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Vanilla Panna Cotta with Agar Agar

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Agar Agar

Agar agar (also known as kanten) is a great vegetarian gelatine substitute; it is made of red algae and is about 80% fibre. It has 0 calories and has no taste but it changes the texture of the liquid it is added to rather quickly. I have been thinking about making panna cotta with agar agar for a while now and when I mentioned it to my friend K. the other day, she gave me a package of agar agar flakes and told me to start experimenting!

The ratio is very straight forward, use 1 tablespoon of agar agar flakes or 1 teaspoon of agar agar powder for every cup of liquid. Since I don’t have much experience with agar agar, I am not sure how it reacts to an acidic liquid, such as citrus juices, but it worked wonderfully with milk and cream. It’s surprisingly easy to make, it took me 3 minutes to put everything together! It’s an ideal dessert for the hot and humid summer months, no baking is required and the result of a few minutes work in the kitchen is a very simple and refreshing dessert.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Agar Agar

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Agar Agar

I am sure I will soon start using different ingredients such as honey or agave to sweeten it, or infuse the milk with mint or orange rind to give it an interesting flavour. This version of panna cotta is vegetarian, if you wanted to make a vegan version of it, you could use coconut milk or even almond milk.

  • 1 ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp agar agar flakes or 2 tsp agar agar powder
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar1 vanilla bean
  • Strawberry coulis (optional)

Place the milk, heavy cream, agar agar, sugar and the scraped seeds of a vanilla bean in a small saucepan, heat over medium high heat and stir occasionally until the agar agar has dissolved completely. Let the mixture stand for about 10 minutes at room temperature and pour into 4 rinsed ramekins or bowls. Refrigerate until the panna cotta sets, 2-3 hours.

Unmold the panna cotta, place in the middle of a plate or a bowl, pour the coulis around the panna cotta and serve cold.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Agar Agar


9 comments to Vanilla Panna Cotta with Agar Agar

  • Sim

    Thanks for the inspiration. I made a dairy-free version of this last night using soy coconut milk, served with raspberries coulis.
    Really good!

  • LindenTea

    Thank you for your comment! I’ll try a dairy-free version next time, I tried infusing milk with spices the other day and it turned out great.

  • patricia

    I made this twice last week, excellent. I didn’t event know what agar was but I decided to trust you on that. My next experiment will be the honey sweetened one you posted the other day but I have to buy buttermilk for that first.

  • Well.. my first go wasn’t so successful. I did the measurements correct so I thought but on re reading the ratio of agar agar to liquid I realized I hadnt put enough milk in.
    It took a while for the agar agar to dissolve as well.
    so I had glossy rubber! not my finest moment!
    On second attempt and correct measurements, I have velvety smooth texture. yay.
    one thing I have learnt about the agar agar flakes I bought was that it said on the packet mix them with water to dissolve them over heat which worked better for me the second go.

  • Danni

    i also found it easier to melt the agar flakes in hot water first. i was so worried i’d curdle the milk if i heated it for too long. turned out well though. next time i will only use 1 1/2 tblsp agar – it set just a tiny bit hard.

  • [...] I got the recipe for the honey panna cotta by adjusting a recipe for vanilla panna cotta from from Linden Tea. [...]

  • Sarah

    I followed this recipe using agar agar powder, except the panna cotta was too hard, like jello. It was not creamy at all. I tried the recipe again, and used 1 teaspoon of agar agar powder to 4 cups of liquid. I let it broil for a few minutes and noticed it thickened up a bit, let it rest for about 8 minutes and poured them in individual bowls. Terrific! Thanks for the recipe!

  • me

    hi!looking to make this recipie ,but with agar agar powder-do the same measurements still apply?

  • me

    oh sorry-just rad the recipie again and it states that it’s the same!

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