Do you guys watch Game of Thrones? The season premiere last night was awesome. I’ve been a huge fan over the last few seasons, and I always wonder: do I want a direwolf or a dragon as a pet? I’m leaning towards direwolf, because I think maybe they’re more trainable? Of course that’s only if we live in a fictional world. In real life, I want a german shepherd or a doberman.
Also in real life: sometimes if I’m eating out with friends, I can’t decide between two desserts so I coerce my friends to order the other one so I can try both. Most of the time I end up finishing both. This White Chocolate Coconut Panna Cotta is a delicious result of one of those can’t-decide moments.
I’ve been wanting to make a no bake white chocolate treat for a few weeks, even thinking of butchering the traditional chocolate brigadeiro and making a white chocolate version, but I’ve also been wanting to make something with coconut milk. So I combined both cravings into one dessert instead.
I’ve never actually made panna cotta before because I always thought it has an intimidating multi-step process that might involve water baths or something, but I couldn’t be more wrong. Making panna cotta is super easy! The ease can be attributed to gelatin (and yes, this time I remembered to buy plain jello). It really is just a matter of letting the gelatin bloom, and mixing it with your choice of dairy. I chose coconut milk but traditional panna cotta is made with milk and cream.
It’s also easy to customize to your own taste and diet. It’s already gluten-free but if you also want to make it dairy free, just omit the white chocolate. If you want to make it vegan, leave out the white chocolate and replace the gelatin with agar-agar or another vegan substitute (I only very recently found out that gelatin is made from animal product…). If you want a more tropical flavor, try stirring in lime zest at the end.
Then you can top your panna cotta with whatever you prefer: white chocolate shavings, toasted coconut, berry jam, chocolate sauce, pineapple puree. I topped mine with toasted coconut and fresh mango cubes because I particularly like white chocolate and mango together and also because mango and coconut are a match made in tropical heaven.
Or you can just leave it plain. I ate one of the the jars plain after just chilling for an hour (instead of the recommended two) because I was very hungry and impatient.
I really loved how this panna cotta turned out. It was so creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. The crunchy toasted coconut on top and the sweet mango cubes were a nice complement to the smooth texture. Most panna cotta desserts I’ve had at restaurants were turned out onto a plate, but these little jars are so cute I couldn’t resist using them as serving vessels. Besides I did not want to attempt to unmold these, in case I end up with another kitchen fail. But I probably would still eat it.
White Chocolate Coconut Panna Cotta
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1 envelope (1/2 oz) unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes, toasted
1/2 cup fresh mango cubes
- Pour the coconut milk into a medium saucepan and whisk until smooth (the cream often separates from the water, so just whisk it until you no longer see lumps). Sprinkle gelatin over the top and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Set the saucepan over low heat and let the milk warm up, then add in the sugar and white chocolate chips. Whisk constantly until sugar granules and chocolate are dissolved and the mixture is smooth and just below a simmer. Do not let it boil!
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Pour into a jars or ramekins. I ended up with about five 4-oz servings. Chill in fridge for at least two hours before serving.
- For the toasted coconut: heat a small skillet over medium heat, add coconut flakes. Cook, stirring frequently, until flakes are golden brown or done to your liking.
- Top panna cotta with toasted coconut flakes and fresh mango cubes before serving.
If you guys are wondering where I got these little jars, they’re actually Trader’s Point Creamery yogurt jars which I buy from from Whole Foods. You may also remember them from a couple other recipes I’ve made (both of these are also no bake!)
What flavor combo would you like in a panna cotta? And do you guys also watch Silicon Valley after Game of Thrones on HBO? I’ve pushed back my Sunday night bedtime because of these two shows…