Coconut Panna Cotta with Palm Sugar Syrup

I made panna cotta again! Sorry folks. It’s not that I am obsessed with panna cotta. It’s just that I happened to have a lot of cream in my fridge and I thought why not use it all and turn into delightful dessert that you can store in the fridge for 4 or 5 days. You can eat it after dinner, you can eat it before dinner or you can eat it whenever you are free.


Coconut cream is my staple in my kitchen pantry. Oh I use coconut cream and milk a lot. As a Malaysian, if you don’t eat food with coconut milk, basically you will lose out on a lot, I mean A LOT of good food. For example, coconut milk is used in making curries to make curries rich, making nasi lemak, making desserts and the list goes on. If you are not a Malaysian, that’s fine because now you get to start trying on a lot of good food with coconut milk.

I am combining thickened cream and coconut milk to make this panna cotta. Most of the ingredients are the same except that I replace a portion of the thickened cream with coconut cream. I am also serving it with palm sugar syrup which goes really well with the coconut panna cotta. Palm sugar is made by extracting the sap from the palm trees such as coconut palm. The palm sugar I used are from Malacca, Malaysia which is very famous of producing dark coloured palm sugar and great to use in many Malaysian desserts. Palm sugar has a very dark color like dark caramel but its taste is sweet and has no bitter taste like dark caramel. I have also toasted a bit of desiccated coconut to give it a toasty and earthy smell to the panna cotta.

Let’s start.


Coconut Panna Cotta with Palm Sugar Syrup

Makes 4 cups (that’s enough for me! Please!)


  • 1 cup (250ml) of thickened cream
  • 1 cup (250ml) of coconut cream
  • 50g of sugar
  • 2 pandan leaves, tie knots
  • 2 teaspoons of powdered gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons of icy cold water
  • To make the Palm Sugar Syrup:
    • 1 cup of palm sugar (can replace with brown sugar)
    • 1/4 cup of water
    • 1 pandan leaf, tie a knot
  • For garnish:
    • A tablespoon of fine desiccated coconut, toasted to brown

Note: You can get pandan leaves and palm sugar from Asian Grocery (fresh/frozen). If you can’t find pandan leaves, replace with pandan extract. But the pandan leaves definitely give better fragrance compared to pandan extract.


  1. Toast the fine desiccated coconut in a pan with low heat. This process will approximately takes 10-15 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, combine gelatin and cold water. Stir until all combine and set aside.
  3. Combine thickened cream, coconut cream, sugar and pandan leaves in a small pot. In low heat, stir until the sugar dissolve. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat. Let it sit for 30 minutes for the pandan leaves to infuse into the cream. Let it cool down before pouring into your mould or glass. Put into the fridge for it to set. Minimum 3 hours.
  5. The syrup: In another small pot, combine water, pandan leaf and palm sugar. Cook in low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  6. Once the panna cotta is set, run your knife through and slide it out onto a shallow plate. Serve with palm sugar syrup and garnish with toasted desiccated coconut.

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