Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Panna Cotta in Egg Shells (vegetarian)


Spring is here and Easter is almost here so this is the perfect time for fun Spring themed desserts! To me, these cute little cups resemble tulips. I love the way that they came out. I've had this idea in my head for a while and have been wanted to make them before Easter. I think that desserts with vanilla beans in them look so pretty and it's fun that you can see the little black specks that add such intense flavor.

Most recipes for panna cotta use gelatin, which is not vegetarian. This recipe uses agar agar, which to be honest I had never used before I made this dessert. I have to say it was very easy to work with and I will be using more from now on because I like the way it turned out. I found it at my local Asian grocery store in little pouches. They weren't expensive and I bought two because I was pretty excited about finally finding it. What was causing me the most problem is finding it in powdered form and not flakes. I have no experience with the flakes but apparently the final product in a recipe can be pretty inconsistent because the flakes require more work. If anyone has experience with agar agar flakes and would like to share, then please do :) (they may be great to work with). Since I was looking for the powdered form, that's why I was so excited to find it. The one I found is made by a brand named "Telephone" and it's in little white packets with red and navy blue writing.


In the pictures you can see some green grass in the glasses, this is edible grass that tastes like green apple (in theory). I wouldn't really recommend eating it but I liked the fact that it could be eaten, kids would love it. I also saw it in rainbow colors too. 

The empty shells

I decided to dye the egg shells pink because I thought it was a nice contrast to the bright white panna cotta and the green grass. Overall the process of cracking the eggs was easy but it took a little time. I saved every egg yolk and white that I cracked and used them in other recipes. For example, I made doughnuts with three of them :). I always try to use every part of an ingredient in a recipe, even if it's being used in a different recipe, just because I don't like wasting ingredients. Making the panna cotta itself takes less than 10 minutes. One of the hardest parts for me was waiting for it to set up so I could try it, but it was well worth it to me. I really like the flavor and I hope you do too! As always, let me know if you have any questions.


Panna Cotta in Egg Shells (Vegetarian)
Makes about 6 - 2 ½-3 ounce servings

Ingredients:
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup milk (I used 1%)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon agar agar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 6 egg shells, cleaned and boiled or steamed

Directions:
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, pour in the cream and milk, then whisk in the sugar, agar agar, and vanilla bean paste.
2. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. When it begins to simmer, turn the heat down to medium, and continue stirring constantly for 2 minutes.
3. Evenly distribute the panna cotta between the desired containers. Lightly cover the surface of the panna cotta with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

Egg shells:
If desired, with a small knife (I used a serrated knife), score all the way around about of the way down an egg. Using the back of the blade of the knife, gently tap where the score marks are to crack it on the line. Remove the top and put the egg yolk and white in a bowl for another use. Clean the membrane out of the inside of the egg under running water, set aside. Repeat with as many eggs as desired. Steam or boil the egg shells to sanitize them. Dye the shells, if desired.


This recipe may be linked up to:

· Inside BruCrew Life - Time to Sparkle Tuesday's
· Pint Sized Baker - Marvelous Mondays 
· The Mandatory Mooch - Tasty Thursdays 
· Back For Seconds - Back For Seconds Social Link Party
· Real Housemoms - Fabulous Fridays! 
· Lemons For Lulu - Saturday Share with Us Link Party
· Kitchen Meets Girl - What's In Your Kitchen Wednesday
· DJ's Sugar Shack - Whatcha Whipped Up?
· Mom's Test Kitchen - Wonderful Food Wednesday's
· The Real Housewives of Riverton - Riverton Housewives Round Up
· Mandy's Recipe Box - Totally Tasty Tuesday's
· A Pinch of Joy - Busy Monday Link Party 
· House of Hepworth's - Hookin up with HoH 
· Couponing & Cooking - Mealtime Monday 
· What's Cooking, Love? - Showcase Your Talent Thursday 
· Bacon Time with the Hungry Hungry Hypo - Anything Goes Linky
· Chef in training - Tuesday Talent Show
· Dwell on Joy - Dwell on Friday 
· Six Sister's Stuff - Strut Your Stuff Saturday
· A Slice of Southern - Southern Sundays 

Here are some more ideas for Easter and Spring desserts:
 









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