Today I’m boosting up my props for future, classier looking shots. Additions to the prop collection: 1 small matte finish white bowl, 1 small matte finish white plate, 1 package of white linen napkins. Setting up the shot: 12 seconds. What an improvement on the time front! Not just the set up, but the Photoshop editing side was also much quicker with less fuss. A smidge of texture without distraction, and a clean white backdrop to let the colors of the food shine without that dreaded plate-shine! Color cast removal in two seconds flat. I’ll probably try out the matte finish black plates in the future as well. This version is less Beth Kirby and more Donna Hay, though I do love both food photography styles equally.
Today’s dish weaves together breakfast and dessert, as much of my baking and cooking tends to do. Light enough to start of your day as breakfast, and elegant enough to serve to guests as dessert, this one will only set you back about 15 minutes in prep time (without the meringue). Easily made dairy free and naturally gluten free, this cinch of a plate requires next to no special skills or time commitment, not one to be intimidated by. If you can make good ‘ol JELL-O from a packet… you can make this.
Flavour additions and toppings are limitless, so use your imagination and throw in your favorite seasonal fruits.
For the meringue recipe see my post here and be sure to start this one a couple of hours before, or up to a week in advance, kept in an airtight container.
Coconut Pannacotta: yields 4 small servings
400 ml full fat, regular coconut milk (the best brand you can find)
150 ml milk, cream, almond milk, or soy milk (whichever you prefer)
2 TB sugar
1 lime, zested, juice reserved
20 green cardamom pods
1 pinch, cinnamon
1 pinch, powdered ginger
1 pkg powdered gelatine (about 6 to 7 grams), enough to set 500 ml of liquid
-Heat your choice of milk with the sugar, lime zest, and spices until it comes to a simmer. Cover and rest 15 minutes to steep flavours.
-Sprinkle the powdered gelatine over 1/4 cup of cold water, stir a bit with your finger to incorporate all, and allow to sit white the milk steeps.
-Empty the contents of the coconut milk can into a large bowl and whisk until the fats and liquids are homogenous and there are no lumps, as best you can. The pricier the coconut milk the better your results will be. A lot of the cheaper coconut milk brands are very separated. Don’t look for ‘light’ versions, you need the full fat regular one for this.
-Once the milk has steeped strain out the lime zest and cardamom pods and whisk it gently into the coconut milk.
-Dissolve the gelatine in the microwave for 25 seconds, check to be sure it’s fully melted, and whisk this into the coconut milk too.
-Add the juice of 1 lime, last, whisk gently, and pour into either 1 medium sized serving dish or 4 individual bowls/ramekins. Try not to whip the hell out of the mixture as you’re incorporating everything, you don’t want to create a foamy bubbly texture. What you want is a nice smooth liquid without a bunch of froth on top. Use a spatula to incorporate the milk, gelatine, and lime juice if you fear the froth (though it’s not the end of the world.)
-Allow the set up in the fridge until wobbly like JELL-O and not ripply and liquid in the center… and serve with chopped up pieces of meringue, fresh mango, and a bit of extra lime zest.
Again – be creative, use whatever you have or whatever your favourite is. Coconut milk obviously tastes of coconut, but if you’ve never played with it before – it’s worth noting that it’s not as strong of a flavour as you’d assume. It lends well to pretty much any pairing in the way of fruits.