After breakfast on Christmas day, we ventured out into Melbourne CBD. I highly recommend that you consider exploring usually busy places like a mall in the first few hours of Christmas morning. It is quiet, peaceful and in Melbourne, usually cool as well. You can appreciate every building and alley way for what it is rather than focusing on the hustle and bustle of those around you. More importantly, you can capture it all in a photo without a soul to intrude. I hate being away from my family at Christmas but this is now part of our Christmas tradition and there is something special about feeling like you have the world to yourself.
Besides, where else can you get your photo taken with Santa…penis and all?
Unfortunately we left a little late this year so our trip was only about half an hour but we’ll definitely be out before breaky next year. When we came back it was time for morning tea. Admittedly we weren’t actually hungry as we normally just have muesli for breakfast… so 2 eggs plus extras and half a large roll meant we both felt like Yoghurt after she found the whole tub of M&M’s… but it wouldn’t be right to skip a meal on Christmas day so we dutifully carried on.
Thankfully I had planned for this extended belly issue and had decided ahead of time on a light panna cotta. I was most excited because my wonderful husband knows how much I like my food to look pretty so he had splurged on some glasses for Christmas… self serving I’m sure because he knew all too well it meant I would make something for him! For those who don’t have any – this splurge cost $2.80 each from Daiso and yes they’re glass not plastic – but until Christmas I was making this dish in a normal drinking glass – so lets not be snobby now.
Unfortunately, given the many layers it took some time so we had to slip a post-breakfast, pre-morning tea drink in with some cashews. Beer for Steve and Peach Vodka for me! Drinking problem, what drinking problem? At least the lemonade was sugar free!! Make sure you’re prepared when making this but remember – it is much, much quicker when not layering with different flavours!
Fruity Panna Cotta
170 calories per serve depending on fruit + additional fruit/yoghurt/cream to serve (if desired)
- 150ml Light Coconut Milk
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 2 tsp gelatin powder
- 120ml low fat yoghurt (I use Yoplait Forme with a flabour to compliment like tropical, vanilla or peach and mango)
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup of fruit of choice
- Optional diced fruit, yoghurt or cream to serve
- In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, sugar and powdered gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes.
- It will go a bit ‘chunky’ but bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook 6-8 minutes, stirring reglarly until gelatin and sugar are dissolved and the liquid is smooth. Remove from the heat.
- If you are making a fruity panna cotta, blend your chosen fruit*. I’ve successfully used banana, apricot, peach and mango – the latter two working best but all were nice. The banana was quite strong.
- Add coconut milk mixture to the bowl and process until smooth. Add yogurt and vanilla extract to bowl and process until blended.
- Divide among ramekins or dessert glasses or whatever you have available.** It will set on the bench but I prefer to move to the fridge so I can serve the dish cold. It will set in well under an hour.
- Remove from the fridge immediately before serving and add fruit, cream and/or yoghurt to serve.
* You don’t have to add fruit to this recipe, simply skip the fruit in step 3. The result is a coconut panna cotta which is very smooth and tasty. Much like a creamy jelly.
**If using multiple fruits make sure that you allow time to semi-set between each layer. Pop the layer in the freezer to help it along as the other mixtures will start to set while on the bench – you will need to stir these regularly to avoid them setting while waiting for the poured layers. As soon as the mixture is set enough to gently poke without breaking the surface you can carefully add the next layer. Smaller quantities will set faster so avoid preparing the mix of each layer until you’re ready to pour (ie. leave the coconut milk separate from the fruit).