With my boyfriend’s mother around, I’ve been eating more creamy food and sometimes enjoying it and other times, not so much. I’ve found that I like many of the Italian desserts if they are made right, such as tiramisu, bomboloni, and panna cotta.
Another one of my favorite dish from I Tre Merli was their signature basil strawberry panna cotta. It didn’t taste anything like creamy milk. However, at another restaurant, it was very creamy you could taste the milk, which for someone like me who is lactose intolerant, it was a turn-off.
After my strawberry jaunt, I did some research for various panna cotta recipes, original versions and vegan version. I picked and pulled what I thought was good and tested a version that came out very good. A bit softer than panna cotta but still has that creamy texture.
Basil Tofu Cotta
- Half a block of soft tofu
- 1/4 cup of honey
- 1/2 cup of soy milk
- 1 tbp of sugar (cane sugar would have be better)
- A few sprigs of basil and stem. If you have baby basils, you can add a few more.
- 1 tbp of agar powder (gelatin, if you don’t have agar. I find agar much better)
- 1/2 cup of boiling water
Strawberry Sauce (you’ll probably only use 1/3 of this to serve)
- 1/2 lbs of fresh strawberry
- 1/4 cup of confection sugar
*Add some olive oil on the ramekins so it mixture doesn’t stick to cup. But you can skip this step if you prefer to eat right out of the cups.
1. Chop up the tofu and put in blender with honey. Blend well. Set aside.
2. Heat up soy milk and sugar on low. Stir. Watch carefully. As it bubbles on the edge, add the tofu mixture. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring well. Add basil. It’s important you don’t let it soak too long because basil is very strong flavor and can get bitter. Cook and stir for another 2-5 minutes. Sieve out the basil and set aside.
3. Mix agar powder with hot water. Add just enough water to melt the agar powder.
4. Stir into mixture and separate into ramekin and refrigerate for 2 hours, just enough that it’s no longer a soup.
5. Leave some strawberry to serve. The rest, you can puree with sugar and set aside.
6. When you’re ready to serve, take the ramekins out. Serve with fresh strawberry and pour the sauce on strawberry and tofu cotta. Add a sprig of basil for garnish.
You won’t even realize it is tofu. Just don’t tell anyone or else they’ll give you a face. But no lactose aftereffect and it was just as good.