Zobo Panna Cotta

Zobo Panna Cotta

I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, but now and then I get a hankering for some good dessert. Today I was in the mood for something creamy, something fruity, and something zobo-ey (that’s not a word, but let’s pretend). I couldn’t think of anything generic or store-bought that would do, so I decided to try a new recipe that combined all my cravings into one – Zobo Papaya Panna Cotta. What a mouth full eh? Now before I start, let me just say that if you’re planning to eat this dessert today, you should have started making it yesterday. Not that it’s a difficult dessert – in fact it’s one of the easiest I’ve made – but it takes time (at least 2 hours) for each layer to set. Nevertheless, I enjoyed this one because each layer presented something unique, yet all three worked together as a perfect trio.

Zobo is a drink made from extracting the flavor from dried Roselle plant flowers. Panna Cotta (meaning cooked cream) is a cold, creamy Italian dessert made from a combination of milk, heavy cream, sugar and gelatin (i.e. the stuff used to make Jell-O). It tastes like ice cream, but has a light, smooth and bouncy texture/consistency. Is bouncy even a texture? Sigh. I’ll get better at these descriptions I promise. P.S. I randomly did some research on how gelatin is made… yeah don’t do it before you’ve eaten this one.

As a side note, because I don’t have a sweet tooth I put a lot less sugar in each layer (zero sugar in the fruit layer) and the Zobo layer came out slightly tart. But I liked it that way, so if you want something sweeter, add more sugar to your taste. I’d suggest you taste each layer first before you put it in the fridge to set, so you can adjust according to your preferred taste. Enjoy!

For vanilla layer:

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 packet (one tablespoon) gelatin

Directions:

Combine cream, milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a pot and bring to simmer. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes

While cooling dissolve gelatin completely in hot water (about 1-2 minutes)
Add gelatin to milk/cream mixture and stir
Prepare 5 (6-ounce) serving glasses and carefully pour the mixture into each glass in equal measurements.
Chill for 2 hours in refrigerator 

For papaya layer:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 tablespoon gelatin
  • 1 cup papaya (paw paw) purée (blend 1/3 medium-sized papaya with 1/3 cup water)

Directions

Dissolve gelatin completely in hot water

Add gelatin mix to papaya purée

Take the individual cups out of the fridge with the vanilla layer already set then pour mixture into each cup
Return to fridge to set for another 2 hours.

For Zobo layer:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Zobo leaves
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin

Directions

Put Zobo leaves and water in pot and boil on medium heat for 20 minutes
Strain Zobo leaves, dissolve sugar in zobo and leave liquid to cool for 20 minutes

Dissolve gelatin in hot water and stir into zobo mixture
Take the individual cups out of the fridge with the vanilla and papaya layers already set then pour mixture into each cup

Return to fridge to set for another 2 hours.
Optional: top with papaya piece and serve.

 

Zobo Panna Cotta
Serves 5
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For vanilla layer
  1. 3/4 cup cream
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 2 tablespoon sugar
  4. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  5. 1/4 cup hot water
For paw paw layer
  1. 1/4 cup hot water
  2. 1/2 tablespoon gelatin
  3. 1 cup papaya (paw paw) purée (blend 1/3 medium sized papaya with 1/3 cup water)
For Zobo layer
  1. 1/2 cup Zobo leaves
  2. 1/4 cup hot water
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon gelatin
  6. 1 packet (i.e. 1 tablespoon) gelatin
For vanilla layer
  1. Combine cream, milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a pot and bring to simmer. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes
  2. While cooling dissolve gelatin completely in hot water (approximately 1-2 minutes)
  3. Add gelatin to milk/cream mixture and stir
  4. Prepare 5 (6-ounce) serving glasses and carefully pour the mixture into each glass in equal measurements.
  5. Chill for 2 hours in refrigerator
For paw paw layer
  1. Dissolve gelatin completely in hot water
  2. Add gelatin mix to papaya purée
  3. Take the individual cups out of the fridge with the vanilla layer already set then pour mixture into each cup
  4. Return to fridge to set for another 2 hours.
For Zobo layer
  1. Put Zobo leaves and water in pot and boil on medium heat for 20 minutes
  2. Strain Zobo leaves, dissolve sugar in zobo and leave liquid to cool for 20 minutes
  3. Dissolve gelatin in hot water and stir into zobo mixture
  4. Take the individual cups out of the fridge with the vanilla and papaya layers already set then pour mixture into each cup
  5. Return to fridge to set for another 2 hours.
  6. Optional: top with papaya piece and serve
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