Recently I got Tonka beans (you can see it on the photo above, on the side of the panna cotta). These are ‘tonka beans’ – the aromatic seed of a giant tree from deep in the Amazon rainforest. Never tried it before, they have such a unique and complex flavour. You can find notes of Amatetto, nuts, vanilla, caramel, clove and even tart cherry.
I’ve asked my friend chef Dan @dan_macaroni , what to do with this wonderful ingredient and he shared with me this amazing idea: creamy panna cotta with orange and Tonka. Orange and Tonka are match made in heaven! Thank you Dan, I can’t stop doing this recipe, did it three times already?
Surprisingly, the Italian panna cotta have to be made of cream without any milk adding. Panna cotta made of cream tastes divine. It’a creamy dreamy and velvety. And yes, it’s more nutritious than panna cotta made with milk, so I will recommend to use a small ramekins or panna cotta moulds.
Interesting facts about Tonka beans. Selling tonka beans to eat has been illegal in the US since 1954 as it contain unusually high levels of the chemical coumarin which gives them their flavour and is found naturally in hundreds of plants, including grass, lavender and cherries. But the United States is the biggest importer of tonka on the planet.
So how dangerous is coumarin really? The forbidden flavour has never caused a single human death, but can be fatal for animals.
Panna Cotta with Orange, Tonka and Chocolate SauceCourse: DessertsCuisine: Italian, ModernDifficulty: Easy
Creamy dreamy and velvety panna cotta. Orange and Tonka are match made in heaven! Tonka has unique aroma: you can find notes of Amatetto, nuts, vanilla, caramel, clove and even tart cherry.
300 ml cream
2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
1 Tbs organic orange zest
3 Tbs caster sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated Tonka bean (using a microplane grater)
- To serve
grated dark chocolate
grated Tonka bean
- Combine cream, sugar, orange zest and grated Tonka in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat mixing with a small whisk. The mix should be hot, but not bring it to a boil. Turn the heat off, add the gelatine* (see note below) and mix well until gelatine is dissolved completely. Infuse the mix for about 15 minutes.
- Then strain the mix through a sieve. Divide the panna cotta mix between tree small slightly oiled panna cotta moulds ( about 100 ml each). Chill in a fridge until set.
- Dip the panna cotta mould briefly in a bowl of hot tap water, and then carefully invert onto a serving plate.
- Serve with a chocolate sauce, grated dark chocolate and grated Tonka.
- Check the directions on your gelatine packaging first, it can vary