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Pannacotta Eyeballs, Celebrate with Kim-Joy (Quadrille, £20) Photography ©Ellis Parrinder
October 2020
Reading time 2 Minutes

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
  • Plus
  • 1–2 kiwis, peeled and sliced as thinly as possible
  • black gel food dye
  1.  (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. 
  2. 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). 
  3. 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.
  4. 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

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