Creamy Chai Panna Cotta
Makes 8 small ramekins
1 1/2 C whole milk or coconut milk
3 t powdered gelatin
1/4 C coconut sugar
1 1/2 C heavy cream or coconut cream
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 C chai tea (see recipe below)
Pinch of salt
Ground cinnamon, shaved chocolate, chopped dates,
(optional for garnish)
For the chai:
2 C filtered water
5 whole green cardamom pods, crushed
3 thin slices of fresh ginger
2 1-inch cinnamon sticks
2-piece star anise
1 T loose black tea leaves or 2 tea bags
1. Make the chai: Boil water, steep spices, and tea for 5-10 minutes. I let it steep for at least 10 minutes to get a deeper, more intense flavor. Set aside.
2. Place the milk in a saucepan. Bloom the gelatin by adding it evenly over the milk and let sit for 5 minutes.
3. After 5 minutes, stir well to incorporate all the gelatin, then over low-medium heat, melt the gelatin. You’ll need to whisk often to keep it smooth and free from clumps and to monitor the heat. Don’t let the milk even reach a simmer; it should just be hot. This should take about 3 minutes.
4. Check to see if the gelatin has dissolved by dipping a spoon into the mixture and checking the back of the spoon. You shouldn’t see any grains.
5. Dissolve the sugar for another couple of minutes, and when the mixture is all smooth and creamy then, remove it from the heat.
6. Add the cream, tea*, vanilla, and a pinch of salt and stir well.
7. Pour the creamy mixture into your ramekins (or whatever cute containers you want to eat out of) and place them on a tray.
8. Pull a sheet of plastic wrap out, large enough to cover all the ramekins. Keep them close to one another and “wrap” the ramekins in plastic just under the rims. This will keep the panna cotta from hardening on top.
9. Chill for 4+ hours or overnight. When ready to serve, top with desired toppings.
10. ENJOY and ENJOY!
*Alternatively, you could put all the spices and tea in a mesh tea ball or sachet and steep it in the milk while it’s heating and you’re stirring.