Che Khuc Bach Recipe (Vietnamese Panna Cotta Sweet Soup)

Although Panna Cotta does not originate from Vietnamese cuisine, Vietnamese people widely enjoy it, like Flan. A new dish called Che Khuc Bach (Vietnamese Panna Cotta Sweet Soup) is created from Panna Cotta, in which the dessert is cut into cubes and enjoyed with tropical fruits such as lychee, rambutan, or longan. Let’s discover this interesting dish right now.

che khuc bach

What is Che Khuc Bach?

As far as I remember, Che Khuc Bach was a viral dessert in Saigon around 2012-2013. At that time, there were hundreds of street stalls, cafes, and restaurants serving it. This refreshing dessert features creamy Panna Cotta cubes combined with tropical fruits, roasted peanuts, and flaked almonds in a slightly sweet sugar syrup. Nowadays, Che Khuc Bach remains a favorite dish for many, although it is not as popular as it was in 2013. Its refreshing and elegant flavor makes it a perfect choice for the hot climate of Saigon all year round.

che khuc bach vietnamese panna cotta

Let’s delve a bit more into what’s in a bowl of Che Khuc Bach. I call it ‘Vietnamese Panna Cotta Sweet Soup’ based on its ingredients. Firstly, sweet soup, or “chè” in Vietnamese, refers to the most popular desserts in the country, which can be made from various ingredients such as beans (mung beans, red beans, black beans, etc.), red dates (jujube), snow fungus, and lotus seeds, among others. All types of “chè” have one thing in common: they all contain a large amount of water cooked with sugar to provide gentle sweetness to the dessert. Secondly, ‘Vietnamese Panna Cotta’ is “khuc bach”. It consists of cubes made from milk, heavy whipping cream, and gelatin, similar to Italian Panna Cotta, although the amount of gelatin used is much higher, resulting in a firmer texture that can be cut into cubes. To balance the creamy texture and flavor of these Panna Cotta cubes, we add tropical fruits like lychee, rambutan, or longan, and garnish with roasted flaked almonds in the sweet soup.

Variations

There are numerous variations of Che Khuc Bach. You can easily add different flavors to the Panna Cotta and vary the fruits to refresh the taste and flavor of your bowl. Common Panna Cotta flavors include original cream, matcha, coffee, strawberry, or melon. As for the fruits, options range from jackfruit, durian, longan, lychee, and rambutan to strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, and coconut, among others. This dish is highly versatile, allowing you to mix and match with whatever ingredients you have in your kitchen.

Che Khuc Bach Recipe

  • 200ml (7 oz) whole milk
  • 250ml (10.5oz) heavy whipping cream
  • 16g (8 leaves) gelatin
  • 50g (1.7 oz) granulated sugar
  • (Optional) ¼ tsp matcha powder/cocoa powder/instant coffee powder
  • 200g (7 oz) lychee/longan/other fruits
  • Sweet soup: 1 liter of water and 200g (7 oz) sugar
  • Roasted peanuts and roasted flaked almond

Instruction

Step 1. Making “Khuc Bach” (Panna Cotta cubes)

  • Soak gelatin leaves in water for 10-15 minutes until softened.
  • In a pot, combine all the milk, heavy whipping cream, and granulated sugar. Heat the mixture over low heat, being careful not to let it boil to prevent the cream from separating from the milk. Add the soaked gelatin leaves to the pot and stir regularly with a spatula until fully dissolved.
  • If you want to add flavor, do so while the mixture is still warm and stir until fully dissolved. Remember to use a strainer to sift the flavor powder (cocoa/matcha/coffee, etc.) into the milk mixture; otherwise, the powder may clump. Add the powder slowly and stir continuously. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a tray or container to chill and harden in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
che khuc bach

Step 2. Preparing fruits and toppings

  • While waiting for the Panna Cotta cubes to set, prepare the fruits to accompany them. For lychee, remove the skin and seeds to extract only the flesh. To do this, tear the skin, then use small scissors to cut around the seeds and remove them from the flesh. Similarly, for longan and rambutan, tear off the skin and gently remove the seeds from the flesh. For other small fruits like cherries, strawberries, or blueberries, simply wash them carefully and pat them dry.
  • Roast the flaked almonds and peanuts over medium heat. Stir them continuously until they turn golden brown. Allow them to cool down until crispy before using.
che khuc bach lychee

Step 3. Cut panna cotta into cubes

  • If you are using a silicone mold or tray, it’s easy to remove your Panna Cotta from the mold. However, if you are using a plastic or glass tray or containers, you can apply this tip: use a small kitchen towel, dip it in boiling water, and cover it over the mold. The heat from the towel will help to remove the Panna Cotta from the mold more easily.
  • Use a wave cutter or just a regular knife to cut your Panna Cotta into bite-size cubes. Then, immediately return it to the fridge to chill.
che khuc bach

Step 5. Assembling

  • In a pot, boil water with sugar and a dash of vanilla to create the “sweet soup” for this dessert. Allow it to cool completely.
  • Add the “khuc bach” (Panna Cotta cubes) and fruits into a bowl. Then, pour the sweet soup over them. Finally, garnish the bowl with roasted peanuts and roasted flaked almonds. Serve with or without ice, depending on your preference.
che khuc bach vietnamese panna cotta

Che Khuc Bach (Vietnamese Panna Cotta Sweet Soup)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Che Khuc Bach (Vietnamese Panna Cotta Sweet Soup) is created from Panna Cotta, in which the dessert is cut into cubes and enjoyed with fruits.

Ingredients

  • 200ml (7 oz) whole milk
  • 250ml (10.5oz) heavy whipping cream
  • 16g (8 leaves) gelatin
  • 50g (1.7 oz) granulated sugar
  • (Optional) ¼ tsp matcha powder/cocoa powder/instant coffee powder
  • 200g (7 oz) lychee/longan/other fruits
  • Sweet soup: 1 liter of water and 200g (7 oz) sugar
  • Roasted peanuts and roasted flaked almond

Instructions

Step 1. Making “Khuc Bach” (Panna Cotta cubes)

  • Soak gelatin leaves in water for 10-15 minutes until softened.che khuc bach vietnamese panna cotta
  • In a pot, combine all the milk, heavy whipping cream, and granulated sugar. Heat the mixture over low heat, being careful not to let it boil to prevent the cream from separating from the milk. Add the soaked gelatin leaves to the pot and stir regularly with a spatula until fully dissolved. che khuc bach
  • If you want to add flavor, do so while the mixture is still warm and stir until fully dissolved. Remember to use a strainer to sift the flavor powder (cocoa/matcha/coffee, etc.) into the milk mixture; otherwise, the powder may clump. Add the powder slowly and stir continuously. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a tray or container to chill and harden in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

Step 2. Preparing fruits and toppings

  • While waiting for the Panna Cotta cubes to set, prepare the fruits to accompany them. For lychee, remove the skin and seeds to extract only the flesh. To do this, tear the skin, then use small scissors to cut around the seeds and remove them from the flesh. Similarly, for longan and rambutan, tear off the skin and gently remove the seeds from the flesh. For other small fruits like cherries, strawberries, or blueberries, simply wash them carefully and pat them dry.che khuc bach lychee
  • Roast the flaked almonds and peanuts over medium heat. Stir them continuously until they turn golden brown. Allow them to cool down until crispy before using.che khuc bach

Step 3. Cut panna cotta into cubes

  • If you are using a silicone mold or tray, it's easy to remove your Panna Cotta from the mold. However, if you are using a plastic or glass tray or containers, you can apply this tip: use a small kitchen towel, dip it in boiling water, and cover it over the mold. The heat from the towel will help to remove the Panna Cotta from the mold more easily.che khuc bach
  • Use a wave cutter or just a regular knife to cut your Panna Cotta into bite-size cubes. Then, immediately return it to the fridge to chill.che khuc bach

Step 5. Assembling

  • In a pot, boil water with sugar and a dash of vanilla to create the "sweet soup" for this dessert. Allow it to cool completely.
  • Add the "khuc bach" (Panna Cotta cubes) and fruits into a bowl. Then, pour the sweet soup over them. Finally, garnish the bowl with roasted peanuts and roasted flaked almonds. Serve with or without ice, depending on your preference.che khuc bach vietnamese panna cotta

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365

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