When a dessert is so simple AND made of pure ingredients (FIVE at that! (plus topping)), it’s a no-brainer. I’ve been making so many variations of panna cotta. It’s indulgent for sure, but a little bit goes a long way and feels like the right end to a nice dinner with friends.
Try this version with matcha tea, actually one of the teas with the highest concentration of the antioxidants known about in teas: polyphenols. Sure, it’s better to actually drink the tea, not mix it with loads of sugar and heavy cream 🙂 but ya know…I still have that sweet tooth occasionally. I traded in some heavy cream for coconut just to reduce that amount of THAT type of saturated fat, not for flavor. This dessert doesn’t taste overly coconut-y. The light grassy matcha flavor can be titrated up or down but if you’re new to matcha, start with what I have in the recipe, or even a bit less.
I was inspired to make this by Katie of Butterlust Blog, who makes a matcha one as well. I stuck to my pannacotta basic recipe though because I truly believe the gelatin sheets make a difference in the texture. I use the ones from Modernist Pantry, called PerfectaGel. I use a 200 bloom and have consistently gotten great results. The sheets last a very very long time (years!) in your pantry and each package has 20 sheets. Worth it! I also decided to top mine with something savory and crunchy for an interesting texture. I found some rice crackers in my pantry, crushed them with black sesame seeds and loved the result!
Now, on to the recipe!
- 2 ½ sheets gelatin (200 bloom)
- 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 teaspoons good quality matcha green tea powder
- 15 rice crackers, unflavored
- 1 ½ tablespoons black sesame seeds
- Submerge the gelatin sheets in a mixing bowl in about 3-4 cups of cold tap water. Soak for about 15 minutes (while you move onto the next step).
- Bring the coconut milk and cream to a gentle simmer in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk in the powdered sugar and the matcha tea. When it’s all dissolved, turn off heat.
- Squeeze the gelatin sheets by hand, trying to extract as much water as possible. Add the squeezed gelatin sheets to the warm cream and whisk well. You won’t notice any thickening right away.
- Strain this pastel green liquid into small ramekins or small glass bowls, filling 6 bowls evenly. Set the ramekins in the fridge to set for a minimum of 3 hours, up to overnight.
- Crush the rice crackers with the sesame seeds in a mortar/pestle duo, in a large mixing bowl by hand, in a food processor, or with a rolling pin. The idea is to have a coarse crushed topping to garnish the panna cotta.
- When panna cottas are set and ready to serve, sprinkle the crushed topping on each panna cotta and serve cold!