Coconut Panna Cotta with Glazed Tropical Fruit

Deliciously creamy doesn't always have to mean dairy. This panna cotta dessert is a perfect example. Paired with a sharp raspberry coulis as well as a 'sweet-tooth-satisfying' passion fruit glaze, what more could you want? Be sure to drizzle the glaze over your favourite selection of seasonal tropical fruit, cut to bite size. Enjoy!

Coconut Panna Cotta with Glazed Tropical Fruit

Serves 4-6

200ml coconut milk, well shaken

200ml full fat coconut cream, well shaken

3 sheets of gelatin

75g granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla paste, or 1 vanilla bean, scraped

Pinch of sea salt

Passion Fruit Glazed

4 passion fruit

60g white sugar

1dl water

Raspberry Coulis

400g frozen unsweetened raspberries

1 tbsp icing sugar, heaped

1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Selection of seasonal tropical fruit

4- 6 ramekins, small bowls, or pastry molds, sprayed with cooking spray


Coconut Panna Cotta with Glazed Tropical Fruit

Place the coconut milk and coconut cream in a saucepan and whisk until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt and start to gently heat it through.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl filled with cold water, place the gelatin sheets in one by one. Allow the gelatin to soften (bloom) for about 5 minutes.

Once the mixture is hot and steaming, with little bubbles forming at the sides (you do not want the mixture to boil!), remove from heat.

Squeeze the water out of the bloomed gelatin sheets and whisk into the coconut mixture until dissolved. Transfer the mixture to a large measuring jug and divide among the prepared ramekins. Cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours, until set.

Passion Fruit Glaze

Scoop the flesh out of the passion fruit and place in a little sauce pan. Add sugar and water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved and begins to look syrupy. Strain, pressing well to get all the juices off the seeds. Reserve the syrup on the side and allow to cool.

Raspberry Coulis

Place berries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender and whiz until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pushing it through with the help of a ladle. Keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Serve the panna cottas in their ramekins, or unmold them. To do this, loosen the edges of a panna cotta with a fingertip, then slowly invert it onto a plate. Gently jiggle the ramekin side to side until the panna cotta slips out. Lift the ramekin.

Serve with the passion fruit glazed tropical fruit and raspberry coulis. Serve chilled for a firm panna cotta or at room temperature for a softer one.


Lemon Coconut Blueberry Bread

I was rummaging through my kitchen library the other day, looking for inspiration to bake something sweet for when the ladies came over for coffee a few hours later and found an old lemon bread recipe. Wanting to make my baked good a little more special for my friends, I decided to tweak it a little with some blueberries and coconut. What a fabulous addition they made! This bread isn't too sweet or sharp, it's just simply moreish! [quote_center]My friends wolfed down their slices and asked for seconds… the ultimate approval in my books. I hope you enjoy it as well![/quote_center]

Text by Eileen Smith


160g white flour
100g ground almonds
20g shredded dried coconut
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
250g frozen blueberries (or fresh when in season)
113g butter, at room temperature
150g white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
120ml whole milk
60ml plain yogurt

Lemon Glaze

25g white sugar
1tbsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 180˚C. Place your oven rack in the centre of the oven. Butter the sides (or use a non-stick vegetable spray) of your loaf pan (23 x 13 x 8cm) and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix your flour, coconut, ground almonds, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Keep aside 1 tbsp of this mixture and in a separate bowl mix with frozen (or fresh is using) blueberries. This step is important, as it will help prevent your blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your pan when baking. In a measuring jug mix the milk and yogurt, set aside.
IMG_2768In your electric mixer bowl (or another bowl if using an hand mixer) beat the butter until soft then add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy, around 2-3 minutes. Add 1 egg at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each egg. Add the vanilla and turn the mixer down to low. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions of the milk mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries using a spatula. Scrape the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake for about 60-70 minutes or until the loaf is golden and a skewer comes out clean from the centre.

While the bread is baking, prepare the glaze in a small saucepan. Combine the two ingredients and heat until the sugar is dissolved. When the bread is out of the oven and on a wired rack, use your skewer to pierce the top all over. Pour your glaze over the bread and let it cool in the pan for another 30 minutes. Run a knife along the edges when ready to turn out. Delicious on the day but can be stored in an airtight container for a few days, or frozen. Enjoy!

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Winter Spice-Glazed Fruit

Text: Eileen Gent Photo: Yves Garneau

Serves 8
500 ml local heavy cream (35%)
500 ml local whole milk, if you prefer a richer version use light cream (15-25%)
120 g granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
20 g or approximately 12 small gelatine sheets
Winter Spice-Glaze
2.5 dl water
120 g granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 dried chilli
1 star anise
2 x ½ cm thick slices fresh ginger
3 x 1½ cm wide strips of citrus peel (clementine, orange, mandarin)
A selection of seasonal winter fruit, such as pomegranate, any sweet citrus, pears, apples, passion fruit cut into your choice of shape.

Combine cream, milk, vanilla extract and sugar in a saucepan. Heat until sugar has dissolved and the mixture is just simmering gently. Meanwhile, fill a bowl with cold water and slip, one by one, each gelatine sheet into the water (this is very important). Allow to 'bloom' for around 5 minutes. Remove from bowl and squeeze any excess water out. Remove cream mixture from heat and add gelatine to it, whisk until dissolved. Pour equally into 8 ramekins or any desired mould (pre-oiling it if necessary) that can accomodate at least 1.25 dl. Place in fridge and chill for at least 3 hours. To create the glaze, combine all ingredients (excluding the fruit) in a saucepan and place over low-med heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved then allow to reduce until it reaches a glaze consistency. Cool with spices. Place prepared fruit in a small bowl, add enough syrup (no spices) to glaze and create a little sauce. When ready to serve, remove panna cottas from the fridge and gently pull the edges free with your fingers. Then dip, one at a time, the moulds ¾ of the way in warm water for a few seconds. Gently pull the sides again then reverse onto your plate. Pressing down against the plate, give it a little shake and it should unmould. Dress with glazed fruit and a little of the juice. Enjoy!