Cooking with Watson: Caymanian Plantain Dessert
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I love this description of making panna cotta:
That being said, it's an incredibly simple procedure that involves dissolving sheets of gelatin into cream and sugar and, in this case, coconut milk. For those who have never worked with sheets of gelatin before, its not terribly different from making a box of Jell-O. Except instead of pouring a package of flavored powder into hot water, you mix in sheets of flavorless, processed animal collagen into your hot flavored liquid.
There are a bunch of different things going on in this dish. Many different flavors playing off of each other and tons of different textures rubbing elbows. Lets work our way up from the bottom. That brown layer in this Caribbean concoction is caramelized banana. It's a thick mass of cream and sugar with small pockets of banana chunk and a bit of bite from the molasses. It's decadent, without crossing into cloying. Then you've got the coconut panna cotta, a gelatinous blob of mildly sweet tropical comfort, and on top a rich tart lime cream that, while still sweet, helps balance out the piles of sugar below it. The whole thing is topped with a papaya salad that's dressed in orange juice, butter and cayenne pepper and a few fried plantain chips, both of which give you something to bite into and add a little crunch and body to the otherwise soft, almost silky texture.
I did not realize panna cotta could be made so simply.
I like that they call this dessert Caymanian instead of Caribbean.