These are a perfect light and refreshing dessert after a big Halloween meal
You’ll feel a bit like a fancy chef making these and splashing coulis artfully around the plate, but they don’t merely look arty – the panacotta sets to the perfect creamy consistency with this quantity of setting agent, and contrasts beautifully with the strawberry coulis and small amount of acidity from the lemon juice.
- Note: You can use either vegan Vege-gel, or gelatine to set the panacottas.
- For the panacotta
- 500ml milk (or use soy milk to make vegan)
- 2 tsp Vege-gel (about 1 sachet) OR 3½ tsp gelatine powder
- 500ml double cream (or coconut milk to make vegan)
- 120g caster or granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 vanilla pods, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- For the strawberry coulis
- 500g frozen strawberries (or use fresh and hull them first)
- 75–175g icing sugar (or to taste depending on sweetness of fruit)
- 60ml water
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 1–2 kiwis, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible
- black gel food dye
- (If using Vege-gel): Add the milk to a small pan, sprinkle over the Vege-gel and whisk immediately to prevent clumping. Add the cream, sugar and vanilla bean paste or seeds and pod and whisk while heating over a medium-high heat until the mixture comes to the boil. Boil for one minute, whisking constantly. (if using gelatine): Add the milk to a small pan, sprinkle over the gelatine and leave to soften for five minutes. Add the cream, sugar and vanilla seeds and pod and heat over a low heat, stirring frequently. Don’t let the milk simmer or boil otherwise this stops the gelatine working (whereas vege-gel is the opposite and needs to boil!). Heat until the gelatine has all dissolved: check by rubbing some milk between your fingers – it should feel smooth if all dissolved, and should dissolve quite quickly. It dissolves at body temperature, so you don’t need to heat it much.
- Remove and discard the vanilla pod (if using), then pour the mixture into 12 x 7-cm silicone moulds or 12 glazed or glass small bowls and leave to set in the fridge. The Vege-gel-based one will set quickly (within three hours), but gelatine will set slower (at least four hours).
- For the coulis, if using frozen strawberries, simmer all the ingredients in a pan until the strawberries have thawed. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Push through a sieve before using. If using fresh strawberries, blend with the sugar, water and lemon juice. Place in a pan and simmer for one minute, then sieve.
- To assemble, spoon two generous tablespoons of coulis onto serving plates, allowing for some splashes. Turn the panacotta out and carefully place on top of the coulis. Place a slice of kiwi in the centre of the panacotta. Use some of the reserved sieved fruit to redden the kiwi eye, then use a dot of black food dye to create a pupil. Serve straightaway.
Celebrate with Kim-Joy (Quadrille, £20) Photography ©Ellis Parrinder