Growing up and spending my school holidays in a small town in the north of Malaysia meant that tea time entailed a delicious and colourful spread of traditional Nyonya kueh.
Feeling nostalgic, I took inspiration from the decadent Peranakan Kueh Tai Tai (glutinous rice dyed blue with butterfly pea flower served with kaya), and gave it a unique twist by way of a classic Italian dessert - panna cotta.
Offer your guests this fusion version of a classic Malaysian sweet treat that combines the exotic scent of pandan (screwpine), the creaminess of coconut milk and the unique porcelain blue hue of butterfly pea flowers.
Indulge without guilt as this dessert is sweetened with stevia, a healthy natural sweetener, which means lower calories. This is the perfect ending to a meal and it’s vegan too!
RECIPE: COCONUT MILK PANNA COTTA INFUSED WITH BUTTERFLY PEA FLOWER
- 2 cups coconut milk
- ¼ cup dried Butterfly Pea flowers
- 2 pandan leaves
- 2 ½ tsp stevia (powder)
- 1 ½ tsp unflavoured agar agar powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Steep the dried butterfly pea flowers in coconut milk (room temperature) for about 15 minutes until the liquid turns a rich blue hue.
- Transfer liquid into a small heavy pot then add in stevia and knotted pandan leaves.
- Continuously whisk the mixture and let it simmer over low heat to medium heat until the stevia dissolves.
- Allow the the mixture to simmer (lightly bubbling) then remove from heat.
- Remove pandan leaves and pour mixture through a sieve to remove any solids. Press and extract as much colour from the butterfly pea flowers as possible.
- In a separate bowl, add a bit of milk from the pot to the agar agar powder then add it back to the mixture.
- Add vanilla extract then return to simmer and whisk until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a jug then strain it again from the jug into the moulds.
- Let the mixture cool at room temperature then cover the filled moulds with cling film.
- Put the filled moulds in the refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Remove the panna cotta by dipping the mould in hot water for 5 seconds. Use a sharp knife to gently remove the inner rim of the panna cotta from the mould.
- Cover the mould with a serving plate and flip it over. Slowly remove the mould
- Garnish with grilled pineapple slices and caramelised grated coconut as seen here.