“Health-conscious for a Day” Panna Cotta


Okay so many of you all already know I make Panna Cotta really often, but that version is truly an indulgence and NOT for regular consumption. So don’t you agree that we should have a healthier recipe so we can enjoy panna cotta more often, without the guilt? We’ve all worked so hard in school we shouldn’t have to deal with the extra stress!!

This version of panna cotta is a more health-conscious one, using yoghurt in place of most of the cream, and a generous layer of fresh strawberry jelly. But the main hero of this dessert (or at least for me) is the specks of vanilla beans all over the panna cotta 😛 Of course you could also use vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract, but the more natural, the better!

Introducing... *deep breath* Vanilla Bean Yoghurt Panna Cotta with Strawberry Jelly

I kind of went overboard with the “healthy” theme and used 99% fat free natural yoghurt, which I think is a trade-off for the smooth creamy texture. I’d really want to try using Dairy Farmers’ Vanilla yoghurt the next time I make the texture closer to panna cotta consistency.

A lesson I took from trying out this recipe is that I should incorporate more fruits into what I bake. I’m not saying that we should all stay away from chocolaty goodness, creamy vanilla and oh-so-yummy cream cheese, but a little more balance would be nice, add a little more Vitamin C whenever we can!

This recipe makes 6 servings

VANILLA BEAN YOGHURT PANNA COTTA WITH STRAWBERRY JELLY

INGREDIENTS:

(For jelly)

150g fresh strawberries (you could also use raspberries, or any other berries you like)

100ml water

2 tablespoons caster sugar

2 teaspoons gelatin powder

(For Panna Cotta)

375ml heavy cream (I use Dairy Farmers’ or Bulla Thickened Cream)

3 tablespoons icing sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons gelatin powder

180g full fat yoghurt

1 vanilla pod, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)

DIRECTIONS:

1. For strawberry jelly, combine strawberries, water and sugar in a medium heat-proof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water for about 3-4 minutes or until infused (the liquid turns pink enough). Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin powder over cold water. Stir in the gelatin gently into the strawberry mixture.

Strawberry Jelly mixture

2. Spoon a layer of strawberries from the jelly mixture into each base of sex 125ml plastic moulds then spoon the strawberry jelly mixture over the strawberries in the moulds. Place in the refrigerator until set, about 1 or 2 hours.

The jelly layer

3. For the Panna Cotta: place cream and icing sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. (Watch the cream carefully because once it boils, it’ll quickly rise up the pan) Remove from heat. Sprinkle the gelatin over cold water, then stir into the warm cream.

4. If you’re using a vanilla pod, carefully split the bean lengthwise, and scrape off the beans. Gently whisk in the yoghurt and vanilla bean or paste into the cream mixture. Pour the mixture evenly among the prepared moulds. Refrigerate until set, preferably overnight.

Panna cottas ready for the fridge

5. To serve: Place panna cotta mould in between your hands for a few seconds. Carefully slide small knife down the inside edge of the mould, all the way down to the strawberry jelly layer. If needed, use the knife and go around the circumference of the mould. Invert moulds onto a serving plate and gently shake to remove the panna cotta.

Ready to eat!

An extra note:

Panna Cottas actually harden the longer you keep in the fridge, so try not to make it too far in advance. But IF you do forget about them in the fridge (which most likely would never happen), just leave it out on the kitchen counter to warm up a little, and the texture should be back to normal 😀

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