Tuesdays with Dorie (Baking Chez Moi): Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta

Dorie Greenspan panna cotta Baking Chez Moi Tuesdays with Dorie on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was a simple vanilla panna cotta served on top of a mango and lime purée.  Panna cotta is one of those desserts that always looks/ sounds much harder than it actually is – in fact the only thing you really need to worry about is respecting the amount of gelatin (by measuring with a digital scale), however, I do find this is quite personal.  Some people prefer their panna cotta on the firmer side, requiring more gelatin, others prefer a softer texture.  The trick is to find a recipe that you like and stick to those proportions. I’ve made a few panna cottas in my time and they have all been different texture-wise.

The mango purée was as easy as can be (especially with a very ripe mango) – though I can see this recipe working with a variety of fruit purées or heck, even jam or compote dolloped on the bottom of the jar…

Dorie Greenspan panna cotta on eatlivetravelwrite.comFor this version, I used “vege gel” as I was making this with a vegetarian friend. I’ve used agar-agar in the past but not this version of a veggie gelatin so it was a bit of an experiment. Both Cathy and I decided that even if the “set” didn’t work, it would still taste delicious!

Vanilla panna cotta with mango puree on eatlivetravelwrite.comIn fact, the vege-gel calls for heating the gel powder with the cold liquid and heating it up as opposed to a regular gelatin where you mix that powder with a little water then pour the warm liquid over the top to incorporate. Unfortunately I didn’t read that step properly and found myself attempting to pour the warmed-up liquid over the vege-gel that I had tried to “activate” in some warm water. Um, not so much. My mixture went a little lumpy (actually the gel started to set really quickly) and I had to strain it with a metal sieve to remove most of the lumps. As you can see from the photos, it’s still a little lumpy but hey, it actually tasted amazing…

Panna cotta from Baking Chez Moi on eatlivetravelwrite.comWhen working with substitutes like agar-agar or this type of vegetarian gel, it is often necessary to adapt the amounts of liquid (the Dr Oetker website says: “Vege-Gel is a vegetarian alternative to gelatine and not a substitute. Therefore, it has to be used in a slightly different way to gelatine and it may be necessary to adapt your recipe, when using acidic liquids or vinegar, use two sachets for best results. When dissolving in fruit juice, heat to near boiling point and cool quickly to aid setting.”) so it’s no surprise that our panna cotta didn’t turn out optimally but it has got me curious about using substitutes in future (I have a strict vegetarian neighbour at home and things like gelatin always trip me up with her!). I hope Cathy will try these again with the leftover gel powder!

Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta here or on p 370 of Baking Chez Moi.

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14 thoughts on “Tuesdays with Dorie (Baking Chez Moi): Vanilla Mango Panna Cotta”

  1. Your Panna Cotta looks great so white, mine looked a bit more yellow. I´m still not sure about the gelatin portion and it is a debate in my household. I like the panna cotta firm and my DH likes them more on the soft side. I´m still searching for the right portion.

  2. Thanks for the vege-gel tip! Your panna cotta looks amazing! I didn’t even notice the lumps in it (until I read your post)! The mint really makes the mango stand out!

  3. Your panna cotta looks very fresh and pretty. It’s an experiment every time I use a gelatin substitute, but agar agar worked for me this time. I’m not familiar with the product you used but I’d like to try it.

  4. Shamefully I didn’t weigh my gelatin, so I think this is why mine came out a little firmer. I couldn’t find my mini scale. Possibly it would turn out less firm if I had done so. I didn’t dislike the texture so much that I wouldn’t try it again, but it was distracting for me. I love your experiment with the vegegel, and it sounds like you were able to make the best of it!

  5. I like to experiment with different thickening agents as well. Thanks for sharing your vege-gel experience. Your panna cotta turned out great, in my opinion.

  6. They look beautiful! I want to make a vegan version for Kevin, so will have to experiment a little. The vege gel sounds a little better to me than agar agar, which I’ve had middling results with.

  7. You are very accommodating to your friends and neighbors. It sounds like you learned something new too. I think I would have preferred your version as I like pudding consistency more than gelatin. And you are right these flavors were quite tasty.

  8. Perfect photos as usual- your results look absolutely delicious. I am so very impressed at the efforts you make to prepare this for your vegetarian friend. I admittedly didn’t even realize the issue with gelatin for folks abstaining so it is lucky I was not serving dessert to your friend 🙂 And next time I am topping my jars with the mint or such- it truly makes a huge difference in the presentation. Gorgeous.


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