While summer may have ended yesterday for many, we’re still experiencing remarkable summer-like weather out along the Sonoma coast. And with all the sun we’re still finding a glut of wild berries…Huckleberries, blackberries and salal berries are all still abundant, waiting to be used.
And thanks to Surf Market in Gualala, I can add some of the freshest, brightest green cardamom into the mix. Green cardamom is hands down one of my favorite spices, and so far no other cardamom is even coming close to the vivacity and punch of Diaspora Co.‘s 2019 harvest of Baraka Heirloom Green Cardamom.
With two over the top ingredients at hand, you don’t need too much more to whip up an impressive and intimate dessert. You might already have everything else you’d need in your pantry, but if not the remaining ingredients are generally easy to find at any well stocked grocery store.
Coconut-Cardamom Panna Cotta with Maple-Huckleberry Sauce
PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES ● COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES ● SERVES 2
for the panna cotta
13½ ounces full fat coconut milk
3 green cardamom pods, slightly bruised
2 green cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground
¼ cup cane sugar
½ teaspoon agar agar powder (see notes)
for the maple-huckleberry sauce
⅓ cup Huckleberries, divided
1 tablespoon maple syrup
to make the panna cotta
- Pour the coconut milk into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- When the coconut milk begins to boil, remove the pan from heat and throw in the 3 bruised green cardamom pods. Cover with a tight fitting lid and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove the lid and fish out the bruised green cardamom pods.
- Return the saucepan to a burner over high heat and add the ground green cardamom, cane sugar and agar agar powder. Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a full boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into two 6 ounce ramekins and allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Once cooled, place both ramekins in your refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, but overnight would be even better.
- Remove the ramekins from your refrigerator and move along to making the sauce.
to make the maple-huckleberry sauce
- Place the maple syrup and half of your huckleberries in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir slowly and constantly with a wooden spoon until a sauce-like consistency forms.
- Add most of the remaining huckleberries to the pan (reserve the rest for assembling the dish) and stir slowly until a chunkier sauce is formed. Remove the pan from heat and allow too cool.
- Place two serving plates on your counter. Using a toothpick, score the sides of the ramekins so the panna cottas can be freed.
- Place a plate upside down on top of each ramekin and carefully flip. Remove the ramekin carefully.
- Place the remaining raw huckleberries over each panna cotta, then spoon over the cooled sauce.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
Not all agar agar powder is created equally! Some brands will add other ingredients to the powder, some of which might surprise you (i.e., sugars, flours or cornstarch). Check the ingredients carefully…You might not need as much cane sugar as I call for here, for example, or you may need to use less or more powder to achieve a panna cotta of proper consistency. When I use agar agar powder I always use the Telephone brand from Thailand, which can easily be ordered online if you aren’t able to locate it at your local grocer. As an option of last resort, you could always replace the agar agar powder with an equal amount of cornstarch.
No huckleberries? No Problem! I have yet to meet a berry that didn’t play well with cardamom or maple syrup. Blackberries are currently fruiting in force along the Sonoma and Mendocino coasts, so that would be my first recommendation. However, any store bought berry that you fancy will totally work here. If I were going this route I’d gravitate towards blueberries—but raspberries, cherries or strawberries would all be wonderful options.
I believe in giving credit where its due, and I would have never known how to engineer a plant-based panna cotta without a recipe from 2014 by the remarkable ElephantasticVegan. Her original recipe can be found here.