Coconut Milk Panna Cotta
with Berry Sauce
This luscious, creamy coconut milk panna cotta is lightly sweetened and set with agar agar in lieu of gelatin for a delicious vegan-friendly, dairy-free dessert. Topped with a simple berry sauce, it’s supple, luxurious, and and a great make-ahead dessert. Smarts: Agar powder is a gelatinous powder derived from marine red algae, making it a great vegan-friendly alternative to gelatin. Unflavored gelatin can be substituted (1:1) but may take several more hours to set, so it’s best to let it chill a minimum of 8 hours, or overnight.
- Coconut milk, full fat - 1 can
- Sugar, granulated - 2 tbsp
- Vanilla extract - 1/8 tsp
- Agar powder - 1 tsp
- Strawberries, fresh - 1 cup, quartered
- Raspberries, fresh - 1/2 cup
- Lemon juice - 1 1/2 tsp
- Sugar, granulated - 3 tbsp
- Cornstarch (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- If you plan to serve the panna cotta on a plate (i.e. take them out of the mold), grease four small bowls or ramekins with coconut oil and set aside.
- Strawberries - Quarter strawberries.
- In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar, vanilla extract and agar powder. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat. Using a small whisk, gently stir to dissolve the sugar and agar powder and bring the coconut milk to a gentle simmer, so just the edges are bubbling and the mixture is giving off steam. Do not boil. If you have an instant digital thermometer, you want the mixture to reach 185-190F.
- Remove the pan from the heat and divide into the prepared bowls or ramekins (a generous 1/3 cup each). Let cool on the counter for 15-30 minutes. Transfer panna cottas to the refrigerator until firm and chilled through, at least 3 hours or overnight.
- While panna cottas are chilling, in a small saucepan combine lemon juice, sugar, and half the berries. Bring to a low boil over medium heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until syrupy.
- For a slightly thicker sauce (like the one pictured), dissolve cornstarch or arrowroot in an equal amount of water and stir into the berry mixture, cooking for another 30 seconds to activate the starch. Stir in remaining fresh berries and remove the pan from the heat. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature or just slightly warm before spooning over the panna cottas.
- To remove the panna cotta, place each bowl or ramekin in 1-2 inches of hot water for 30-60 seconds, making sure water does not go over the top edges. This will loosen the panna cotta and make it easier to plate.
- Top each panna cotta generously with berry sauce (about 3 tablespoons each) just before serving. Enjoy!
Loved the creaminess of the coconut and the berries but mine unfortunately did not set and I had it in the fridge for over 24 hours.0 Helpful
Mine also did not set - used gelatin and chilled nearly 24 hours. Not sure what I did wrong! It was good, but only the top held its shape and the rest turned into liquid. 😕0 Helpful
This was so easy to make. I ended up using gelatin due to difficulties finding agar powder. Everything set after being in the fridge overnight. This dish had such a wonderful rich coconut flavor that I absolutely loved. Just be careful to not put too much of the berry mixture on the panna cotta otherwise it will overwhelm the flavors of the coconut. I may try this again with a caramel sauce.0 Helpful
Bought some very expensive agar powder and made this following the recipe exactly. After 4 hours in the fridge, it was still runny, so I plopped it back onto the stove, added lots more agar, and it set quickly. Flavour wasn’t great. If you want to try it, double the agar and make sure it’s fully integrated before removing from stove top.0 Helpful
My mixture didn’t set and I left it in the fridge overnight. I’m certain that I followed the directions to the letter, so I’m confused about how that could have happened. The only thing I can think of is that I used Swerve sweetener instead of real sugar.0 Helpful
I made this knowing that I might not love it, but that my husband would, and I was right! I used gelatin and let it sit overnight, covered with cling wrap. It developed a little "crust" on top, and the mixture separated in my bowls, so that was weird, but I think the flavor was correct. It was a little tart for me (again, my husband loved it!), but fun to try!0 Helpful