Thursday, March 24, 2011

Strawberry Pannacotta with Strawberry Coulis& Toasted Nuts

'Tis just the beginning of summer and already I feel I am living inside a boiler. 'Tis the season of  vacations, picnics, and cool desserts. The king of fruits mango is starting his grand and expensive entry whereas the queen berry from foreign shores is quietly saying her goodbye (Tears).

I always make plans for freezing strawberry,but they remain what they are -just plans. This time more than baking/cooking I enjoyed berries as such,but one doomsday warning from Simran who has started freezing them, sort of pushed me into a strawberry overdrive and you can see few pink dishes here. This pannacotta which I tried with agar flakes is very lightly pink though.  I had barely 3 gms of  agar flakes and I had to adjust the ingredients accordingly.Here's my version of strawberry pannacotta. 

Ingredients:
Strawberries: atleast 1/2 cup chopped and pureed with 2 tbsp+ regular sugar

Agar flakes: 3 gms or little less than half of 10gms packet available here.
Water: 1/2 cup

Milk: 1/2 cup+ 2 tbsp
Cream : 1/2 cup (I used the available Amul cream which is low fat)
Sugar: 2 tbsp + as per taste

Garnish:
Toasted Nuts:chopped
Strawberries: chopped and tossed with sugar
Strawberry Juice

Preparation:

Wash the agar flakes and coarsely chop them and soak them for atleast 15 minutes in water.

Puree the strawberries with sugar and keep aside.You can use powdered sugar as well for pureeing them.

Heat 1/2 cup of milk in a pan and add in the softened agar flakes squeezing out the water.Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.Stir well and continue cooking till the agar flakes dissolve completely.

This will take about 10 minutes or more.But still some flakes may remain. So  remove from heat and immediately strain the mixture to remove the remaining flakes. Keep aside.

In another pan,bring to boil 1/2 cup cream and remaining 2 tbsp of milk adding just enough sugar. You will be folding in the sweetened strawberry puree into this and so add sugar accordingly.Once boiled,remove the cream -milk-sugar mix from heat and mix in the agar mixture.Fold in about 2 tbsp or more of the strawberry puree into this cream -agar mix.I went in for 2 tbsp but mine turned just light pink only.So use more puree if you want a pink pannacotta. Pour into cups or lightly greased molds and let it cool for sometime after which chill in the fridge for atleast 2 hours or overnight.

Actually agar sets in room temperature itself unlike the gelatin which takes atleast 2 hours or more. But just to make sure it sets and since it is served as a cold dessert chill till dessert time.

Serve topped with a layer of remaining strawberry coulis/puree and toasted nuts or chocolate shavings and more strawberries.


I actually got this idea of garnish and using remaining puree  from Meeta's Pannacotta post. She is an excellent photographer as well as a divine cook.I have just used toasted walnuts and honey roasted almonds which I had with me.


Or you can unmold it and serve it. I had some strawberries that were sliced and tossed in sugar and sitting for sometime. So I unmolded the small bowl of pannacotta,and topped it with sliced berries and poured the strawberry juice collected in the dish as well.TG, it unmolded well but thanks to the heat was disintegrating fast.




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