Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I made it through Mother's Day

and perfected the use of agar for a chocolate panna cotta.

One of the major challenges I face it to make desserts that are animal product free that taste good. Okay, not just good. Good. Capital GEE is a must here. It's not as complex as gluten free, or wheat free and should be easy. Until you start to really read recipes are realize how many use gelatin.

Does anyone not know what gelatin is? How do you make molded desserts without it? Like, oh say, the above panna cotta.

The ingredient to use is Agar. A seaweed derivative that gels things up just fine.
But but but it's a pain to work with if you don't know what you're doing. And I haven't. I've been experimenting.
I borrowed some inspiration from Clotilde, spent some time studying Rilettes in Art Culinaire and bought some agar from a local Korean market.
Once I got the agar in powder form from a local health food store, heated it before adding and let it sit for about 90 minutes after infusing the chocolate base with fresh lavender -- well, let's just say it all went amazingly well.
Though the brioche bread pudding with housemade marmalade sauce was definitely the winner of the day.
And, phew. It's over.

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