When we're looking at vegetarian and vegan alternatives to gelatine it's important to focus on texture and mouthfeel as well as taste and ease-of-use. That's why we often find that different recipes call for different solutions.
We love our MSK UltraGel as a general replacement for gelatine - it's wonderfully versatile, easy to use and has a lovely smooth mouthfeel, perfect for crème brûlée for example. However, if you're looking for the traditional texture and 'wobble' of a panna cotta then you can't do better than Iota Carrageenan.
Iota Carrageenan is a natural product which produces soft gels which have a higher melting point than gelatine and don't toughen up over time. It gels in the presence of calcium salts, for example milk and cream, so is perfect for a panna cotta. If you need to replace the milk in the recipe for a plant-based alternative, then you'll need to use our UltraGel recipes instead, resulting in a dish more like a baked custard in texture.
So here's our standard recipe for the perfect vegetarian vanilla panna cotta. We'd served it here with fresh strawberries, freeze-dried strawberry granulates and a sugar tuile made using the Corona tuile mould and our tuile sugar.
Vanilla Panna cotta
- 250g Double Cream
- 250g Milk
- 90g Sugar
- 1g Carrageenan Iota
- 1 Vanilla Pod
Mix the iota with the sugar.
Pour the milk and cream into a pan and add the vanilla pod.
Whisk in the sugar and iota mix.
Bring to the boil.
Remove the vanilla pod.
Pour into desired moulds.
Set in the fridge for approx. 3 hours.