Last week, I decided to play around with some kanten (a.k.a. agar-agar). Kanten is made from algae and it is a great substitute for gelatin in many recipes. Kanten comes in several forms. I used the granulated form. You can also buy flakes or sticks of it.
For my first experiment, I created this vegan chocolate panna cotta with cashew milk and it was a success! It set up very well and held it’s shape when removed from the mold.
Cashew milk is very creamy, so this panna cotta has a richness to it without being heavy. Not that I have a problem with heavy desserts, but sometimes you want something a little lighter. This panna cotta has notes of cinnamon and vanilla because I use my own homemade cashew milk recipe.
This recipe can be divided in to 2 large servings or 4 medium servings. I recommend picking a dish that will create a nice shape when it is flipped over. Although, you don’t have to remove them from the dish…you can serve them right in ramekin or bowl!
If you decide to flip it out of the mold, you can make it easy by loosening the edges first. I just put a little pressure on the panna cotta (with my finger!) and try to make it spin in the cup. Imagine you are a DJ and the panna cotta is your record. It should start sliding around easily, unless you used a bowl with ridges or corners.
I was a bit lazy about the garnish, but it ended up looking pretty. Some whipped coconut cream or some fresh berries would be a great addition!
- 2 cups homemade cashew milk
- 3 tbsp sweetener of choice*
- 3 tbsp cocoa
- ¼ tsp vanilla
- pinch of salt
- 1 packet (1.5 tsp) granulated kanten (agar-agar)**
- 2 tbsp hot water
- * Use the sweetener that suits your dietary needs. It should be the equivalent of 3 tbsp of sugar. You can taste the mixture to see if it is sweet enough before letting it set.
- ** If you buy agar agar flakes, increase the amount to 1.5 TBSP
- Mix the cashew milk, sweetener, cocoa, vanilla and salt in a pot over medium heat stirring frequently.
- Mix the kanten with 2 tbsp of hot water to dissolve.
- Pour the kanten mixture in to the cashew milk mixture and stir continuously for about 5 minutes.
- The mixture will thicken slightly but will still be pourable.
- Pour in to 2 to 4 ramekins, bowls or cups.
- Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight before serving.