I write about black currants a whole lot here, simply because I can never get enough of their entirely unique tart and sweet flavour, and incredible wealth in vitamins. The most common way to preserve and consume these berries is to grind them with sugar, which makes for a serious delicacy. The berry also works wonders when combined with mild, milky flavours.
That’s where the panna cotta comes in. When I got my hands on a bag of frozen currants, I wondered how to prepare them. I decided that the silky flavour of this panna cotta should work beautifully with the berries.
Black Currant Panna Cotta
2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup meat of young Thai coconut
1/2 cup Irish moss – thoroughly rinsed and soaked in hot water for at least 10 minutes
1/4 packed cup dates – pitted and chopped
1/3 cup raw agave syrup or another sweetener of choice
seeds from 2 vanilla beans or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sunflower lecithin (optional)
1/2 cup coconut oil
frozen black currants or any other frozen/fresh berries of choice
If using frozen berries, put out to thaw. In a high-speed blender, combine all the ingredients with exception of coconut oil and berries until very smooth. Add the coconut oil with the blender still running and continue to blend to emulsify.
Cover your molds (we used silicone cupcake molds) with a thin layer of agave or maple syrup. Place some some of the mixture into the bottom of the mold, followed by berries, and covered with more of the mixture. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours. When removing, the panna cotta should slide right out.
Serve with more berries, and/or on a bed of berry puree lightly sweetened with the sweetener of your choice.
You can also serve this as a mousse in a glass, flavouring it with chocolate instead of berries…sounds like a lovely idea.