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Coconut Milk Panna Cotta

Gelatin is a pretty cool thing - except when you start to think where it actually comes from. I'm thinking it's so processed now a days that it it's not really associated with the gelatin of olden days (I've convinced myself of this so that I'm not totally grossed out). When you look at a sheet of gelatin, it looks so benign.

I bought these quite some time ago in Aruba in a supermarket. I love to explore food stores in other countries. You often find some pretty cool things. This had no English translation on the package so I had to make do with the youngest translating it from German for me. She translated enough for me to get the major gist of it. I did some searching on the web-of-knowledge (AKA the internet) to find the equivalents to one envelope of the powdered stuff. I found anywhere from 3-5 sheets were equal to 1 envelope. I decided to start with the three and see what happened.

Coconut Milk Panna Cotta (Adapted from Cooking Pleasures)

1 pkg (1/4 oz) unflavored gelatin (or 4 sheets)
3 T cold water
1 c heavy cream
3/4 c sugar
14 oz coconut milk
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t almond extract

Top with fresh blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, or toasted coconut

Dissolve gelatin in the cold water and set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile heat heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the cream starts to boil. Whisk in gelatin (if using sheets - leave any remaining water behind). Remove from heat. Whisk until gelatin is incorporated. Whisk in coconut milk, vanilla, and almond extract. Pour into ramekins. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours. If you wish to unmold them, dip briefly into a pan of warm water and invert onto plate (you might want to run a thin knife around the edge for extra insurance). Top with toppings as desired. I used toasted coconut and blueberries.

As I mentioned, I went with the three sheets. I would have preferred it a little more set so I've upped it to four in the recipe. I have to say I absolutely loved working with the sheets instead of the powdered stuff. It was so much easier. I've found the sheets are available on Amazon and I think I will be converting to them exclusively now that I think I've got the exchange rate correct. I find often you end up with some partially dissolved powder or it gets clumpy with the powdered stuff. This was not the case with the sheets.


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