Coconut and Mango Panna Cotta
Prep time: 30 mins | Chilling time: 4-6 hours or overnight | Yield: approx 10-12 shot glasses (30ml)
For the coconut layer:
- 1 cup freshly extracted coconut milk * see notes for substitutes
- 1/2 cup (125 grams) fresh cream *see notes
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
- 2/3rd cup (75 grams) caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon (2 grams) agar agar (china grass), powdered for best results * see notes
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 medium sized mango (I used alphonso)
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar (optional, adjust to taste)
- 2 grams agar agar (china grass)
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Pomegranate arils
- Chocolate curls
- Whipped cream
- Fresh mango pieces
- Mint leaves
1. If you are unable to extract fresh coconut milk you can use coconut milk powder or use tinned coconut milk. To make it using coconut milk powder, dissolve 4 level tablespoons of the powder in 3/4th cup (180 ml) or warm water (otherwise it won’t dissolve). Unless you are making plain coconut panna cotta (without mango) add another 2 tablespoons of coconut milk powder (total 6 tbsp instead of 4) – this is because the mango flavour can dominate the coconut flavour. If you are making plain coconut panna cotta (without mango or any other fruit puree topping) then 4 tablespoons is enough.
2. I used Al Marai fresh cream that comes in tubs of 100 grams each. In India you may use Amul fresh cream. You could use heavy cream or whipping cream too if fresh cream is unavailable.
3. Agar agar strands are available at Lulu supermarket and Al Adil stores in Dubai – I was unable to find it in the powdered form which is preferable as the strands take very long to dissolve. After one failed attempt at making this dessert I simply chopped up the strands into fine bits and pulsed it to an almost fine powder in the dry mixer jar of my mixie. This helped a lot for the coconut layer as it dissolved in the boiling liquid, however, the mango layer didn’t set as well as I expected as the agar agar was added to the mango puree and perhaps didn’t dissolve completely. For best results you could heat up some milk (about 2-3 tablespoons) and dissolve the soaked agar agar in it before adding it to the mango puree. Anyway, even if the mango layer doesn’t set fully it will still taste very good.
4. Since the flavour of mango can dominate the flavour of the coconut panna cotta it is recommended not to use too much of it.
5. When mangoes are not in season substitute them with any other fruit of your choice or just make plain coconut panna cotta and serve it with candied orange peels or chocolate curls.