photo of Berry Pannacotta

Beery meets Algae

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A simple and quick dessert made with a handful of ingredients yet it can look so elegant on your dinner table. It’s a classic that never fails to impress. My version of berry pannacotta is with coconut cream is light, vegan and refined sugar-free. I used agar-agar in the place of gelatin. I remember using it as a student to prepare media for micro-organisms in the Microbiology Lab. Little did I know that someday I will be using it in my cooking.

Agar Agar is actually a polysaccharide extracted from algae. It has the gelling properties and is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin. Agar agar is used in Asian cuisine to prepare desserts. The other day when I came across the agar sheets in the grocery store, I knew I had to prepare a dessert with them. So, had to choose the one, which is loved by everyone in the house: Panna Cotta. K loves it. It has the goodness of berries and coconut milk. And looks pretty too. Hope you like and give it a try.


photo of Berry Pannacotta
Recipe of Berry Pannacotta

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Preparation and cooking time: 20 Mins
Chilling time: 24 hours
Yield: serves 4

Coconut cream 400g
Coconut milk 120 ml
Date Syrup 1 tbsp + 2 tbsp
Agar – Agar 1 tbsp (Ground to a powder)
Strawberry and Blueberry 200 g
Orange Juice 100 ml


  1. Beat the coconut cream and milk in a pan together
  2. Add agar agar to this mixture and place the pan over low heat. Add agar – agar and date syrup
  3. Stir continuously for at least 7-8 minutes over low flame The coconut cream and milk should just be warm enough to dissolve the agar agar.
  4. The mixture thickens slightly, at this point. Pour it through a sieve into greased ramekins or serving bowls to discard the undissolved agar bits
  5. Let it sit overnight to set in the refrigerator
  6. For the compote: place berries along with 2 tbsp date syrup and water or orange juice in a pan
  7. Heat it over medium flame and stir Let the berries get cooked in their own juices.
  8. After a couple of minutes as the mixture comes to a boil, it also starts to thicken Let it reach the desired consistency and turn off the flame
  9. Serve the pannacotta chilled topped with berries compote and toasted nuts

P.S – Sieving is absolutely mandatory and please don’t let the coconut mixture come to a boil, a gentle simmer with continuous stirring the right way get a perfect pannacotta.

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