Butterfly Pea Infused Panna Cotta
Butterfly Pea Infused Panna Cotta is a pretty blue jiggly and velvety dessert made with dried butterfly pea flower infusion.
I never thought that I will do a blue dessert in my tea-infused panna cotta series. The gorgeous blue color does not come from any artificial coloring at all. Instead, I used dried butterfly pea flowers which have traditionally been used as a traditional blue coloring since ancient times. What I love about them is not only the color, but they also bring many benefits to your health.
About Butterfly Pea
Butterfly pea or also known as blue pea, cordofan, Asian pigeonwings, aprajita is commonly found throughout South East Asia. The bright blue petals from the flowers of the butterfly pea plant. They have been used as an ingredient in herbal tea drinks throughout the region for centuries as well as used in cooking. You need to steep the flowers in warm or hot water to extract the color. Then, the color is used as a dye as well as to add color to various foods.
Aside from its culinary uses, recent studies also have known that butterfly pea also offers many health benefits, including improving brain health, stress relief, anti-inflammation, increased vitality, and rejuvenated skin. The vibrant blue petals of the butterfly pea plants are also rich in anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is the same polyphenol compound found in blueberries, cherries, purple cabbage, and other blue, red, or purple produce. It is beneficial to relieve eyestrain. So drinking butterfly pea tea can be effective for the recovery of your eyes.
About Butterfly Pea Infused Panna Cotta
For centuries the butterfly pea flower tea was only known in South East Asia. But in recent years, it has become known worldwide. You can use either fresh or dried flowers for making this recipe. For me, I got these dried butterfly pea flowers online because it is not readily available in supermarkets. You can find these at specialty online retailers or sometimes I found these at local baking supply stores.
Just like my previous flower tea-infused panna cotta recipes, you need to steep the dried butterfly pea flowers in the hot cream mixture for 15 minutes. You may expect some delicate fruity or flower taste in butterfly pea flowers, but the taste is actually akin to herbal grassy and somewhat earthy. It does not have a strong taste and the flowers just impart very subtle flavor in this recipe. In fact, it tastes like a vanilla panna cotta just because I only add a few dried flowers for the infusion. I do not really recommend to add more dried butterfly pea flowers in the recipe. The stronger infusion is, the grassier the panna cotta is.
For the garnish, I used a dash of kinako soy bean flour to give a nice contrast with the panna cotta. The color palette reminds me of the beach vibe. I hope the quarantine life will be over soon so that I can go outside.
Butterfly Pea Infused Panna Cotta
Butterfly Pea Infused Panna Cotta is a pretty blue jiggly and velvety dessert made with dried butterfly pea flowers infusion.
- 1/2 cup whole milk (120 ml)
- 2 cup heavy cream (480 ml)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (50 gr)
- 2 sheets gelatin
- 2 tbsp dried butterfly pea flowers
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
If you plan to unmold the panna cotta onto plates, lightly grease the inside of the glasses with vegetable oil and use a paper towel to wipe out most of the oil, leaving only a light residue. Otherwise, you can leave them uncoated.
Soak the gelatin sheet in cold water until soft. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat milk, heavy cream, and sugar until simmer (do not boil). Remove from the heat.
Squeeze gelatin to remove any excess water and add it to the pan, stirring constantly until the gelatin is melted.
Add vanilla extract and dried butterfly pea flowers. Allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes or until the mixture is blue.
Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and pour evenly among the prepared molds. Refrigerate until set for at least 4 hours or overnight.
To remove from the mold, dip the bottom of the mold into a pot of hot water to loosen the panna cotta. Slide a knife around the edge, then carefully turn over onto a serving plate.
Best served cold.