Vegan Coconut Panna Cotta with Balsamic Fig Syrup
Source: Better Vegan  Category: Vegan Desserts
Prep Time: 10 min  Cook Time: 25 min   Chill time: 1-4 hrs Total Time: 1-4 hrs 35 min  Serves 8
Gluten Free I Refined Sugar Free
About this recipe
This panna cotta is rich, creamy, has a well-rounded flavor, and yet it is gluten free and refined sugar free. In this recipe my goal was to create a clean vegan panna cotta, which wouldn't taste dull or gummy. The key to a silky texture was using a heavier proportion of coconut cream to milk (3 to 1) and using just a moderate amount of maple syrup to sweeten it. Adding vanilla bean produces a richer flavor than vanilla extract, so experiment for yourself and find the version that you like most. Adding balsamic fig syrup adds an unusual tangy sweet taste and a burst of flavor, which is certainly not boring,  Makes a perfect dessert for Italian dinner night.
Ingredients:

Panna Cotta:

1 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk (I use Thai Kitchen Organic Unsweetened Coconut Milk)

2 tsp. agar agar powder (not flakes) (I use Agar Powder 0.2oz )

3 cups unsweetened coconut cream (I use Native Forest Organic Premium Coconut Cream, Unsweetened)

2-inch piece vanilla bean, slit lengthwise with paring knife (or substitute 2 tsp. vanilla extract) (I use Vanilla Products USA 5 Grade A Prime Gourmet Madagascar Vanilla Beans 5~6")

6 Tbsp. maple syrup (I use Butternut Mountain Farm, 100% Pure Maple Syrup From Vermont)

Pinch pink Himalayan salt (I use Sherpa Pink Gourmet Himalayan Salt, 5 lbs Fine Grain)

Sauce:

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup water

1/2 Sherry wine vinegar (try Columela Sherry Vinegar (Solera 3) Reserva)

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (I use Colavita Balsamic Vinegar or Modena)

3/4 cup dried figs, preferably unsweetened, stemmed and finely chopped (try Organic Raw Dried Turkish Figs 16oz - (No Sugar Added & Unsulphered)

Instructions:

For Panna Cotta:

 

1. Prepare the ingredients.

2. Place milk and agar powder into a blender and blend until smooth and there are no lumps. Transfer into medium saucepan. Measure cream into large measuring cup or pitcher. With paring knife, scrape vanilla seeds into cream; place pod in cream along with seeds and set mixture aside. Set eight wine glasses or 4-ounce ramekins on baking sheet.

3. Heat milk and agar mixture over high heat, stirring constantly, until agar is dissolved, and mixture has thickened, about 1½ minutes. Off heat, add maple syrup and salt; stir until well incorporated, about 1 minute.

4. Stirring constantly, slowly pour cream with vanilla into saucepan containing milk, then transfer mixture to medium bowl. Stir frequently until thickened a bit and all ingredients are well combined. Strain mixture into large measuring cup or pitcher, then distribute evenly among wine glasses or ramekins. Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap, making sure that plastic does not mar surface of cream; refrigerate until just set 1-4 hours or overnight.

For Sauce:

1. Stir maple syrup and 1/2 cup water in heavy large saucepan over medium-high and boil without stirring until syrup thickens a bit, occasionally swirling pan, about 7 minutes.

2. Add both vinegars and figs (mixture will bubble vigorously). Continue boiling until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring constantly, about 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Spoon figs and syrup over panna cotta and serve.

Notes:
If you use coconut milk, the panna cotta will have a more distinct coconut flavor and creamier texture. I tried both versions with coconut and almond milk and couldn't decide which one I liked more. Both tasted great.
Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and stir gently to blend before serving.
If you don't want any fruit in this dessert, you can omit the figs and just make balsamic syrup.
Equipment needed:
Serving suggestion:
Best served on its own.

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