White plate with a splatter of raspberry coulis, a coconut panna cotta and fresh raspberries

Silky smooth and creamy, yet dairy-free, this Coconut Panna Cotta is so easy to make you’ll be reluctant to share the recipe. A key secret to serving a large group is having dishes you can prepare ahead of time. Coconut Panna Cotta is the perfect make-ahead dessert or family treat that sure to impress the crowds. Coconut works well with raspberries or tropical fruits, but in reality it works really well with almost any fruity flavours.

I generally try to avoid products, but dessert is an occasional treat in our house. Jel-it-in is an exception. It’s easy to source (down under), it’s commonly available in Australasian supermarkets, I have found it in both New Zealand and Australian supermarkets. It’s pre-measured which is great if you don’t have scales for weighing amounts by a gram accurately and it hasn’t failed me (yet). Jel-it-in is almost failproof, if the set of your Panna Cotta isn’t to your liking, you can re-boil the mixture, add a little more Jel-it-in or liquid and reset. Having worked under pressure, in commercial kitchens, I’ve learned to trust this particular product to always deliver.

Here is my Coconut Panna Cotta recipe, along with 2 garnish recipes (Raspberry Coulis and Raspberries, as well as, Tropical Salsa).

Coconut Panna Cotta

Makes 10-12 panna cotta – most dariole moulds are 70 – 110ml or you use glass.


  • 660ml coconut cream
  • 340ml coconut milk
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 120ml water
  • 1 sachet (8g) Jel-it-in


Measure the liquids and sugar into a small pot.

Sprinkle the contents of the Jel-it-in sachet over the surface and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring.

Simmer for a minute and pour into greased moulds.

Put into the fridge to set, you can prepare coconut pannacotta up to 5 days ahead.

Chef’s tip: To help the panna cotta set quickly, once the mixture has simmered for a minute, put the pot into a bowl of ice water and stir to cool it more quickly, once it starts to thicken around the edges pour into the pre-prepared moulds.

If you prefer to use agar agar to set a panna cotta, follow the packet instructions for the amount required to set this volume of liquid. You can reset agar desserts and jellies too.


Raspberry Coulis and Raspberries


  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • sweetener of choice
  • fresh raspberries in season


In a small pot, heat raspberries and water, taste, then sweeten if needed. Simmer until the mixture breaks down and pass through a sieve to remove seeds. Store in the fridge until needed.

If fresh raspberries are out of season, select some whole frozen raspberries and set them aside to defrost. Coat in raspberry coulis to serve.

Black plate with a diced tropical salsa, mint, coconut flakes and a coconut panna cotta.

Coconut Panna Cotta with Tropical Salsa


  • coconut panna cotta
  •  pineapple
  • mango – fresh or frozen
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • mint tips


Scatter some coconut flakes in a baking tray or cast iron pan and bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until toasted.

Finely dice pineapple and mango and mix together in a bowl or container.

Pick mint tips of finely slice larger mint leaves

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