This was my experimental Sunday recipe. Not everything I make comes out perfect but I think it’s good to share my trials and failures with you as well as my successes.
I have these freeze-dried fruit powders that the Scenic Fruit Company was generous enough to send me samples of to try in my recipes. I had some fresh kiwi and I thought that since kiwi and mango go well together that I could use the combination to make a panna cotta with a slice of kiwi at the bottom of the glass. However, while I was doing the research on gelatin for my Vanilla Yogurt Panna Cotta with Raspberry Jelly I kept reading that you can’t put fresh kiwi in gelatin and have it set because of an enzyme in the kiwi.
I actually recommend doing this with a different fruit. Perhaps Mango. Or leave the jelly out completely and serve the panna cotta with a slice of fresh kiwi on top.
For kiwi jelly, combine sliced kiwi, water and sugar in a medium bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water for about 3-4 minutes or until infused. Meanwhile, soak gelatin leaf in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes or until softened. Squeeze out any excess water from the leaves and add to the kiwi mixture. Stir gently to dissolve gelatin.
Place each slice of kiwi from the jelly mixture into each base of six 125 ml-capacity plastic dariole moulds or dessert glasses then spoon the jelly mixture over kiwi in moulds. Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour or until set.
For the panna cotta, place cream and icing sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes or until heated through. Whisk in the mango powder until dissolved. Remove from heat. Soak the gelatin in cold water until soft, then stir gelatin into the warm cream.
The freeze-dried mango powder gives this panna cotta a really nice flavor. You can use any flavor of the fruit powders you like for a panna cotta and adjust the amount to put in based on the amount of flavor you want to obtain. I think you could leave the vanilla out when using the fruit powders.
Gently whisk the yoghurt and vanilla into the cream mixture. Pour the mixture evenly among the prepared moulds. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
To serve, place panna cottas into warm water for a few seconds. Carefully slide a paring knife down the inside edge of the mould, then invert moulds onto a serving plates and gently shake to remove panna cotta.
I did a few different variations of this. I made the kiwi jelly just like I did for my raspberry jelly and poured it in the bottom of a small ramekin. Since these are so hard to get out of the glass molds when set I did one mold with saran wrap to see how that worked.
One of the issues of the saran wrap in a round mold is that it’s hard to get into the bottom and around the sides of the mold without wrinkles. Also, because there is a small amount of jelly it doesn’t really weigh it down and smooth it out.
The saran wrap was just as difficult to get out of the ramekin as putting your panna cotta in water and working it out. It is also an unattractive plating.
In two glasses for the panna cotta I placed a slice of kiwi in the bottom of the mold, placed one in the freezer for about 10 minutes, and just filled the glasses with panna cotta. My thought on the one in the freezer was that perhaps the panna cotta would set enough before the enzyme in the kiwi did anything to it. The kiwi caused the part of panna cotta directly on top of the kiwi slice to not set. So, when it was removed from the glass there was just a runny mess, making it an unattractive dessert.
The problem with cooking the kiwi in the jelly is that it loses it’s color and then is not a very bright green. I suppose you could put a drop of green food coloring in but I try not to add anything to my recipes that isn’t natural. Along with the color of the kiwi and jelly being sort of anemic, I think the kiwi lost a lot of it’s flavor. This jelly part works best with other fruits like raspberries and blackberries.
Another mistake I made was in using 4 leaves of gelatin. That made about 6.67 grams and I think the panna cotta set too firmly. I like the texture when using only 3 leaves much better. It has a more melt in your mouth quality and is more creamy.
As I was writing this an idea hit me. Of course, I could always just slice the kiwi when I serve the panna cotta and place it on top. I felt pretty silly when I realized this. But why would I do things the easy way.
Nevertheless, they tasted good and we just closed our eyes and enjoyed them!
Yield: 6 servings
Source: Adapted from a recipe on Masterchef Australia