fibers)
  2. Cream
  3. Whole milk
  4. Agar-agar
  5. Granulated sugar
  6. Cardamom powder
  7. Roasted Pistachios

The preparation and cooking take about 30 minutes and the dessert needs to be refrigerated for at least 8-12 hours. We need ramekins or molds to shape the panna cotta. The process involves boiling the main ingredients and transferring the contents into molds before refrigerating. We can prepare panna cotta in advance and store it for a few days in the refrigerator. Panna cotta is best served chilled.

How to use Agar-agar:  The ratio of agar-agar to the other liquids is very important to get the right consistency and texture of panna cotta. Use 1 TSP of agar agar powder to every 2 cups of liquid in a recipe. If you add more agar-agar, the dessert will be of a very thick consistency. I dissolve Agar-agar in a few teaspoons of water before adding to the boiling liquids in order to avoid the formation of lumps. The agar solution is then added to milk and boiled over medium heat until thickened, which takes approximately 5-7 minutes.

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Mango Panna Cotta (Vegan)

Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 30 min Total Time 8 hrs 40 mins Servings: 10

Description

Mango Panna cotta is a creamy dessert with Italian origins that is made with fresh mangoes fruits. A perfect dessert for the mango season! The fragrance of mangoes, the richness of the cream and milk, and a touch of cardamom powder with a topping of roasted pistachios make this dessert very unique but appealing to all ages.

Ingredients

For the mango panna cotta

For Strawberry sauce (compôte)

Instructions

To prepare mango panna cotta

  1. Prepare the mango cream

    • Clean the mangoes and extract the pulp 
    • Blend the pulp into a puree
    • Filter the puree using a fine mesh to remove any fibers or fruit lumps
    • Add the puree back into the blender
    • Add half of the heavy cream
    • Blend for 10 seconds or until the mango and cream have blended well.

  2. Prepare the panna cotta base

    • Add 5 teaspoons of water (at room temperature) in a small bowl and mix the agar agar powder so that no lumps remain
    • Bring the whole milk and remaining cream to boil in a thick-bottomed saucepan with flame on medium heat.
    • Add sugar and cardamom powder. Stir continuously until the sugar dissolves
    • Once the liquid starts to boil, add agar-agar solution. Reduce the heat and keep stirring for about 5 minutes. 
    • Remove from heat.
    • Add the mango cream and mix well.

  3. Cooling the Panna cotta

    • Divide the panna cotta base into 8-10 molds or ramekins (numbers may vary depending on the mold size)
    • Let the panna cotta cool to room temperature.
    • Refrigerate for at least 8-12 hours to ensure that the panna cotta has set well.

  4. Serving

    1. Once the panna cotta has set, remove the ramekins from the refrigerator.
    2. Slowly stretch the edges of the ramekin so that panna cotta separates 
    3. If you are using a glass bowl or any other container instead of a ramekin, run a thin knife along the walls to separate the panna cotta from the container. Turn the container upside-down slowly and the panna cotta should slide out.
    4. Place the panna cotta in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the chopped roasted pistachios and serve.

Keywords: Italian, dessert, mango, cream, cardamom, pistachios

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