Incredibly smooth, creamy, and surprisingly easy to make, here’s the recipe of the yummiest Coconut Panna Cotta embellished with a vibrant red strawberry coulis! Panna Cotta lives up to its eminence as an utterly refreshing dessert at a summer evening or as an after-meal indulgent.
You can top your dessert with fresh fruits and yummy fruit sauces of your choice and let yourself be swayed away with its brilliance!
What is Coconut Panna cotta
Panna Cotta is a classic Italian dessert made with —
- Cream as the base ingredient,
- A gelling agent to hold it firm,
- A sweetener, and
- Any preferred fruit flavor.
In Italian, Panna Cotta means ‘cooked cream.’ It has a lightly creamy and silky texture that charms the taste buds and refreshing flavors that caress the senses. To summarize, we can say that Panna Cotta is a kind-of fusion of jelly and creamy pudding, and it feels like a combo of the two in a single bite, but it’s the cream that makes it more decadent and more luxurious.
It is delicate, wobbly, and pure bliss with every creamy spoonful that goes into your mouth.
For the most tropical flavors, I have used coconut for my Panna Cotta here. The coconut extract has rendered my Panna Cotta a deep coconut flavor that’s so refreshing.
Reasons You’ll ♡ Coconut Panna cotta
There is everything to love about this dessert. Like —
- Quick and straightforward to prepare.
- Free from artificial colors or preservatives, making it completely safe to consume.
- Full-flavored, delicately textured, and refreshing.
- Versatile and can be prepared with any flavor of your choice.
- Can be dressed the way you want, topped with any fruits or fruit sauces of your preference.
- People of every age love it.
The best part is you can prepare this exquisite and creamiest dessert ahead of time and entice your guests and family with the velvety bliss it confers!
Ingredient list for Coconut Panna Cotta
The ingredients to make the perfect melt-in-the-mouth textured Coconut Panna Cotta is probably sitting in your pantry. This part explains the role of each element in this recipe.
Cream — Cream is the primary ingredient that lends richness and smoothness to our luscious Panna Cotta. For a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth taste and texture, always use heavy whipping cream with a fat content of 35% or higher.
Agar-agar — I have not used gelatine for the dessert. Instead, I have used its vegetarian alternative, agar-agar.
Coconut milk — Choosing the right kind of coconut milk plays the trick. I have used a can of full-fat coconut milk for optimum results. Our dessert turns creamier because the canned coconut milk has more creamy solids.
Coconut essence/ extract — This is used to bring more flavor of coconut to the dessert. It gives a tropical flair to the dessert.
Sugar — Our sweet dessert needs some nice sugary punch. So here’s the sugar doing its part!
Strawberry Coulis — To drizzle on top to finish it off before serving.
Role of agar-agar in Panna cotta
Agar-agar is a colorless and odorless substance used as a gelling agent in preparing dishes, mostly cold desserts. It is considered the best vegetarian alternative to gelatine, derived from the red algae plant.
Agar-agar is sold in the market in powder, flakes, or strands. When using agar-agar in your recipes, consider a few essential points —
- Unlike gelatine that dissolves in warm water, agar-agar needs to be simmered before adding to a dish. However, never add agar-agar to hot water as it will clump and become impossible to dissolve.
- Although you need to heat agar-agar to melt it completely, remember not to boil it any longer than the melting point is reached; otherwise, its gelling ability will be affected.
- Agar-agar sets quickly at room temperature and does not necessarily need refrigerated. Gelatine needs to be refrigerated to develop correctly.
How to make Coconut Panna Cotta
This section walks you through a detailed step-by-step recipe with pictures. For the FULL, printable recipe card, please scroll down to the bottom of this post.
Bloom agar-agar — If you are using agar-agar for this panna cotta, you must first mix it with cream. Let it rest for 4-5 minutes, and allow it to bloom.
Heat coconut milk — In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the whole can of coconut milk (whisked milk + cream), and sugar. Pour the bowl of bloomed agar-agar into this mixture, and mix well with a whisk.
Stir well as the cream mixture starts to heat up. Keep stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and barely coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 2-4 minutes over medium-low heat. Take the saucepan off the heat. Add coconut extract and mix it well. Sieve the mixture.
Protip — Do not boil the Panna Cotta mixture as the heat will harden it and turn its texture chewy.
Chill — Pour the mixture into 4 or 5 ramekins. Cover and transfer the ramekins to the refrigerator to set for 4-6 hours, or overnight. When the center of the panna cotta feels firm to the touch, it’s set and ready to serve.
Protip — As agar-agar begins to set quickly; therefore, always keep your containers ready for transferring the liquid Panna Cotta as soon as it is cooked.
Strawberry Coulis —
This classic dessert has many variations, and it can be dressed the way you want to. But my favorite option is a three-ingredient strawberry coulis. It’s a perfect complement to my creamy coconut Panna cotta.
To make this version —
- Heat your strawberries with a bit of powdered sugar and lemon juice until they begin to blend.
- Purée until smooth.
- Now, strain this mixture strain through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
Top your Coconut panna cotta with strawberry coulis and enjoy!
Demold — You really don’t have to un-mold the Coconut panna cotta to enjoy it. Grab a spoon and enjoy the dessert out of the ramekins. On the other hand, follow these steps to unmold panna cotta.
To unmold the Panna cotta onto a plate —
- Once the dessert has set, dip the ramekins (one at a time) into a bowl filled halfway with hot water.
- Allow the coconut panna cotta to sit in the water for about 3-4 minutes.
- Turn the ramekins onto a serving plate and shake slightly to loosen. The panna cotta will slide out easily. Top with strawberry coulis and enjoy!
Expert tips and variations
Coconut milk — Use a 14oz can of full-fat coconut milk for this recipe. Please do not use anything lighter, or you’ll need more agar-agar to get the right consistency.
Mold — Instead of ramekins, you can undoubtedly use molds for your panna cotta. A smooth mold without any grooves works best as it makes for an easy slide-out. Grooves will hold the dessert and may spoil its smooth finish.
De-molding — The trick to a smooth de-molding is to dip the panna cotta bowl in warm (not boiling) water for a couple of minutes. This ensures easy de-molding. You can also run a knife around the edges and see your coconut Panna Cotta un-mould beautifully. But be careful as the blade may slide in and cut it through.
Finishing off — Panna Cotta may be served in various impressive and creative ways. You can dress it with fresh fruits of your choice or can even drizzle strawberry coulis for more adornment and perk.
Serve it cold — Panna Cotta tastes best when served chilled. So, please keep it in the fridge until time to serve.
Hydrate Agar-agar — Agar-agar needs to be bloomed so that its tiny grains can hydrate adequately. So, give it enough time to bloom.
Substituting cream — If you prefer a lighter version of this dessert, you can conveniently replace cream with half and half + milk.
Replacing sugar — For those who prefer the sugar-free version of this dessert, replacing sugar with monk fruit sweetener. It will do the job perfectly.
Exposure to heat — Panna Cotta starts to melt when exposed to hot temperatures. So, do not keep it near any heat source. It is best to keep it in a refrigerator until ready to be served.
Sieve — Pass the mixture through a sieve to catch any undissolved agar-agar. This step is essential for a silky smooth panna cotta.
Dairy-free version — Panna Cotta prepares wonderfully with coconut milk too. So if you want a dairy-free version, swap the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk (sold in cartons not the can) and prepare the creamiest dessert that everyone will love.
Stunning combos — The luscious Panna Cotta can be tried with other unique fruit combos. You will love it more with fruits like —
- Mango, or berries.
So, go liberal, try these fantastic fruits toppings for the yummiest dessert.
Substitute for agar-agar — Agar-agar is a vegetarian gelling agent used for our Panna Cotta. You can also use gelatine in place of agar-agar for this dessert. I tried preparing Panna Cotta with arrowroot, but the results were not appealing. So I would not recommend you to use it either.
Let me know what you think!
Nothing can be more rewarding than preparing a dessert that becomes a megahit. Did I go overboard raving about this heart-winning treat? Well, no! I have all the reasons to support my claims.
Run through this recipe, get your ingredients and know for yourself what makes it a blockbuster at your table tonight.
This lusciously delicious dessert will soon become an instant family favorite.
Should you make this recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below. And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.
HUNGRY FOR MORE FAMILY-FAVORITE RECIPES, TRY THESE-
Coconut Panna Cotta
FOR COCONUT PANNA COTTA
- If you are using agar-agar for this panna cotta, you must first mix it with cream.
- Whisk and let it rest for 4-5 minutes, and allow it to bloom.
HEAT COCONUT MILK
- In a saucepan over medium-low heat, add the whole can of coconut milk (whisked milk + cream) and add sugar.
- Whisk until combined.
- Pour the bowl of bloomed agar-agar into this mixture, and mix well with a whisk.
- Stir well as the cream mixture starts to heat up.
- Keep stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and barely coats the back of a spoon. This will take about 2-4 minutes over medium-low heat. Take the saucepan off the heat. Add coconut extract and mix it well.
- Pass the mixture through a sieve to catch any undissolved agar-agar.
- This step is essential for a silky smooth panna cotta.
- Pour the mixture into 4 or 5 ramekins. Cover and transfer the ramekins to the refrigerator to set for 4-6 hours, or overnight.
- When the center of the panna cotta feels firm to the touch, it’s set and ready to serve.
- Once the dessert has set, dip the ramekins (one at a time) into a bowl filled halfway with hot water. Allow the coconut panna cotta to sit in the water for about 3-4 minutes. Or you can carefully run a knife around the ramekins to loosen the panna cotta.
- Turn the ramekins onto a serving plate and shake slightly to loosen.
- The panna cotta will slide out easily.
- Top with strawberry coulis and enjoy!