I thought I gave my work mates food poisoning when I bought this peanut butter panna cotta to work as it did not sit well with me at all :( The next day everyone was fine and it wasn’t until someone asked me what was in them that it finally clicked.
“What’s inside the panna cotta?”
“Half a kilo of cream, milk, milk powder …”
“You sure you aren’t lactose intolerant?”
“Possibly …. ”
Milk had always sat well with me (I’m one damn lucky Asian) so it was a surprise to find out that I was a bit lactose intolerant. It didn’t stop me from eating it but I always had to mentally prepare myself for the digestion part. I think I’ve built up enough tolerance to the point that on my third panna cotta it sat quite well in my tummy.
Then it got me thinking maybe the reason why Asian desserts taste bad is because we have no milk, butter or cream. Most Asian desserts are gummy, gooey or soupy where nothing is baked – the closest thing would be steaming. It also doesn’t help that Asian’s do use things that are savory like beans, corn and tofu in desserts. However, Asian desserts influenced by Western culture are soooo good, on point and are the things I grew up on – think Portuguese tarts, Japanese baked cheesecakes, Hong Kong chiffon cupcakes.
That was a slight tangent but back to the star of the show: these peanut butter panna cotta. If you come from Adelaide, you would have remembered Devour dessert bar down in Prospect. They used to make this amazing peanut butter jelly panna cotta which was my most favourite dessert from them. Sadly they have now closed down (although the owner has opened another cafe in Richmond and Henley Beach Road) but I haven’t seen this panna cotta resurface. Fortunately the recipe has appeared on the Broadsheet website which I was super keen to try out.
These panna cotta’s are incredibly silky smooth with a tofu like texture which I believe is due to the perfect ratio of milk, cream and gelatin. Topped with a crunchy topping of cornflakes, roasted peanuts and peanut butter it played a crunchy contrast to the smoothness to the panna cotta. And who cannot love the delicious peanut butter taste? The original recipe did say to spread the bottom with blackberry jam but due to being pov, I skipped it and will have to try it another day – I can imagine it pairing really well with this.
For all those lactose intolerant peeps out there I wish you good luck because these panna cottas are so worth it.
Peanut Butter Panna Cotta
Serves 3 – 4
Slightly adapted from Quang Ngyuen’s Peanut Butter Jelly Panna Cotta
6g milk powder
pinch of salt
88g corn flakes
75g smooth peanut butter
38g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
blackberry jam, blended (I didn’t add this but will try it next time)
- Soak gelatin in cold water for a short time and then add warm water until gelatin has melted.
- Add all remaining panna cotta ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Remove from heat and leave to cool for five minutes then add gelatin and stir well.
- Allow mixture to cool, stirring occasionally.
- Once cool, pour into moulds. Place in fridge and allow four to five hours to set.
To make peanut crunch:
- Mix all ingredients together in a mixing bowl, crush with hand and mix everything together. Place in a container for later use.
- Once panna cotta is set, spread blackberry jam on the bottom of the plate.
- Have a bowl of warm water and place panna cotta moulds in it for 15 seconds. Invert mould onto plate and shake until it slides out.
- Top with peanut crunch.