It started with picking a dessert after a pretty outstanding meal at Tokonoma Sydney - and from the list of three options was this entry - soy milk pannacotta, tropical fruits, black sesame. My friend and I had picked it on a whim along with something else that was completely unmemorable but from the first bite of the pannacotta dish, I was intrigued. It came in a bowl (pannacotta set on the bottom half of the dish), topped with a line of black sesame powder, various diced tropical fruits (mango etc.) and then what appeared to be a citrusy granita. In short, a perfect balance of flavours and textures. What impressed me the most was the sheer lightness of the dish despite it's many varied components, I attributed it to the soy milk pannacotta which had a clarity and mildness unlike any pannacotta I had tried. I had to figure out how to eat this more often.
With many seasons of MasterChef watching under my belt I felt like I had the basic skills and mental preparation for tackling a pannacotta - it was the highlight of many an episode afterall (much like it's much less sophisticated cousin - the molten chocolate cake) known for it's consistency in providing on-screen "drama" - Will the contestant know how to use gelatine properly? Will it set in time? Will it turn onto the plate? Will it have the right texture? Will there be lumps?
It turns out I did have to use my own "television" knowledge because there seems to be nothing online that will properly teach you how to make a soy milk pannacotta, especially in a situation where the only gelatine you have is in sheet-form (thanks Simon Johnson). So I winged it. And it turned out really, really well.
Without further ado -
Basic Soy Milk Pannacotta
1 1/4 cup Soy Milk (For me, there is nothing better than Bonsoy)
3/4 cup Cream (Your Pannacotta will find it hard to set if you have no proper fat in it)
2 sheets (or 10g) of Titanium Gelatine
1 small handful of icing sugar
Bloom your gelatine. I cut my 2 sheets of gelatine up so they would fit in a bowl and filled set bowl with cold water. Took about 5 minutes for the gelatine to soften.
Spray your ramekins and then wipe off excess grease. The point is to make them slightly slippery to help you get the pannacotta out.
Heat your soy milk and cream until it gets just slightly above room temperature - remember you are not boiling it or even simmering it. You should be able to keep your finger in it at all points.
When gelatine is soft (like kelp!), pull it out and wring it out. Add to heated liquid. Mix till fully dissolved. Add icing sugar to taste. I just used icing sugar because I wanted to make sure it was going to dissolve well.
Pour mixture (should be silky smooth) into ramekins. Chill overnight.
When you are ready to plate, set the ramekins on a warm water bath for about 30 seconds. Take it out, put a plate on top of the ramekin and flip both. Hold your breath and tap on the ramekin. Your pannacotta should slide out on it's own accord, and it should be amazingly wobbly :)
Dress with fruit, I only had some raspberries and mint at home which is what I used. Enjoy.