Friday 23 June 2017

Lychee, Stem Ginger & Coconut Panna Cotta

Wibble wobble jelly on the plate... well almost. Panna cotta is just as wobbly as jelly, especially this recipe. Traditionally, panna cottas are made from double cream, lightly set with gelatine to give the wobbly, just set texture.

This recipe, however, calls for a change to this classic Italian dessert. Using a majority of coconut milk over double cream, extra flavourings including stem ginger and lychee, it's quite the change. Putting all that aside for any panna cotta purists or deeply patriotic Italians, this dessert will win you over. It's light, clean on the palate yet full of flavour. Not to mention, it's so easy to make!

To break up all this creaminess, I'd recommend serving with something tart and crisp. Served with this one is a great sesame, ginger and honey crisp. All the flavours are totally in keeping with the rest of the dish, leaving it to work wonders. The crisp can also be used with many other desserts and not limited to just this one. Whether it be as a replacement for a brandy snap or ever an extra crunch for a zingy lemon cheesecake or key lime pie.

For more refreshing ways to use up any lychees this season, check out these other possibilities here.


Ingredients:                                                                                                        (Makes 4 portions)

Panna cotta
100g double cream
400g coconut  milk
100g caster sugar
3 leaves gelatine
1 piece stem ginger, finely chopped
10 fresh lychees, peeled, stoned, pureed or finely chopped

Sesame & ginger crisp
25g butter
25g caster sugar
25g clear honey
18g plain flour
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

  • For the panna cotta, in a large pan, bring the cream and the coconut milk to the boil alongside the sugar, the ginger and the lychees. 
  • Once it comes to the boil remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20-30 minutes.
  • Soak the gelatine in a container of cold water. 
  • Bring the infusion back to the heat. Once the gelatine is soft and supple, remove from the water and add to the pan. 
  • Stir until dissolved. Either strain the pan off through a fine sieve to remove the pieces or leave as is. I chose to strain mine for a perfectly smooth panna cotta, however it is delicious either way.
  • Pour into moulds and leave to set in a fridge for 3-4 hours.
  • For the crisp, cream together all the ingredients to form a paste. 
  • Spread onto baking parchment and sprinkle with a few more sesame seeds. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 
  • Once fully golden leave to cool. Once cool store in an air tight container. 
  • Once set remove from the moulds. You can do this by dipping the mould in a bath of hot water for a few seconds, before turning upside down on a plate. 
  • Serve extra lychees, and shards of the sesame, ginger and honey crisp.


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