Mango Pandan Verrines

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Verrines, parfaits or trifles? 
These 3 desserts have one thing in common. They all have multiple layers of ingredients and components. So whats the difference then? Parfaits are so similar to verrines that most often, people tend to interchange them. Though both are layered artfully in clear glasses, verrines are normally served in smaller glasses while parfaits in taller glasses. Verrine comes from “verre”, which is the French word for glass. From bistros to homecooks to bakeries and restaurants, Verrines are quite the culinary trend in France. It can be sweet or savory and is quite an intriguing way to present food artistically, where you can play with the flavors, colors, textures and temperature of the components. Trifles, on the other hand, originated from England and consist of layers of sponge or pound cake, fruits, custard and whipped cream arranged alternately in big, deep trifle bowls or dishes.

Mango Pandan Verrine has 3 main layers: pandan jelly at the bottom, sweetened whipped cream in the middle and chopped sweet mangoes at the top layer. The jelly is made from Pandan leaves boiled in water. Pandan leaves are long, narrow, thin leaves that are originally from Southeast Asia. It has a unique taste with nutty overtones and a scent that is almost similar to Jasmine rice. In Asian cooking, they are used in savory dishes and desserts.

Making the Pandan Jelly
3 cups water
1 bundle of pandan leaves (about 4-5 leaves)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp of unflavored gelatin

Lightly bruise the leaves by twisting it to release the flavor. Tie the leaves together in one knot. Boil the bundle of pandan leaves in the water for about 20-25 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and take out the leaves. Measure 2 cups of the pandan flavored water. Add the sugar and gelatin to the water. Stir until it is completely dissolved. Pour into a shallow pan. Cool and chill overnight. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside.

Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whipped the cream together with the sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. 

Assembling the verrines

Pandan jelly, cut into cubes
2-3 fresh mangoes
whipped cream
Nata de Coco(optional)
crushed graham crackers (optional)

Slice the mango lengthwise on one side, tracing its large, flat seed in the middle. Repeat on the other side. Carefully cut a cross-hatch pattern through the mango pulp, down to the skin but make sure you do not cut the skin. Scoop the cubed mango pulp with a spoon.

Put some pandan gelatin in the bottom of a glass. 

Top with whipped cream and then the mangoes. 

Finish with a little more cream on top. You may also add some Nata de Coco & crushed graham crackers or even chopped nuts for texture. Chill for 30minutes to 1 hour before serving.

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