Life in the land of filter kaapi is a trifle more exciting than that intoxicating morning cuppa, with coconut and chili ridden breakfast varieties, and the eternal sunshine of spotless blue skies, most of the time. There are umpteen insiders’ jokes here, about people loving their filter kaapi to the extent that they’d make a pool of it to swim in, if they could. We love ours too, naturally, but just enough to take creative dessert-lovers’ jabs at it from time to time, by infusing our chocolate puddings with it, or even flavoring home made ice cream with its unmistakably strong taste. Here’s another of our efforts, an easy peasy filter kaapi pannacotta that could be dressed up or down, depending on your mood or that of your guests’.
Filter Kaapi Pannacotta
- 8 gm/ 2.5 teaspoons gelatin
- 500 ml cream
- 125 gm castor sugar
- 120 ml strong filter coffee decoction or strong espresso
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Put a quarter cup of water in a shallow bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside.
- Heat the cream and sugar in a heavy-bottomed pan set on medium-low heat, stirring often.
- Once the cream starts to bubble on the edges pour in the coffee. Stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Taste and add more coffee or sugar, if needed. Turn off the heat.
- Microwave the gelatin briefly to melt it. Pour the gelatin into the hot cream and stir well. Mix in the vanilla extract.
- Filter the cream mixture through a sieve into a jug. Pour into lightly greased cups or a big serving bowl, as desired. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight.
Top the pannacotta with whipped cream. Pour 100 ml heavy whipping cream* into a metal bowl and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes. To the cold cream add a tablespoon of icing sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat the cream until it forms soft peaks. Dollop onto the pannacotta or transfer the cream to a piping bag with a star tip and pipe it on. Drizzle some chocolate or caramel sauce over the cream or dust with a little cocoa powder.
* To whip to stiff peaks and hold up well for a few hours, dairy cream should have a high fat percentage..greater than 38%. If you’re in South India, the best options are Nilgiri’s or Milky Mist brand. We’ve tried the new Amul whipping cream and it just doesn’t whip and hold up well enough for us.
If you’d like to unmould the dessert, dip it briefly into a bowl of hot water, place the serving plate over the cup and quickly invert it into the plate.