Christmas panna cotta the vegetarian way … 

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a fabulous day and enjoyed the festivities. I thoroughly enjoyed myself working in the morning (that’s the delight with a job that’s more your hobby than a job), then went to give Ashley some carrots before heading home to my parents to relax and catch up with everyone.

I decided to agree to making the dessert this year, which usually isn’t an issue except I had my heart set on jelly and panna cotta puddings. Now usually this results in a creamy vanilla yumminess, however my boyfriend was coming for lunch and he eats halal which meant no using gelatin! Panic stations …. I scoured the net until I found recipes for agar agar alternatives but I couldn’t find this in the local shops and so i settled for Dr Oetker’s Vege-Gel. The results were incredibly tasty but far too firm for my liking. I may try again with less vege-gel this time to see if they can be creamier.

To make them was incredibly easy, you need a Christmas tree silicone moulds and some ramekins.

For the jelly:

  • Pour 1/4 pint of cold water into a jug and add one sachet of vege-gel, mix until all dissolved
  • Add approx 200g of raspberries, 50g caster sugar and 1/2 pint of water to a pan and heat through until almost simmering and the raspberries are beginning to break up
  • Sieve the raspberry mix into a jug so you have lump free juice remaining, this should be between 1/2 and 3/4 pint so you can either pour some away or add a little more water if need be to make up the volume
  • Pour the raspberry mix back into a clean pan and add the vege-gel mix, heat until you reach boiling point stirring all the time 
  • Pour this into your tree mould or the bottom of a ramekin and leave to cool before then putting in the fridge 

Once the jellies have set (takes around 30mins) push them out and place at the bottom of a ramekin, if you poured the jelly straight into a ramekin ignore this step! 

Now for the panna cotta:

  • Put 1/2 pint of whole milk in a jug and add 2 sachets of vege-gel, stir well until all dissolved (hard to tell as you can’t see the lumps in milk!)
  • In a pan combine 1/2 pint whole milk and 1 pint of double cream along with 1.5tsp of decent vanilla paste
  • Bring this to a simmer and then pour the vege-gel mixture in (I did mine through a sieve incase there were lumps that hadn’t dissolved – there were quite a few so I suggest you do the same!)
  • Stir until well combined and has reached boiling point then stop the heat and continue to stir
  • Ideally you need the creamy mix to cool a bit before pouring on top of the jellies however vege-gel appears to set very quickly so I kept stirring for around 3 mins before pouring into the ramekins
  • Split the mixture evenly between all your ramekins and leave to cool before putting in the fridge to chill

That made 7 in total, I also made a quick sauce to go with the puddings, this was just 200g raspberries simmered with 200mls of water and 50g of caster sugar until they started breaking u and the sugar had dissolved. Once that point was reached I blended well and then strained through a sieve to remove bits. And that’s your sauce made! 
I have got lots and lots of exciting new things I want to try in the coming weeks and so I hope to be back to bring you my attempts! 

Much love and all the best for a happier and healthier new year xxx

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