Three weeks into my 60-Day Challenge and Valentine’s Day reared it’s head smack in the middle. The husband and I decided to forego the throngs of couples queuing for entry into restaurants serving overly priced set menus; opting instead for a delicious home cooked meal. Tea lights, scented incense, dimmed lights and low-level music was all we needed to set the mood for a romantic Valentine’s Dinner at home.
My biggest hurdle was trying to decide what to serve for dessert. I wanted something full of flavour, something that bespoke the essence of Valentine’s Day and something that was challenge friendly.
My husband is quite predictable with his desserts and being allergic to cocoa he tends to gravitate towards Panna Cotta if it’s on the menu. In keeping with his choice of dessert, I began researching how to make Panna Cotta challenge friendly. Replacing all dairy and processed sugar with coconut milk and rice malt syrup resulted in a fresh and light dessert perfect to finish off our Valentine’s Day Dinner.
A healthy Valentine's Day Dessert, Coconut and Blueberry Panna Cotta.
Preparation Time: 6-Hrs (this includes 5 ¾ hours of chilling and setting time)
Cooking Time: 10-mins
Makes: 6-8 servings
Ingredients Making the Panna Cotta 1 ½ Cups Coconut Milk ½ Teaspoon Vanilla
½ Cup Water
2 Teaspoons Agar
3 Tablespoons Rice Malt Syrup
2 Tablespoons Arrowroot (Tapioca Flour)
Making the Blueberry Topping 1 ½ Cups Frozen Blueberries
3 Teaspoons Rice Malt Syrup
2 Teaspoons Agar
1 Cup Water
Combine the water and agar in a small bowl.
Making the Agar.
Stir and set aside for 10-15 minutes, until the water has absorbed the agar and resembles a jelly like texture.
The water will absorb the Agar powder and will resemble jelly.
In a small saucepan, add the Coconut Milk, rice malt syrup and arrowroot powder. Bring the coconut milk to the boil and simmer on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
Substitute cream with coconut milk and sugar with rice malt syrup, then add arrowroot powder to make the base of the Panna Cotta.
Remove the coconut milk from the heat and pour ¼ cup of the liquid into the bowl containing the agar.
Pour 1/4 Cup of the Coconut Milk into the agar mixture.
Stir the mixture quickly ensuring there are no lumps, then add this back to the rest of the coconut milk then add the vanilla.
Stir the mixture to ensure there are no lumps then add this back to the rest of the coconut milk.
Pour the coconut milk into individual serving moulds or dishes leaving 1cm from the top allowing for the blueberry topping.
Pour the coconut milk into individual serving dishes and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until set.
Chill for 3-4 hours or until set.
Making the Blueberry Topping
Puree the frozen blueberries.
In a small saucepan add the water and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a low heat and add the agar, stirring until dissolved.
Add the rice malt syrup to the agar and again stir until dissolved and the mixture resembles a thickening syrup.
Add the pureed blueberries into the syrup and stir until all ingredients are combined.
Bring to the boil agar, rice malt syrup and blueberries, then simmer to create the blueberry topping of the Panna Cotta.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Layer the blueberry topping over the Panna Cotta then refrigerate until ready to serve.
Remove the Coconut Panna Cotta from the refrigerator and top with a thick layer of the blueberries. Return to the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Replacing all dairy and processed sugar with coconut milk and rice malt syrup resulted in a fresh and light dessert.