First things first – my blog was featured on Zeit magazin! You can read about it (in German) here. Now onto Matcha Mint Panna Cotta
In Boston, St. Patrick’s Day is a big holiday. At least, the parade is a big deal. Snow, rain, a mix of both type of precipitation – nothing stops the parade and the onset of green-clad onlookers. I decided to stay in and instead celebrate by making a batch of matcha mint panna cotta. I took everything I had that was green and made sense together (so for example, not matcha and celery) and made it into a creamy pudding. The original Italian version uses egg whites and involves baking, but it’s supposed to be complicated and delicate. Instead, I took inspiration from Beth at Local Milk and Cynthia at Two Red Bowls and adapted the cream and gelatin version of panna cotta. When I read through it, I was amazed by its simplicity. A large component of the flavor seems to come from the infusing step. I brewed in matcha and fresh mint leaves and let that steep. I then topped it off with sifted matcha powder, some honey, and crushed pistachios. I thought the pistachios added a nice balance to the soft pudding.
Right after I ladled the cream mixture into ramekins to set, I met up with Meg from Bread + Barrow (lovely, gorgeous blog), and we had a great time talking about food blogging, our life stories, while munching on croissants and drinking hot coffee. We even bought the same cookbook after having a wonderfully philosophical conversation with Abby from Farm & Fable about food blogs and cookbooks. I admit I was nervous at first – I mean, have you seen her blog? Her writing, her authentic recipes, her gorgeous photos… I couldn’t help but feel intimidated. It was a cold rainy morning, with gray snow mounds still crowding the sidewalk. I felt increasingly guilty and anxious for making her trek all the way to the South End, where street parking is no joke. When she walked in the door, all my anxiety disappeared – simply washed away at the first smile. As cheesy as this may sound, it was like I was talking to a close friend already. And that’s the beauty of blogging – we follow our favorite bloggers and we are allowed these vignettes of their lives, glimpses into the person. We learn about their lifestyle and their preferences in their recipes and blog posts. Yes, these posts are public for anyone and everyone to view, but I still feel like I’m privileged to be able to get to know these bloggers, albeit virtually. Meeting up with Meg really solidified why I keep blogging. I’m constantly inspired by my readers and my fellow blogger friends. The food community is a warm embrace, and I feel lucky to be a part of it.
It’s no secret I love matcha – I try to use it at least once a month in my baking, even though I want to use it more! For the sake of variety, I promise I won’t have 5 matcha recipes in a row :).
When you cook the cream, make sure the cream does not actually boil. When I see wisps of smoke start curling rapidly and maybe one or two bubbles rise, I remove the pot from heat.
I used two types of containers: ramekins and ice cream cups. This is the remnant of road tripping directly from college dorms to your next area of residence. I baked a lot in college, and I had picked up a couple of ramekins at the thrift store, and was gifted another one. I don’t have a complete 6 piece set, but I knew I’d need more than three ramekins with the amount of panna cotta I made. So, I used ice cream cups. You can use anything – wine glasses, tumblers, mugs, mason jars, even shallow bowls. You just need a vessel to hold and chill the panna cotta.
With the ice cream cups, I left the set panna cotta to scoop out. With the ramekins, I inverted them onto dessert places for a different look.
It’s true, the only thing remotely St Patrick’s Day about this dessert is the color. It’s filled with green things – pistachio, mint, and matcha. I’m happy
RECIPE: Matcha Mint Panna Cotta
Inspired and adapted from Local Milk and Two Red Bowls.
3 cups heavy cream ,separated to 1 and 2 cups
1 packet unflavored gelatin (2 teaspoons)
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp honey
small pinch salt
2 tbsp culinary grade matcha
5-6 whole fresh mint leaves
finely chopped pistachios for garnish
sifted matcha for garnish
1| Sprinkle gelatin over one cup of cream in a small saucepan; let sit for 5 minutes. Then, turn heat to low and stir until gelatin dissolves. Set aside.
2| Cook other 2 cups of cream, matcha, mint leaves, sugar, honey to the saucepan, while whisking to ensure matcha is completely incorporated. Cook on medium heat until steaming and just about to boil.
3| Remove from heat, cover, and steep for another 20-30 minutes. Stir in gelatin-cream mixture.
4| Strain mixture.
5| Ladle into ramekins and chill for at least 3 hours to overnight.
6| Serve in cups or un-mold by placing in a shallow bowl of hot water for 20-30 seconds and inverting onto a dessert plate. Be sure not to leave it in too long, otherwise it might create a softer panna cotta than desired.
7| Garnish with sifted matcha, pistachio, and mint leaves.