I can clearly remember the first time I ever had the pleasure of tasting the delicious Italian dessert that is panna cotta. I was with my best friend Debbie, we were treating ourselves to a decadent meal at a place called Pesto, a restaurant serving Italian tapas in a trendy part of Manchester. I can’t remember the occasion (was it an early Christmas meal?) but that was irrelevant as it was more of a celebration of our friendship. We made an effort with our appearance, went with healthy appetites and lots to talk about. We ordered plate after plate of delicious tiny Italian treats including tiny pizza’s, potatoes, pasta, bread and olives; We probably drank one too many cocktails which were so delicious that it would have been rude not to. Then the question came; would we like to see the dessert menu? My heart yearned for dessert but my stomach was full. We chattered and giggled some more then decided we could split a dessert. We chose a panna cotta and it was like heaven. It is a dessert made of thick cream and gently set with gelatine to give it its signature wobble. Trust me it is a lot nicer than it sounds! We found even more to chat about after our panna cotta, and were eventually asked to leave as the restaurant was closing and the staff wanted to go home! Oops 😉
This was the first and last time I have ever eaten panna cotta, as I realised that it wasn’t actually vegetarian. That was until I stumbled across this post by Something Clean, Something Green Maple and Coconut Panna Cotta. Yippee! My panna cotta dreams had been answered. I quickly scrawled my short shopping list on the back of my hand and dashed to the shops to get my ingredients. I freestyled slightly in topping my panna cotta with passion fruit instead of the salted candied pecans, mostly because I was being lazy. It worked an absolute treat though and I was super impressed with the results. This recipe even comes approved by my vegan Italian housemate so go on – give it a go. The hardest part of the whole recipe would probably have to be opening the can of coconut with a broken can opener! I have also made this in a bread tin and sliced it up when I had friends over for dinner which looked really pretty.
One for me, one for… me! The joys of being single :p
Have you ever tried vegan panna cotta? What are your favourite vegan desserts? Let me know if you give it a go.
Ciao for now!