Animal free gelling agents, an overview + Vegan Panna Cotta dessert. The customer is becoming ever more demanding leaving us chefs being forced to adapt to the new landscape or risk being left behind. Replacing gelatine is probably one of the biggest challenges in creating ‘free from’ desserts as gelatine is one of the most versatile gelling agents and we’ve been using it for… well decades! Does that mean vegans and vegetarians are doomed and should give up on the hope of ever having a nice dessert? Well no, with a little bit of education we can work around gelatine, although it must be said, it’s quite a bit more complicated but here is an overview of some gelling agents that are worth experimenting with: Iota (Carrageenan) This one is probably one of the most exciting ones, it gives a soft and creamy mouthfeel which in the case of for example a Panna Cotta actually offers an end result far superior to gelatine. Iota is derived from sea weed and to set a liquid we should typically use 1 to 1.5% to get an optimal set. As with most gelling agents I will add the Iota at 40 degrees C before letting it touch boiling point to activate. Iota is also Thermo reversible ( meaning that by applying heat to the gel it will become liquid again) which can be an advantage in certain applications. Kappa (Carrageenan) A close relative of Iota with many similar properties, just like Iota the dosage would typically be 1 to 1.5%, it is also thermo reversible  and requires heat to be activated.  Whereas Iota creates a soft, elastic gel, kappa will create a firmer but more brittle gel. (a bit similar to Agar) A combination of Kappa with Iota can offer the best of both worlds texture wise. [/av_textblock] [av_image src=’https://arcanechocolate.com/wp-content/themes/enfold/config-templatebuilder/avia-template-builder/images/placeholder.jpg’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ copyright=” animation=’no-animation’ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av_uid=”][/av_image] [av_image src=’https://arcanechocolate.com/wp-content/themes/enfold/config-templatebuilder/avia-template-builder/images/placeholder.jpg’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ copyright=” animation=’no-animation’ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av_uid=”][/av_image] [av_image src=’https://arcanechocolate.com/wp-content/themes/enfold/config-templatebuilder/avia-template-builder/images/placeholder.jpg’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ copyright=” animation=’no-animation’ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av_uid=”][/av_image] [av_image src=’https://arcanechocolate.com/wp-content/themes/enfold/config-templatebuilder/avia-template-builder/images/placeholder.jpg’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ copyright=” animation=’no-animation’ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av_uid=”][/av_image] [av_image src=’https://arcanechocolate.com/wp-content/themes/enfold/config-templatebuilder/avia-template-builder/images/placeholder.jpg’ align=’center’ styling=” hover=” link=” target=” caption=” font_size=” appearance=” overlay_opacity=’0.4′ overlay_color=’#000000′ overlay_text_color=’#ffffff’ copyright=” animation=’no-animation’ av-desktop-hide=” av-medium-hide=” av-small-hide=” av-mini-hide=” av_uid=”][/av_image]