Perfect for the weekend this Mango Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta sure will blow your socks off! ❤
Hello there! I’m back with another May Mango Mania recipe (this Mango Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta is the REAL DEAL!). But also something more that I think you could relate too. It’s a long post, so buckle up, folks! 🙂
Quite a while ago I had the opportunity to do a recipe spread for Better Homes & Gardens India. The theme was ‘Desserts with Herbs’ and I pitched a Lemongrass Panna Cotta (check it out, it’s a wowzer!). I was over the moon, excited to be able to develop a recipe, style, shoot and write for an esteemed publication.
And because I’m very confident, I decided to shoot two kinds of scenes – one demolded, and another of the Panna Cotta in glasses. After days spent developing the recipe, it was photoshoot day…
The shot of the Panna Cotta in glasses went splendidly; it looked better than anything I had styled and shot till then. But then I tried to demold the Panna Cotta. They came out fine, but within seconds slumped and flopped, collapsing as my heart sank. This was the challenge I was excited about. THIS was the shot I wanted to submit to the publication. This was the shot that didn’t work out!
I went to bed that night feeling like a failure. It didn’t mean anything that I had aced the first half of my shoot. I couldn’t shake it. I had this incredible opportunity to work with a fab magazine, and I was going to serve up my backups.
Still a little bummed, I started the next day with a cup of coffee out on the balcony. I distinctly remember the voice in my head saying, ‘when a friend fails, you are quick to let them know that it’s a part of life, an experience they can learn from, and that they should love themselves enough to see themselves through it; but when you fail, you dig your heels in deeper, and bring back to mind all the times things didn’t go your way!’ Can you relate?
I was shook by the realness of that thought. I was always generally hard on myself (sometimes I still am). Building castles in the air and striving very hard to live up to them…
I began editing the images I had shot the previous day, and turns out, I was really happy with them! I had outdone myself. But I had let the momentary flop show overshadow it all.
Flash forward to 3 days ago. I was testing a recipe for a Coconut Panna Cotta with Mango. Before I set it in the refrigerator, I knew something was amiss. And a few hours later, my suspicions were confirmed. The recipe just didn’t work. And I had a shoot scheduled for the next day!
I’m happy to report that my reaction to this flop was very different. I found myself making this ah-mazing Mango Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta post 11 pm, just to get it ready in time for the shoot! (And I got a lovely shot of the demolded Panna Cotta *insert dancing gif*) 😀
Have you ever been hard on yourself in the face of failure, Dear Reader? I think on some level we all have. Big or small, not getting what we want or not achieving what we intended can teach us a lot. But it can also give us the opportunity to react in a proactive way. Instead of making ourselves feel worse, maybe we can extend the same support we would a friend, to ourselves and say, ‘Hey, it’s a part of life. we’ll figure it out.’ Follow that up with the try-and-try-again attitude and we’re golden! ❤
I hope this little snippet of positivity has sprinkled some don’t-be-hard-on-yourself pixie dust on your day. 🙂 (We all need it every now and then!) Now, if you’re like me, all this Panna Cotta talk has gotten you hungry. So let’s do this!
This recipe serves 8. Here’s what you need:
For the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta:
- Heavy Cream – 600 ml
- Caster Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Whole Milk – 1 cup
- Gelatine – 4 tsp
- Vanilla Bean – 1
- Vanilla Extract – 1/2 tsp
For the Mango Jelly Layer:
- Mangoes – 3, cubed
- Sugar – 2 tbsp
- Cold Water – 1/4 cup
- Gelatin – 1/2 tbsp
- Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
- Vanilla Extract – 1/2 tsp
- Mango – 1, cubed
Here’s how to make it:
- Make the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta: Place the milk in a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over it and leave aside for 15 minutes. In a pot, pour the heavy cream, vanilla extract and sugar. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds and the bean to the cream mixture and bring it to a slow boil on medium heat. When it starts simmering, turn off the heat, pull the vanilla bean out and add in the milk and gelatin mixture, while slowly whisking. Once all the gelatin has dissolved completely, pour the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta into ramekins or glassware and refrigerate for 4-5 hours to set.
- Make the Mango Jelly: Add the gelatin into the cold water and set aside for 5 minutes. Puree the mango cubes and sugar until smooth. Heat the prepared mango puree, lemon juice and vanilla extract till it comes to a simmer. At this point, reserve about 1/2 cup of the mango sauce to serve with the Panna Cotta. Add the gelatin and water to the mango sauce and continue heating till the gelatin dissolves completely. Take it off the heat and cool. Once the Panna Cottas have set, spoon the mango jelly over them and chill until firmed up, about an hour and a half.
- Demold the Panna Cotta (optional step): Remove the Panna Cottas set in ramekins from the refrigerator and place them in a bowl filled with hot water for about 45 seconds. Remove them, wipe off the water from the outside of the ramekin, and pressing a plate over it, flip it over in a swift motion. Tap the top of the ramekin to ensure the Panna Cotta is released and slowly lift the ramekin to reveal the layered Panna Cotta! Yippee!
- Serve: Pour some mango sauce over the Panna Cotta and top with a few cubed mangoes. Serve chilled.
What can I say about this Mango Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, except that it is marvelous! It’s the kind of dessert that belongs on fine dining menus, but can be easily and effectively replicated in your home. Talk about upping the stakes for family weekend dinners, eh? 😉
The texture of this Panna Cotta is breathtaking. So so creamy, and it melts in your mouth, coating your palate with velvety lushness. There are bits of bite from the little speckles of vanilla; and then that pop of thick mango jelly, soft and smooth and luxurious. If you think the textures are the best part, you’ve got another thing coming.
The flavours! They. Are. Unbelievable! That fragrant vanilla alluring you into a sweet daydream; the juicy golden mango playing the part of the enchantress while you escape into the Panna Cotta’s opulence. A beautiful summer fantasy that one would simply not want to escape!
- You can eat the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta just as is, though the mango jelly is a nice touch. It also works beautifully with this gorgeous strawberry coulis and this sweet and tangy raspberry sauce or with lots of berries!
- If you don’t wish to make the Mango Jelly layer, you can just cook the mango puree until it simmers and cool completely before serving with the Panna Cotta.
Phew, I’m a little breathless from all that talking! Are you as excited about this Mango Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta as I am? It really is THAT GOOD. And completely lives up to the hype! Get in the kitchen and make it now! Or maybe watch some jaws drop over the weekend while you serve it up to your family and friends? Just try not to eat it all before it hits the table, okay? 😉
Want to Pin This recipe for later? Here you go…
Psst… If you’d like to, you could come check me out on Pinterest! I pin a tonne of fun stuff – chocolate, lots of dessert, easy weeknight recipes; and home decor (I’m obsessed with home office spaces!)😛
Also, for regular updates on what’s happening in The Foodscape kitchen, follow me on Instagram at @thefoodscape! You’ll love all the deliciousness there, I promise! ❤