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Ma petite noix de coco

Panna cotta. It is light, yet unctuous, it is refreshing yet indulgent. It’s a dessert of contrasts for me and that’s what I love about it. It’s my ‘go to’ dessert when I eat out, yet I’d never made it at home. One of the reasons for this is that John does not eat meat-based products so the use of gelatine was not possible. I finally found a recipe in Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking cookbook which called for agar agar, a seaweed vegetarian gelatine substitute. This coconut panna cotta recipe comes with a summer berry coulis. But today is your lucky day and you get a ginger syrup coulis recipe thrown in as well! It makes for two very different desserts: the sweetness of the coconut against the tartness of the fruit works fabulously well and the fiery ginger compliments the coconut perfectly.

Coconut Panna Cotta
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

Ingredients
1 can coconut milk
300ml milk
60g light cane sugar
8g agar agar

Method
Lightly oil 6 ramekins, set aside.
Put coconut milk, milk, sugar and agar powder in a pan. Then let it rest for 5 minutes to let the agar agar dissolve. Slowly bring the ingredients to a simmer for about 5-6 minutes, until the powder is incorporated (I used a wooden spoon which I pressed against the side of the pan for any lumps of agar agar). When the time is up, pour into the ramekins, set aside to cool down then chill in the fridge until set, about 2 hours.

Summer Berry Coulis
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

Ingredients
2 cups frozen summer berries (you can use fresh raspberries & blackberries if you wish)
40g light cane sugar
Juice of ½ lemon

Put berries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Mash the berries a little, let it cool and then chill.

Fiery Ginger Syrup

50g ginger, skin still on in 2mm slices
160g cane sugar
500ml water

Combine ginger, sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Lower the heat and simmer 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain, and keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.

BONUS: You can also serve this syrup as a drink – add about two tablespoons to a glass and add sparkling water, ice and a slice of lime. Stir gently. Enjoy.

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Mieux vaut tard que jamais

Due to major renovations in my flat in London and my new found freedom in Switzerland, I’ve found it quite hard to settle down, both to write for the blog and generally. I’ve been distracted by skiing (on very little snow and in glorious weather), running (up and down a few rolling hills), flying back to London (to see my gorgeous niece and nephew and manage ‘Project Flat’), and cooking (some experimental mishaps with a few minor successes thrown in for good measure).

I’ll be back soon. I have Coconut Panna Cotta to tell you about. It’s worth the wait. Honestly.