Sunday, 18 Nov 2018

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates

Almond and Chocolate Panna Cotta with a Berry Sauce 

Makes 4

Difficulty of the Chocolate panna cotta *

Preparation time of the Chocolate panna cotta: 20 minutes plus at least 1 hour cooling time

For the Chocolate panna cotta:

400 ml/1⅔ cups water

25 g/2 tbsp white almond butter

40 g/1½ oz vegan dark chocolate (45–55 % cocoa solids)

¾ tsp Bourbon vanilla powder or the seeds from ½ vanilla pod

45 g/scant ¼ cup sugar

2 tsp lemon juice

10 g/2 tsp brown almond butter (optional)

1 tsp agar-agar

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates - photo 1

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates

For the berry sauce:

215 g/1¾ cups assorted frozen berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries), thawed (with collected juice)

100 ml/scant ½ cup grape juice

2 tbsp sugar

For the Chocolate panna cotta, combine the water, white almond butter, chocolate, vanilla, sugar, lemon juice and, optionally, the brown almond butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer over a medium heat and stir with a whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. Sprinkle in the agar-agar and simmer for another 1–2 minutes while stirring constantly.

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates - photo 2

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates

Fill four small glasses, cups or small plastic bowls and leave to cool, and then refrigerate for at least 1 hour. For the sauce, combine the thawed berries, their juice, the grape juice and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer over a medium heat for 2–3 minutes uncovered. Unmould the Chocolate panna cotta on plates and serve with the sauce.

Tip

If a panna cotta doesn’t want to come out of its mould, it helps to dip the bowl halfway in hot water or, failing that, run a thin, sharp knife around the edge to loosen it, then it will slide out easily.

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates - photo 3

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates

Grandma’s Chocolate-Covered Dates 

Chocolate-covered dates were my maternal grandmother’s speciality, and they still remind me of Christmas as a child.

I took her recipe and developed it. Of course, the version I present here is vegan.

Dates are particularly used at Christmas to decorate biscuits and confectionery.

Makes 30

Difficulty **

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates - photo 4

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates

30 blanched almonds

1 tbsp concentrated pear juice or maple syrup

1 tsp gingerbread spice blend

30 dates (Deglet Nour variety, don’t use very moist dates)

90 g/3½ oz vegan dark chocolate (45–55 % cocoa solids)

40 g/3 tbsp vegan margarine

grated vegan dark chocolate and/or vegan white chocolate (optional, as needed)

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates - photo 5

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates

Roast the almonds in a dry non-stick frying pan on a high heat for 3–5 minutes, turning regularly, until they turn a light golden brown. On no account should they turn black. Remove the pan from the heat, and immediately add the concentrated pear juice and gingerbread spices. Mix well. Leave the almonds to stand in the pan off the heat for 1–2 minutes, and then transfer to a sheet of baking parchment. Spread the almonds out so that they don’t stick to each other.

Make a slit in the dates and remove the stone, but do not cut completely in half. Insert an almond into each date. Slowly melt the chocolate with the margarine over a bain-marie. Dip each date individually in the melted chocolate and transfer to a plate or a sheet of baking parchment. You can also dredge the chocolate-coated dates in grated chocolate if you want, and leave them to cool.

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates - photo 6

Chocolate Panna Cotta and Chocolate-Covered Dates

“Vegan Chocoholic. Cakes, Biscuits, Desserts and Quick Sweet Snacks”

Philip Hochuli

 

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