Desserts and Sweets

Coconut Panna Cotta with Mangos

As the summer months draw nearer, I find myself making all sorts of things with coconut. I blame the coconut oil for that. As my coconut oil has becomes liquid and more manageable, I find myself using it in everything!  I use it in my morning health shakes, as a butter substitute, for my fish and meat dishes and desserts. My dad uses it every morning in his oatmeal and swears by its nutritional qualities. I realise that most of my desserts of late, have all featured coconut in some form or other and I would like to share these with you.

Last night, I had some leftover cream from my Creamy Cream-Ice-Cream and decided to make a Panna Cotta. Not just an ordinary one, of course, but with…..yes…coconut! This desert takes me back to my childhood years when my mom used to make Coconut Panna Cotta about 3 times a year. It was and still is a favourite when she has her famous dessert buffets, in particular for the 26th of December-boxing day, when all of our friends, family and just about everyone we knew would come over to our house and gather for lots of food and fun!

Coconut Panna Cotta

you will need:
4  3/4 cup ramekins
1 cup of heavy cream
2 cups of coconut milk
½ cup of agave syrup
1 vanilla bean or 1 tps. of vanilla extract
2 1/2 (or 3 for a more solid Panna Cotta)  gelatine leaves soaked in cold water for 5 minutes

Pour the cream, the coconut milk and the agave syrup into a saucepan and place on medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mixture just about simmers and remove it from the heat.

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, and using a sharp knife, remove the beans and scrape them into the cream mixture.

Take the soaked gelatine out of the cold water and remove any excess liquid. Add the gelatine to the mixture and stir until it is dissolved completely.

Pour the mixture into the ramekins and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours, or until firm.

To remove the Panna Cotta from the mold, place a warm knife around the edges of the mold and turn the mixture over onto a plate.

Serve with a fruit sauce or just drizzle with some warm honey! I drizzeled mine with warm honey and served it with some mangos (I cut up a mango and mixed it up with a tiny bit of lemon juice and agave syrup to bring out the flavour and cooked it over medium heat for 2 minutes). The combination is a delight!