Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mango Sauce

It is summer time here and sweet juicy mangoes are in season now. Then how can I spare my blog without an entry of mangoes. I remember a two line verse that my mother taught me. “Katte vaa kadale po, enikkoru mambazham thanne po”(Let the wind come, Let the sea go, Leave me a juicy mango when you go). This was a song they used to sing during their childhood. It was a request to the wind to pull out a mango when the kids wait under the mango tree for a mango to fall down. During our school summer vacations, we got to go and stay with our grandparents and that was when we ate a lot of juicy mangoes. I remember we kids singing that song and eagerly waiting for a mango to fall down(though I was a little skeptical about it).

Here in the US, we don’t get the same variety of mangoes, but mangoes are always regular presence in our home from the beginning till the end of summer. Usually they get eaten as soon as they are ripened and I don’t get any mangoes left for my cooking experiments. So I had to reserve few in advance to try this out.

Pannacotta is a delicious and creamy pudding-like Italian dessert which is originally a sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and flavored with vanilla, coffee or other flavorings.
I used Greek yogurt in my panna cotta recipe which makes it very creamy. It is a very easy to make dessert which takes only a few minutes to cook and 5 hrs of refrigeration. Preparing the mango sauce takes only 5 minutes of cooking time. This makes it a very good make-ahead dessert option when you have guests to entertain. This can be served in glass/dessert bowls/ramekins or in dessert plates in a pool of mango sauce.

Try this recipe and let me know how it turned out for you. I would like to hear from you.

Ingredients:

Panna Cotta:
  1. Heavy Cream 1 cup (240 ml)
  2. Whole milk cold 1/2 cup (120 ml)
  3. Sugar 1/4 cup (50 gm)
  4. Greek Yogurt 1/3 cup (Check Notes Section for substituitions)
  5. Powdered Gelatin 2 tsp
  6. Vanilla extract 1 /2 tsp
  7. Salt a pinch
Mango sauce:
  1. Fresh ripened mango cubed: 1 cup +1/2 cup divided
  2. Sugar : 2 tsp or to taste

Method:

Vanila Panna Cotta Pudding:
  1. In a saucepan, add gelatin in cold milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.
Leave gelatin to soften in milk
  1. Switch on the flame and on low to medium flame dissolve gelatin in milk by constantly stirring the mixture. Do not let it boil. This takes around 5 minutes.
  2. Now add heavy cream, sugar, salt and vanilla extract and stir it well until the mixture starts steaming. Switch of the flame. Let it cool until it is warm to touch.
Heating heavy cream, sugar and salt with gelatin milk mixture
  1. Beat Greek yogurt well and add it to the warm milk mixture stirring well so that no lumps remain.
Beating Greek yogurt in to warm milk mixture
  1. Now pour it to the serving glasses/dessert bowls/ramekins and chill for at least 5 hrs or overnight.
Chill pudding mixture poured in serving bowl
Mango sauce:
  1. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of cubed mangoes and sugar on medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes until it is mashed well. Mash it with the bottom of spoon while cooking it. Do not let it boil.
Heating cubed mangoes with sugar
  1. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of mangoes to it and turn off the flame.
Adding remaining mango cubes
Serving the panna cotta in a glass/ramekin:
  1. When the sauce is cooled to room temperature, pour 1 to 2 tbsp of sauce over the chilled panna cotta in the glass/dessert bowls/ramekins and serve it.
Serving the panna cotta in a plate:
  1. Unmold the chilled panna cotta pudding in the ramekin/serving bowl on to a serving plate. (Check Notes section to know how to easily unmold the pannacotta to a plate)
  2. Now pour the mango sauce on top of the panna cotta and serve it.

Notes:

  1. Do not let the gelatin milk mixture boil while cooking panna cotta. Gelatin will lose its ability to thicken.
  2. You can adjust sugar in the mango sauce depending on the sweetness of mangoes.
  3. To unmold panna cotta pudding in the ramekin/dessert bowl on to a serving plate, hold the ramekin on warm to hot water up to its rim for few seconds (make sure water does not get inside the bowl) and loosen the top edge of panna cotta by running a knife around it. Place a serving plate on top of the bowl/ramekin and flip it carefully. Panna cotta will fall in to the plate.
  4. You can make the panna cotta pudding the day before you need to serve it. On the next day when you need to serve it, prepare mango sauce, let it cool it to room temperature and top the panna cotta with mango sauce.
  5. I prefer to chill it for half an hour before serving.
  6. I made panna cotta in 2 glasses and 1 dessert bowl with the above quantity.
  7. You can use sour cream/thick yogurt as a replacement for greek yogurt.
  8. I used Knox unflavored powdered gelatine.
  9. You can use frozen mangoes to prepare the sauce, but fresh mangoes are preferable.
  10. If you are using dessert bowls alone, the above recipe for mango sauce needs to be doubled.