Friends, if you don't hear from me again it is entirely possible I have succumbed to a strawberry overdose. Brisbane has experienced absolute bumper crops and with only so many people (despite being a capital city I've heard Brisbane referred to as 'Australia's biggest country town'), the prices are criminally low. Even the expensive fruit place is selling perfect strawberries for $6 a kilo (~2.2 pounds) and like a true addict I can't turn that down.
But a glut of strawberries can result in slightly overripe leftovers. What to do? Bake 'em baby, and serve with panna cotta.
Panna Cotta is an absolute treat to eat and make. It's made in advance, gluten free, can be dairy free (like this one!), and can even be adapted for vegans. There's thousands of combinations and here's my offering: a cool and creamy coconut base spiked with kaffir lime, topped with warm, gooey baked strawberries and toasted nuts.
Coconut Panna Cotta with Baked Strawberries - Serves 8-10
The panna cotta will take at least 4 hours (preferably overnight) to set.
1 x 400ml can coconut milk
1 x 400ml can coconut cream
2 kaffir lime leaves
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence (or seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean)
4 sheets titanium gelatine
~600g strawberries, hulled and roughly cut (can be a little overripe)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
40g nuts (I used pecans & hazelnuts)
20g desiccated coconut
Soak the gelatine in cold water for ~5 minutes. Note: if you're using another type of gelatine, use as per packet instructions.
In a small pot combine the remaining ingredients (coconut milk, coconut cream, lime leaves, syrup, & vanilla) and bring to a low simmer. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatine and add to the coconut mixture. Stir over a low heat until the gelatine has dissolved. Do not let the coconut mixture to boil.
Take the pot off the heat and leave the mixture for ~10 minutes to cool. Pour the panna cotta into small containers and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably over night.
Preheat an oven to 170 C ( 340 F). Mix the strawberries with the maple syrup, vinegar, and sea salt. Place strawberries on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. At the 15 minute mark of baking, baste the strawberries in their juice.
Using a food processor or mortar & pestle, roughly chop crush nuts. Combine with coconut and lightly toast in a pan over a low-medium heat (should only take a few minutes).
Spoon the warm, baked strawberries over the panna cotta and top with the crumble. If you have made all of the items in advance (go you!), heat the strawberries in a small pot or microwave.