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A Naturally Sweetened Coconut Panna Cotta For Two

Christina Lane
Written by Christina Lane
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Are you surprised to see such a fancy dessert? Don't be! To put it the way David Lebovitz has, if you spend more than five minutes making panna cotta, you're taking too long! I like the way you think, David.

I made this one dairy-free and naturally sweetened so that I don't feel bad about eating it for breakfast. And I top it with fruit soaked in honey just because it tastes good. (Honey is acidic and it breaks down the fruit while it rests.) I used figs because summer was in full swing when I perfected this recipe, but mango and raspberries are great here too.

Coconut Panna Cotta

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients for the fig topping

  • 4 ripe figs
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Ingredients for the panna cotta

  • 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 teaspoons cold water
  • 1 cup canned, full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt


1. First, make the fruit topping: Wash, trim, and quarter the figs. Cover them with the honey, stir, and let them marinate for at least 1 hour, but up to 1 day.

2. Next, add the gelatin and cold water to a small bowl. Stir to dissolve the gelatin, then let it rest for 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart saucepan, heat the coconut milk, honey, and salt. Taste the mixture and adjust it to your taste—more honey, more salt, perhaps a little vanilla extract? It's your call.

4. Bring the coconut milk almost to a boil—steam will rise quickly from the surface and you might see a few bubbles around the edge of the pan.

5. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the gelatin to the coconut mixture and whisk vigorously.

6. Pour the mixture evenly into two glasses, cover, and let set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or up to 48 hours in advance. Serve with the honey-soaked figs.

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