april: anna’s coconut panna cotta with carrot granita

Panna cotta and granita are both pretty quick, straightforward desserts to make, but I’ve never made either! It takes a little bit of planning, because the panna cotta needs to set and the granita needs to freeze, but the flavours and possibilities are endless!

I recently bought a juicer (a nice addition to my collection of kitchen appliances!), so I thought I would try using carrot juice in my recipe instead of the carrots themselves. When I make fruit and vegetable juice, I love adding ginger. It gives the juice a nice freshness and kick. Ginger also goes well with carrots, so I settled on a carrot and ginger granita.If I’m making juice to drink straightaway, I never strain it, as you can’t really taste the pulp that’s left in the liquid. But if I’m using it for something else (like granita or cocktails), the end result is MUCH better if you strain the juice at least 2 – 3 times. I was actually quite surprised by how much pulp came out of the carrot juice.

Since I used ginger and some other spices in the granita, I thought a little spice in the panna cotta would go well. I decided on panna cotta flavoured with cardamom.

I made the dish to take to a friend’s place across the road, but did a taste test at home first! As a last minute addition, I threw on some roasted brown rice* for some crunch. It added a nice nutty flavor to the dessert and also offset some of the sweetness in the dish. The spices in the dish are not subtle, so keep that in mind, depending on your audience. Luckily, my friends are adventurous eaters too, and the dessert was well received!
* You can buy roasted brown rice at Japanese grocery stores
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