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Jun 24, 2014 05:57 PM

Vegetarian Panna Cotta

I am putting together a brunch menu for this weekend. I'm serving two desserts. I want to make a panna cotta to offer the gluten free guests, but I'd also like both desserts to be vegetarian. I know there are a few vegetarian options (agar, carrageen, vegan jel). What is your favorite? What are the pros and cons of the different options in terms of taste, texture, and ease of use?


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  1. Agar agar is the most common in vegetarian recipes, i've used it without any issues as well as a kosher gelatin that was also vegan (i forgot the name!) with same results.
    For the agar agar the powder or flakes make a difference in how much you use.
    This vegan (gf) coconut panna cotta was stupid easy and evaporated quickly at a party of omnis who could care less if there was dairy or gelatin. I used fresh raspberries and a drizzle of their juices as a topping.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Ttrockwood

      That looks great I gotta try that.

      I'm not vegeterian and I always use agar in my panna cotta, I use a little xanthan too.

      1. re: Ttrockwood

        Ooh...I was thinking of making a coconut milk panna cotta. Thanks for the recipe!

        1. re: debbiel

          Its actually really cheap too...! Canned coconut milk (organic) is way less $$ than you would spend on organic (or non organic) heavy cream and milk.

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              Exactly! My only hesitance is that I was going to be featuring local ingredients at this brunch. I can get local milk and cream, not so much local coconut milk.

              But if I topped it with local berries....What do you think of coconut milk/raspberry combo?

              1. re: debbiel

                Oooooh! I think coconut milk and raspberries would be AMAZING.
                I would pay real $$ for that in a restaurant!

        2. According to this Panna Cotta recipe from The Kitchn, Vegan Jel by Natural Desserts is the way to go.

          Sadly - it seems impossible to find! Grrr. Sorry.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MplsM ary

            A lot of Jewish-Kosher stores sell vegan gelatin-free "jel", with ingredients similar to those in Vegan Jel. Some brands are Lieber's and Bakol.

          2. The coconut panna cotta with raspberries (made with agar powder) was fantastic! Thanks for the help, all!