Going Green is March’s theme for Dessert Wars. Reeni and Christine have laid out a paired list of natural green ingredients for the challenge – traditional and non-traditional. The participants had to select at least one ingredient from each list. Given the two lists I had to wreck my brain for the best possible combination. I chose kiwi and mint from the traditional list and lemongrass from the non-traditional list.
These three ingredients have very distinctive flavors of their own. I wanted something subtle and mild to bind them together. Panna Cotta which means cooked cream in Italian would work. I infused the cream with lemongrass just enough to give it a bite. The simple kiwi mint sauce rounded off the dessert nicely, by giving it a light and fresh flavor. The combination was quite delightful and we all enjoyed it thoroughly. To my readers in Asia, the taste and texture of panna cotta is akin to a creamier Tau Foo Fah (Soy Bean Pudding).
This recipe was adapted from Giada’s at the Food Network. I have lightened it up by reducing the cream and using some half-and-half (half cream and half milk) instead.
- 1 lemongrass, about 6 inches from the bottom, cut into two
- 1½ cups (360ml) half-and-half
- 1½ tsp (4g) unflavored gelatin
- 3 tbsp (40g) sugar
- ¾ cups (180ml) heavy whipping cream
- 3 kiwi fruit, peeled
- 3 to 4 sprigs mint, stems removed
- 1 tbsp (14g) sugar
Lightly oil 4 ramekins with neutral tasting oil.
Using a meat pounder, crush lemongrass. Place in a small saucepan together with half and half. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Add sugar and place saucepan on the stove over medium heat stirring until gelatin and sugar dissolve. Turn off heat and let stand for 10 minutes to allow lemongrass flavor to develop.
Remove lemongrass and stir in cream. Strain mixture over a fine sieve to remove any undissolved gelatin.
Pour into ramekins. Transfer to fridge and allow panna cotta to set for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Place kiwifruit, mint leaves, and sugar in a blender. Blend until smooth.
Carefully dip bottom of each ramekin in a baking pan filled with hot water briefly. Run a thin knife around edge of each ramekin to loosen. Invert onto the plate and carefully lift off ramekin. Drizzle kiwi mint sauce over the top.
I really like the silky wobbly texture of this Lemongrass Panna Cotta. The kiwi mint sauce is a nice counterpoint to this creamy dessert. Do give it a try.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!