The tree is lit, woodland creatures nestled in its burly boughs. The wreath hangs idly while the nativity set before me reminds me the Advent season is upon us. In silent reverie I take in the scent of fir, wafting it's way through the house. A cup of warmed coconut milk laced in clove and cinnamon removes the chill from the air. I am left with my thoughts, all of the stress and worry despoiled by the joy of the season. I melt into the chair as if grafted into its very fibers, unaware of the time, oblivious to the myriad of to-do's. I pray. One by one my anxious thoughts, insecurities and petty fears ooze sebaceously out of my mind. The cadence of my heart slows and I am left, yoke removed, with peace.
So with a peaceful heart I bring you a comforting dish, inspired by that warmed cup of coconut milk on that cold winters day. Panna cotta, traditionally made with milk and cream, is a dream to make with coconut milk. The consistency and texture is just as creamy and smooth. Though eaten chilled, the vanilla and clove makes this a lovely addition to your winter season repertoire.
From my hearth to yours I wish you peace and joy this Christmas season!
Vanilla & Clove Panna Cotta (serves 4)
FYI- Please note the panna cotta comes out a slightly tan shade, not bright white. For some reason my camera captured it lighter than it really is. Tips to make is more white are to use clove essential oil instead of ground cloves, a very pale honey rather than dark or a different sweetener such as stevia :)
- 1 14oz can of full fat coconut milk (SCD followers, the Natural Value brand does not have guar gum in it)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, pod reserved
- 2 TBS water
- 1 3/4 tsp non flavored gelatin
Pour gelatin into a bowl and stir in the water. Set aside.
Place coconut milk, honey, cloves, vanilla seeds and pod in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes.
Remove vanilla pod and discard.
Pour 1/2 cup of the coconut mixture into the bowl with the gelatin and mix until all of the gelatin is dissolved. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the coconut milk.
Divide mixture evenly among 4 ramekins or small glass bowls. Place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Remove molds from the fridge. Pour hot water into a bowl, dip each ramekin into the hot water (the water should only go about halfway up the ramekin or bowl, this helps loosen the molds). Run a sharp knife along the edges of the panna cotta to help separate it from the sides.
Place a plate on top of the molds and invert. The panna cotta should slide right out.
If you are having trouble getting the panna cotta out it may not be set, simply place back in the fridge and try again.
- 1 very ripe persimmon, peeled and chopped(it is key your persimmon is ripe, otherwise it will be horribly bitter)
- 1 TBSP honey
In a small pan sauté the persimmon with the honey until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve.