Coconut, Pandan and Gula Melaka Dome

Coconut milk, pandan and gula melaka (dark palm sugar) are the flavours that I grow up with, and therefore quite a nostalgic one for me. It reminds me of the dozen types of nonya kueh that we have for breakfast and afternoon tea in Singapore, and the bubur cha-cha that my mum makes (the best), and the chendol that we like to sip and munch on a hot humid afternoon.

In South East Asia, coconut milk is use like cream to add creamiest, pandan like vanilla for flavour, and gula melaka like dark brown sugar to sweeten and to add a molasses-toffee like flavour. Of course, I know I’m generalising here since coconut milk does not taste like cream, or pandan like vanilla, or gula melaka like dark brown sugar. And I’m not saying that one can be substitute for the other, since coconut milk, pandan and gula melaka in comparison have a much more complex and richer flavour. But the concept is the same.

So, for a while now, I have been sitting on the idea of creating an entremet with coconut milk, pandan and gula melaka. This jade green entremet is what I come up with, and I love it. It’s a fusion of South East Asia meets French meets Italy, if you like. We have a pandan coconut bavarian cream with a coconut gula melaka panna cotta centre, the sponge is soaked in gula melaka syrup, and the whole thing dressed in a glossy jade green pandan coconut glaze.

I guess coconut milk needs no introduction since you can find them easily in the shops these days. I use the canned stuff of course, and I usually go for the Ayam brand. You can find pandan paste and gula melaka (also known as palm sugar) in any good well-stocked Asian grocer shop in Australia (or in Perth anyway). The brand that I always use for the pandan paste is Koepoe. It’s a dark green thick syrup-like liquid that comes in a small plastic bottle. For the gula melaka, this might be a little confusing because I found different types of palm sugar in the shops and all of them are labelled as palm sugar. Choose the one with a dark caramel brown that usually comes in cylinder shape.

Coconut, Pandan and Gula Melaka Dome

Makes 6 numbers of 70mm diameter domes

Coconut Gula Melaka Panna Cotta
1 sheet (3 grams) titanium grade gelatin
150ml coconut milk
20 grams gula melaka, finely grated
Pinch of salt

To make coconut gula melaka panna cotta:
Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water.

Combine coconut milk, gula melaka and salt in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until gula melaka dissolves. Allow mixture to cook until just under the boil. Remove pan from heat.

Squeeze excess water from the gelatin. Stir it into the hot coconut milk mixture. Pour mixture into holes of mini muffin tin to about 2cm high.

Freeze panna cotta until completely frozen. To unmold, dip bottom of muffin tin in a tray of hot water for 5 secs. Flip muffin tin upside down on a baking paper and give a gentle shake to get the panna cotta out. Return the unmolded panna cotta rounds back into the freezer immediately until ready to assemble.

Gula Melaka Syrup
150ml water
100 grams gula melaka, finely grated

To make gula melaka syrup:
Combine water and gula melaka in saucepan, stir, over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Allow to boil for 5 seconds. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

90 grams egg whites
80 grams caster sugar
80 grams egg yolks
40 grams cake flour
20 grams corn flour
35 grams unsalted butter, melted

To make sponge:
Preheat the oven to 200C (or 180C fan-forced). Line 30x20cm cake pan with baking paper.

Whisk egg white until foamy. Add one quarter of the sugar and whisk for a while. Then add remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form and egg whites are glossy. Add egg yolks and whisk until combine.

Combine and sift both flours. Gently fold flours into the batter with a spatula until combine. Fold in melted butter until combine.

Pour batter into the prepared pan, spread evenly, and bake for 15 minutes or until when a toothpick is inserted in the center comes out clean.

When sponge is done and cooled, peel away (by gently rubbing) the layer of brown skin on the top.

Pandan Coconut Bavarian Cream
2 sheets (6 grams) titanium grade gelatin
2 egg yolks
50 grams caster sugar
125ml coconut milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon pandan paste
200ml whipping cream

To make pandan coconut bavarian cream:
Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water.

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl until pale and creamy. Add coconut milk and pandan paste, and whisk to incorporate. Place bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, whisk constantly, until the mixture reaches 85C. Remove from heat.

Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin. Stir it into the coconut milk custard. Place the custard over a bowl of ice, stir until it cools to room temperature.

Whisk cream to firm peaks (be careful not to overwhip). Carefully fold whipped cream into the custard with a spatula until combine.

At this stage, start assembling the entremet. The bavarian cream needs to be use immediately before the gelatin start to take effect.

To assemble (1):
I used a 70mm diameter x 34mm height 6 cavities half semi-sphere silicon mould for the domes. You can use small cake rings if you wish.

Spoon bavarian cream to fill about 1/3 of the mould. Use a small palette knife to spread the cream up the side of the mould. Put a frozen panna cotta round inside the mould. Fill the sides with more bavarian cream if required.

Cut out 60mm diameter round sponge with a cookie cutter. Brush sponge generously with syrup. Place sponge over the panna cotta and press down lightly. Wrap the mould well with plastic wrap, and freeze until completely frozen.

Pandan Coconut Glaze
100 grams white chocolate, finely chopped
3 sheets (9 grams) titanium grade gelatin
100ml water
50 grams caster sugar
100 grams liquid glucose
1 teaspoon pandan paste
70ml coconut milk

To make pandan coconut glaze:
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over, not touching, simmering water. Stir occasionally to assist the melting. When the chocolate has melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Soften the gelatin in a bowl of cold water.

Combine water, sugar, glucose and pandan paste in a saucepan over medium heat, stir until sugar and glucose disolves, bring to boil. Remove from heat.

Stir coconut milk into the syrup mixture. Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin, and stir gelatin into the syrup mixture. Pour over the melted chocolate, then stir gently to combine.

Allow glaze to cool to room temperature. The glaze will thicken as it cools to the right temperature. To check if the glaze is ready to use, dip spoon into the glaze. The glaze should coat the back of the spoon. Use glaze immediately.

To assemble (2):
Unmould domes from molds. Place domes on a cooling rack set on a baking tray. Working very quickly, and in a confident and smooth motion, pour glaze over frozen domes.

Decorate with shredded coconut.

Join the conversation!

  1. very innovative! cheers!

  2. Anonymous18.6.14

    These are absolutely stunning! I can't wait to get in the kitchen and try this recipe out! ^_^

  3. they look lovely!

  4. Belle, these domes are AMAZING! Beautiful layers and colors. Pinning! I may have tried panda desserts when I was younger. But I really can't remember. Even if I did, that was too long ago. Definitely need to check it out.

  5. wow awesome recipe! i'm in Asia at the moment and pandan is everywhere! definitely taking some inspiration from my surroundings and this post and will be recreating a pandan dessert when i return home. thanks for sharing!

  6. Hi Shivani. You got to freeze the dome completely (4 hours to overnight?) before you can actually remove the dome from the mould and pour glaze over it. The glaze sort of set almost immediately. And then you need to thaw the domes (2 to 4 hours) completely before serving. So to answer to your question, no setting time. Just freezing and thawing.

  7. Hi, these look absolutely gorgeous! I'm making them for a Peranakan-themed office lunch on Monday and will be glazing them on Sunday night. Should I store them in the freezer or fridge after I've glazed them?

    1. Belle18.4.15

      In the fridge. And try to glaze them Sunday night. The glaze tend to lose a bit of their shine the longer it's in the fridge. Can you let me know how it turn out?

  8. I love pandan!!! Where can I find these cake domes from?

    1. Belle28.7.15

      I brought the mould online. But kitchen warehouse has the mould also.

  9. Hi I have made these about half a dozen times now in various sizes and they have been enjoyed by all. The delight of the unique flavour (for me) has not diminished at all.

  10. Hi! just wondering at what temp you pour the glaze on?
    then, I saw you glaze the dome twice, isn't it? is that mean after first glazing, you put back in the fridge then pour again or just cover again without keeping in fridge?

    1. Belle26.5.16

      Yes, I glazed the dome twice. The glaze should be at room temperature and the dome straight out of the freeze. I think the glaze should be about 25ish degrees? I checked by dipping a spoon in the glaze and it's ready if it coats the back of the spoon.

  11. Hey is it necessary for the cream to be at 85C before I remove it from the heat?
    If I don't have food thermometers is there any other method of doing this?
    Thanks :)


the 'gram

© Cakelets & Doilies.