Mango Panna cotta is my twist to the classic Italian dessert Panna cotta which is made of cream, milk, vanilla, and sugar and topped with berries, fruit coulis or caramel. With Mango season ruling the mind, heart, and wallet, I gave in to the temptation and bought mangoes (read very expensive) in Singapore. The idea was to add Indian taste to the Panna cotta. I flavoured the cream with saffron instead of vanilla and also added mango pulp to the cream to add a bit of sour taste to the panna cotta.
Experimenting with expensive mangoes is a risky thing, especially when you have to travel one hour to buy them. But then I had been waiting for a long time for mangoes so that I can try this new idea of mine. As guessed, one variety was pretty bad (was not even close to be called a Mango) but luckily the second one – Alphonso, was delicious. It truly is the best of Mangoes. You can rarely go wrong with it. Though it’s not my choice of Mango but I don’t mind it if the Hyderabadi Rasaal Mango is not available.
While making the mango sauce, make sure to strain the mixture so that the sauce is smooth and shiny. You can prepare the sauce in advance and use it as required. For the cream, I used the thick cream or double cream as it is called. You can also use half cream and half milk if you want a lighter dessert.
Panna cotta tastes the best if it is let to set and chill for 10-12 hours. This dessert can be made ahead and stored for couple of days. Just cover it lightly and refrigerate it.
- ¼ cup thick cream
- 4 tbsp mango pulp
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 pinch saffron
- ½ tsp china grass (agar agar)
- 4 tbsp water
- Few drops of oil/butter
- 1 tbsp chopped mangoes (for topping)
- 3 tbsp mangoes chopped
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp water
For the Panna Cotta
Oil two ramekins or bowls and keep aside. I used 4″ inch bowls.
Combine cream, mango pulp, sugar, and saffron in a thick bottomed pan and heat on low flame. Do not let the mixture boil. It should be hot. Switch off the gas when you see small bubbles on the edges.
Meanwhile, sprinkle water on powdered china grass and cook on low flame. Do not let the china grass boil. It should just melt in water. Switch off the gas when you see small bubbles on the edges.
Strain the china grass into the hot cream mixture. Do this quickly and mix well. Make sure there are no lumps. You can also use a blender to mix the china grass into the cream mixture. Quickly pour the mixture into oiled ramekins or bowls. Cool the ramekins/bowls at room temperature and cover and refrigerate them for 5-6 hours or until you are ready to eat/serve it.
For the Mango Sauce
Add all the ingredients in a non-stick pan and cook till the mangoes are pulpy (4-6 minutes). Strain the pulp and cool it.
To unmould the panna cotta:
Fill a large bowl with hot water. Run a thin knife carefully around the edges of the ramekin/bowl. Dip the ramekin/bowl in hot water till the rim and hold it for around 4-5 seconds. Invert it on a damp serving plate and shake gently. Reposition if required. Top it with a spoon full of mango sauce and few chopped mangoes. Serve immediately or you can even chill it for few more hours by covering it lightly.
You can even top the panna cotta with sauce and mangoes and serve in the ramekins/bowls.