I think most of you are familiar with my friend, Celine Steen, author of the blog Have Cake Will Travel. She started writing cookbooks before me and is an amazing photographer. I’ve reviewed some of her other books, and you can peek at those here.
Celine Steen has written an awesome new vegan cookbook, Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking. She worked with Page Street Publishing for the first time, and I think the book is just what you need to spice up your summer meals.
Celine’s book is divided by flavors: Savory, Spicy, Sweet, and Staples.
The Savory chapter has delights like pulled jackfruit rolls, matcha tempeh and pickled veggies sandwiches, Asian-inspired fondue, homemade kimchi vegan sausages, and more.
If you like it your food spicy, she’s got just what you’re looking for and a few you didn’t know that you needed in your life like: piri piri pit-za, harissa sprouts and chickpeas, Moroccan-flavored stuffed squash and so many more spicy recipes.
In addition, she also includes a section on Staples. No need to buy expensive store items or hunt for vegan versions because she has recipes for broth mix, spices, her own mayo, spreads, sauces and pickles.
Have a sweet tooth? Don’t worry, Celine has you covered with recipes like grilled pineapple with tahini lime nuts, miso sweet cookies, Tunisian Baharat roasted pluots, and the recipe I’m sharing with you today balsamic berry panna cotta.
I used to love panna cotta in my pre-vegan days before I learned that they usually have gelatin in them. Yuck! All my friends know that I think it’s gross that we give that to kids and sick people, but that’s a rant for another time.
Celine has created a wonderful, very vegan, panna cotta recipe for us. The main recipe uses soy, but if you’re allergic look in the notes for a soy-free version that uses cashew cream.
If you haven’t has a panna cotta before, it’s like a sliceable pudding that’s so refreshing and creamy. Combined with fresh berries this one is extra delicious.
Balsamic Berry Panna Cotta from Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking
For the Berries
- ½ cup 120 ml white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp 13 g agave nectar
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Generous ½ cup 90 g fresh blackberries, gently washed and thoroughly drained
- Generous ½ cup 90 g fresh blueberries, gently washed and thoroughly drained
For the Panna Cotta
- 1 cup 195 g gently packed and slightly heaping chopped fresh strawberries
- 1 tbsp 12 g evaporated cane juice
- ¼ cup 80 g agave nectar
- 1 tsp 5 ml pure vanilla extract
- Pinch coarse kosher salt
- Oil for molds
- ¾ cup 180 ml unsweetened canned coconut cream
- 8 oz 227 g silken tofu
- 1 tbsp 15 ml lemon juice
- 1 tsp 3 g agar powder
- Dried culinary rose petals for garnish (optional)
- To make the berries, place the vinegar and agave in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to about 3 tablespoons (45 ml). You can eyeball this; the reduction should be thickened and light golden. Be sure to stir frequently while simmering. Reducing the vinegar will take approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, and only 30 minutes before serving the dessert, gently fold the berries into the syrup.
- To make the panna cotta, place the berries and cane juice in a heat-proof medium-sized glass bowl. Gently fold, cover and leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Combine in a small blender with the agave, vanilla and salt.
- Blend until smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Transfer back to the medium bowl.
- Very lightly brush eight 3 ¼ x 1 ¼ -inch (8.3 x 3.2-cm) mini brioche molds (or any mold of similar size) with oil.
- Set aside.
- Place the coconut cream, tofu and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Whisk the agar into the mixture. Bring to a low boil, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes to activate the agar.
- Pour this mixture on top of the strawberry mixture, and whisk to thoroughly combine. Divide among the prepared molds. Let cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator to firm for at least 3 hours. Remove the panna cotta from the molds by shaking gently to coax them out. If they resist, use a toothpick to help release them.
- Serve with the berries, and add rose petals as decoration if desired.
From Celine: I have quite a few acquaintances who are allergic to nuts, so for equality’s sake I used tofu here instead of the cashew cream the vegan world loves so much. If you would rather go with cashews, soak the raw cashews in a generous amount of filtered water overnight. Drain and rinse them, and blend them with just enough water to get to the texture of firm silken tofu. You will need approximately 1 cup (120 g) raw cashews to yield 8 ounces (227 g) of cashew cream to replace the tofu in this recipe.
Be sure to get your copy of Celine Steen’s, Bold Flavored Vegan Cooking.