Coconut and Cardamom Panna Cotta with a Mango and Cilantro Salsa

 I’m the kind of person that loves rich, decadent, and downright indulgent desserts. The ones that you say to yourself, “Oh, I shouldn’t, but I’ll treat myself. Just this one time.” Except it’s never just one time for me. 

But sometimes, especially in the summer, I want something lighter and fresher. Something that’s not filled with chocolate or covered in caramel sauce. Something like these panna cottas.

These panna cottas are fresh and citrusy, creamy but not rich, enough to satisfy you after dessert but not too much as to leave you feeling like you need a nap. The perfect little dessert for an evening dinner in the garden with friends. Not that I would know, seeing as I don’t have dinner parties nor a garden. 

Another great thing about these is that both the panna cotta and salsa can be made in advance. That means you don’t have to spend time in the kitchen after dinner getting dessert ready. Just pop into the kitchen, get them out of the fridge, and serve.

Plus, you barely need to turn on the stove. Just a little warmth to heat up the cream and coconut milk. It’s not much, trust me. You won’t have beads of sweat dripping down your back after this. You’ll be as fresh as these desserts!

Coconut and Cardamom Panna Cotta

60 g whole milk
3.5 g powdered gelatin (1/2 packet)

400 g coconut milk
140 g whole milk 
4 green cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 vanilla bean
50 g powdered sugar

Mango and Cilantro Salsa

2 manila/ataulfo mangoes
1/2 lime
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon honey

30 g toasted coconut (optional)

For the panna cotta, sprinkle the gelatin over the 60 g of whole milk and set aside.

Combine the coconut milk, 140 g whole milk, cardamom pods, and powdered sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the mixture. Over medium heat, bring just to a boil, then remove from heat. Remove the cardamom pods. Let it cool for about a minute, then add the gelatin and milk.

Pour into your glasses and carefully place in the fridge to set, at least 2 hours.

Dice the mangoes finely into 1/2 cm cubes. Squeeze the juice from the lime, add the cilantro and honey, and stir to combine. When ready to serve, remove the panna cotta from the fridge and spoon about 2 tablespoons of salsa on top of each panna cotta. If desired, top with a little bit of toasted coconut.