Coconut Panna Cotta with Lychee Granita and Coconut Shortbread Crumble

I was contemplating if I should split this recipe into three separate posts. The coconut panna cotta, the lychee granita, and the coconut shortbread are originally three separate recipes, and perfect on its own. But when put together, it is magic.

The lychee granita is refreshing and light, contrasting with the creamy and rich coconut panna cotta, and the coconut shortbread crumble adds a welcome coconutty crunch element.

There are two things about this dessert that surprised me.

First, lychee and coconut go well together. Who knew.

Second, I love granita. I never had granita before until now. I wasn't expecting that granita will be so light and fluffy. I guess it's much like shaved ice, and I do love the Hawaiian, Taiwanese and Korean version. Granita is really easy to make, albeit a little time consuming because we need to scrap the ice every hour for 4-6 hours or until it reaches a snow-like consistency. But it requires hardly any effort.

For a lighter version of the coconut panna cotta, feel free to substitute half quantity of cream with milk. Or if you really want to, all the cream with milk. You can also adjust the sugar in the panna cotta to your liking. I don’t like my desserts to be overly sweet, so 2 tablespoons are plenty for me. Give it a taste after you combine the ingredients and bring it to boil. Add more sugar at this stage if you want, stir to dissolve.

Coconut Panna Cotta with Lychee Granita and Coconut Shortbread Crumble
(Adapted from Malaysia by Ping Coombes)

Serves 6

Coconut Panna Cotta
3 fresh pandan leaves, knotted
500ml coconut milk
500ml pouring cream (replace half or full quantity with milk for a lighter version)
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
40 grams desiccated coconut
4 sheets of gold grade leaf gelatine

To make coconut panna cotta:
This is best make a day in advance.

Combine pandan leaves, coconut milk, cream, sugar, vanilla bean paste and desiccated coconut in a saucepan, and bring to just below boiling point. Taste for sweetness, and add more sugar if require. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavour to infuse.

Place gelatine sheets in a bowl of cold water and set aside for 5 minutes or until soften.

Meanwhile, bring the coconut mixture back over medium heat until warm. Remove from heat. Squeeze the gelatine sheets to remove excess water and stir it into the warm coconut mixure until it has dissolves.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a pouring jug. Pour the mixture between 6 small serving glass. Ensure to allow enough space on top for the granita and crumble. Cover and chill in the fridge overnight to set.

Lychee Granita
567 grams can of lychees in syrup

To make lychee granita:
This is best make a day in advance.

Using a blender, puree lychee and syrup until smooth. Strain the lychee and syrup puree through a fine sieve into a shallow dish. Cover and transfer to the freezer. Check the granita every hour for 4-6 hours, scraping it with a fork from the outside edge to the middle, breaking them up until it reaches a snow-like consistency.

Coconut Shortbread
20 grams desiccated coconut
80 grams unsalted butter, soften, at room temperature
40 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
80 grams plain flour

To make coconut shortbread
Toast desiccated coconut on a small frying pan over low heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Set aside to cool completely.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and salt, beat until combine.

Using a spatula, fold flour into the butter mixture until just combine. Fold in the toasted desiccated coconut until combine.

Place a piece of cling film on a flat surface. Place dough on the cling film and shape it to form a sausage about 4cm in diameter along the width of the cling film. Roll the cling film over the dough, twist both ends of the film. Refrigerate for an hour or until firm.

Preheat oven at 140 degrees celcius fan-forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Unwrap dough and cut into 1cm thick discs. Place on the lined baking tray, leaving about 2.5cm gap between discs as they will spread out while baking.

Baked for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

The coconut shortbread store well in an air-tight container for a week.

To assemble:
Scoop a few tablespoons of granita on top of panna cotta. Roughly crush the coconut shortbread and sprinkle on top of the granita.

Join the conversation!

the 'gram

© Cakelets & Doilies.