Coconut Forever — Noix de coco pour toujours

buttermilk coconut panna cotta food styling photography tartine gourmande sweet dessert

Buttermilk Coconut Panna Cotta

P. has always been the one with a passion for coconut. Me? I used to not even bear the thought of looking at one. Anything with coconut simply sounded wrong. Perhaps from the memory — of the story that I pretend never happened — of too many Bounty Bars eaten when I was a little girl with a sweet tooth. You have too, haven’t you? At the time — as I am told — I was capable of spending every single centime my parents gave me as pocket money — fifty francs a week — on candies at Madame Boyon’s. Of course, I deny that this has ever happened. Ce n’est pas vrai ! Moi et les bonbons ? I even did not like the famous macarons de Nancy, a specialty from my region in France.

When I first met P., we used to have debates about coconut. “Mais je te dis que je n’aime pas !” I insisted when he tried to tempt me by holding, in front of my lips, a spoonful of the coconut cake he had ordered. He really loved it as much as I hated it.

“How can you dislike it?”
he would reply, laughing. “It is soooooo good!”

In his book. Not in mine.

Until one night a few years ago, when I finally gave in. In 1999, is it that long ago, already?

That evening, like every week, we drove to our favorite local Vietnamese restaurant. As soon as we walked into the tiny room, we noticed that it was still quite empty for that time of the day. The owner, a short skinny Asian man with a face not showing any sign of age, stood by the large fish tank next to the counter. When he turned his head towards us, he recognized us right away. His entire face lit up with a wide smile. It was so large that all I could see was the perfect line of his white teeth glowing in the poorly-lit place, with the exception of a front one, slightly chipped. We never really needed to talk too much together. But we seemed to smile a lot at each others, perhaps the only language that we needed to communicate, beside the use of our indexes to point at dishes on the menu. As P. and I are people of habits, he also knew that we would most likely order the same dishes. Why change? They were scrumptious, made fresh and did not require too much thinking. P. ordered a coconut juice. He always did. I was never interested. “Do you want to try?” he asked me casually, convinced already of my response.

“D’accord, pourquoi pas ?” (Ok, why not?)

He looked back at me, assuredly surprised and uncertain whether I was joking or not.

“Mmmmmmm, c’est doux, c’est sucré, léger comme un nuage de lait ! (Yum, it is soft and sweet. It is light like a cloud of milk),” I murmured after the first sip. “Can I have some more?”

Quite soon, I was fully sold on the whole coconut idea. In juices, granola bars, cakes, muffins, Asian food, and in panna cotta.

buttermilk coconut panna cotta food styling photography tartine gourmande sweet dessert

For the longest time, Panna Cotta was never really high on my list of favorites either. Between a crème renversée, an île flottante and a panna cotta, I would not have a second of hesitation.

But then it changed. Or I changed. Not sure which. Not sure why. Not sure I clearly remember when. Not sure it actually matters. Because the point is that now, place a panna cotta in front of me, and I feel an irresistible desire to dip my finger into it. It probably all happened the day I had a taste of a similar panna cotta that seduced me, in a restaurant I even forget the name of. I, however, certainly did not forget the panna cotta. How could I?

buttermilk coconut panna cotta food styling photography tartine gourmande sweet dessert

For this panna cotta, use coconut milk instead of the most commonly used cream. I like to eat this dessert without any attire, plain, or with a sweet juicy stew of fruit, like these quickly stewed blackberries. Add to them vanilla langues de chat, and you then have a pretty festive dessert. Yet, don’t be fooled: it is really simple to make. Whenever I am running short of ideas for a quick sweet treat, I always think about making a batch which I keep in the fridge. That is, if I can wait until the custard is set, which is assuredly the hardest part in the making of the dessert. And, as anyone fond of the taste of buttermilk — and always having some in the fridge for emergencies — this dessert is just made for me, and P., two official coconut and panna cotta converts.

And perhaps you too.

Now I just have to wonder: why did I ever dislike coconut?

buttermilk coconut panna cotta food styling photography tartine gourmande sweet dessert

Coconut Buttermilk Panna Cotta,
Stewed Blackberries and
Vanilla Cat’s Tongues

Coconut Panna Cotta and Stewed Blackberries

(for 6 ramekins)

You need:

For the coconut panna cotta:

  • One can (14 fl oz) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 + 1/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 4 gelatin sheets

For the blackberry stew:

  • 5 1/2 oz blackberries (4.5 oz + 1 oz to decorate)
  • 1/8 cup cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water


  • To prepare the panna cotta, soak the gelatin sheets in a large volume of cold water, for 5 min.
  • In the meantime, heat the coconut milk and sugar in a pot. Do not boil but reach almost boiling point and cook for 5 min. Remove.
  • Squeeze the excess water from the gelatin sheets between your fingers and add to the coconut milk. Stir until they are dissolved.
  • Add the buttermilk and stir well.
  • Pour this cream in small oiled ramekins. Place them in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  • To prepare the blackberry stew, dissolve the sugar with the water in a small pot. Add the berries and let stew for 5 min on medium to low heat. Let cool.
  • Unmold* your panna cotta and serve alone, or with the blackberry stew.

*To unmold them more easily, dip the ramekins in hot water first and run a knife around the edge. Then flip onto a plate.

Le coin français
Panna cotta à la noix de coco avec compote de mûres

(pour 6 ramequins)

Ingrédients :

Pour la panna cotta à la noix de coco :

  • une conserve (414 ml) de lait de coco non sucré
  • 300 ml de lait fermenté
  • 100 g de sucre de canne
  • 4 feuilles de gélatine

Pour la compote rapide de mûres :

  • 150 g de mûres (125 g + 25 g pour decoration)
  • 25 g de sucre
  • 1 càs d’eau

Étapes :

  • Pour réaliser les panna cotta, faites tremper les feuilles de gélatine dans un grand volume d’eau froide pendant 5 min.
  • En attendant, faites chauffer le lait de coco et le sucre dans une casserole. Ne faites pas bouillir. Cuisez sur feu doux pendant 5 min puis retirez du feu.
  • Ajoutez les feuilles de gélatine essorées. Faites dissoudre.
  • Ajoutez le lait fermenté et mélangez bien.
  • Versez cette préparation dans des ramequins huilés. Mettez au frigo pendant au moins 4 heures.
  • Pour réaliser la compote de mûres, faites dissoudre le sucre sur feu doux dans une petite casserole. Mettez-y les mûres et faites compoter pendant 5 min sur feux doux. Laissez refroidir.
  • Démoulez* les panna cotta et servez seules ou avec la compote de mûres.

*Pour démouler les panna cotta plus facilement, faites tremper les ramequins dans de l’eau chaude pendant 1 à 2 min et passez la lame d’un couteau le long de la paroi. Renversez ensuite sur une assiette.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Posted in Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free


  1. Beautiful, Bea! Coconut is funny…some people just hate it…but I have always loved the flavor. Oh, and in the last photo, do you mean “cat’s tongue” or tongue’s cat”?:)

  2. I love pannacotta and only discovered it when I moved to Japan! Your coconut version sounds very tropical 🙂

  3. What a wonderful combination… I love coconut, and the way you used them is excellent!

  4. Quelle bonne idée d’associer coco et mûres!Ces photos donnent envie de passer sa cuillère à travers l’écran!J’aime beaucoup tout ce que tu fais!

  5. Mmmmhh…la dernière photo donne l’impression que tu nous tends l’assiette,on est au supplice. J’adore les bases de crèmes/panacotta/(ou glaces comme chez Ninnie) avec des fruits rouges, en plus d’être svt délicieux, c’est magnifique au regard,les fruits rouges, voire violines ou noirs et leurs jus contrastent avec la pâleur et la douceur de la base.Beau et alléchant, le must!

  6. K. likes coconut a lot, too, so I hope to surprise him with this dessert one day soon. Lovely photography, as always!

  7. j’aime trop la noix de coco rapée, grillée, en lait, en crème…
    et la panna cotta comme cela c’est super. je l’adore aussi avec du thé matcha : l’association fonctionne très bien.

  8. je suis sur que tu arriverais a me faire aimer la panna cotta meme avec de l’agar agar…je vois que tu utilises de la gélatine, moi aussi ^^Divin Béa, divin ! biz

  9. je me sauve, je craque surtout pour la 1ere photo même si je n’aime pas la noix de coco je suis scotchée!

  10. Je viens souvent sur ton blog, mais je laisse rarement de commentaires. Là, je me lance. Permets-moi de te dire que ton blog est une pure merveille. Tout y est beau.
    Tes photos sont très évocatrices. Cette panna cotta doit être délicieuse et ta présentation la met parfaitement en valeur. A bientôt.
    Bonne journée. Chrys

  11. Qu’est-ce qu’elle me plait celle-la, j’en ai trop envie!
    As tu deja goute le jus de coco but directement dans la noix? Je crois que c’est ca qui m’a vraiment fait aimer la noix de coco. Il faut qu’elle soit tres faiche pour etre bonne.

  12. I have always loved coconut. Also, panna cotta. Your recipe looks delicious and the photos are beautiful.

  13. MIAM..I’ve been wanting to try a panna cotta recipe from bon apetit for like 3 years, but it seems more complicated and i never got around… your seems so simple i cant wait to try…and then i will invite my friend with her boyfriend who loves coconut!! ?? vanilla tongue of cat…you must explain..

  14. I love coconut, so I’m sure I’d love this! I’ve never made a panna cotta before, but I just might try it out now!

  15. Mmmm…I’m not sure why you ever hated coconut either! It’s delicious! I especially love coconut milk in Thai foods and the like, but this panna cotta looks delicious! I’m sure the coconut milk makes it feel lighter than a cream…thanks for this!

    P.S. I can’t believe 1999 was so long ago either… you said a few, haha, but it was 8! My goodness!

  16. eh bien moi j’adore la panna cotta, mais j’ai parfois des problèmes au démoulage … et si je mets trop de gélatine ce n’est pas bon !

  17. Maybe I like buttermilk better than coconut but coconut I could never hate. Once I thought cutting them open was too much.
    I really should have one of these, that 2nd to last photo is breathtaking!!

  18. Je reviens en France, découvre ton billet, et avec quel plaisir! Je suis fan de noix de coco… et mêlée aux berries…

  19. These look spectacular and I adore coconut, though like you, have only been a relatively recent convert. Those berries are luscious indeed!

  20. I had to read that sentence again. I thought you were saying that you always eat panna cotta without any clothes on. I mean, I love the coconut flan at Casa de Pedro, but still, I usually eat it fully clothed!

  21. I share your feelings- for years my mom loves everything coconut, and I can’t stand it. I later learned that I don’t like the texture of dessicated coconut (chewy and often dry), but I love coconut flavor. Which is why I’m sure I’d love this coconut panna cotta. Also, I’m still waiting for that recipe for that coconut cream tart!
    xxx. Mercedes.

  22. Little secret: I drink coconut water at least 3-4 times a week. It’s my super food. I am one of those who likes everything about coconut, especially fresh, except cracking it open. I only started making and eating panna cottas in the last couple of years and really enjoy them. I love everything about your recipe and pictures. White suits you well!

  23. Now that you are an official coconut convert…. if you are ever in Geneva you must try Hautlé’s (confiserie / pâtisserie dans la vieille ville) coconut sorbet. It is absolutely divine, smooth – not grainy like others I have tried, and has inspired me to try and make my own next week!

  24. I know what you mean about tastes changing inexplicably as you grow…happens to me all the time 🙂 Your coconut panna cotta sounds divine…where I live coconut is everywhere so I make sure to enjoy it any time I can…thanks for sharing a new way!

  25. My chérie! How could you not like coconut? Is there anything better than coconut and dark chocolate?

  26. A panna cotta done properly is a heavenly thing. Yours look perfect and I can just imagine the richness of the coconut milk flavor this dessert sublimely!

  27. this looks perfectly wonderful… i need to try it when i’m ready to make a new and wonderful dessert – perhaps after my famous pad thai? i haven’t made that one in ages… hmmmm… anyway, i love your blog. it’s a definite treat on many levels. i’ll be a regular now.

  28. Hi!
    I would like to buy biscuits roses de Reims. My friend is going to Paris next October . Could you tell me where she can buy it for me? Thanks a lot!!

  29. Ah these look lovely Bea! I love coconut! But I do remember not liking coconut juice when I was little. Now anything with coconut makes me happy! =)

  30. Thank you everyone for your generous comments, as usual. They always warm me up!
    Merci a tous de vos commentaires si genereux qui me touchent vraiment.

    Nat, biscuits roses de Reims can easily be found in places like Galeries Lafayette Gourmet, Bon Marche or Monoprix. I am sure there are many more places but thesee ones previously given are big food department stores, with tons of lovely goodies that you will enjoy.

  31. Your panna cotta look wonderful. I recently made Heidi’s coconut panna cotta recipe using agar flakes. I didn’t see your Iles flottante at the time you posted them. I love the way you have spun the sugar. I made them recently, using the baked meringue method. In the past I’ve always poached the egg white in milk. Baking the meringue is so much easier.

  32. miam
    as-tu deja essaye avec l’agar-agar à la place de la gélatine ?

  33. Oh my god ! This panna cotta looks like BLISS ! I must try it ! I still have problems finding buttermilk though. Once they had some at my supermarket but not anymore… Can it be replaced by some “lait fermenté” ?
    Anyway your blog is de li cious, as always !!

  34. These are beautiful. I have always wanted to make a buttermilk panna cotta. Do you think I could make your recipe and just replace the coconut milk with all buttermilk?

  35. Hello “Tartine”,
    I love your foodblog. Astonishing pictures… Brava.
    I tried your coconut pannacotta, it was delicious, but there seemed to be somtehing wrong with the “texture” (?) (sorry for my English). I mean that there was a sort of darker, less tasty layer on the bottom (actually, on top of of the dessert when you unmold it) and from what I can see of your pictures, the same seems to have happened to you.
    Is it all right? Maybe it is.
    If you wish to answer, that would be great!!
    Thank you for your beautilful work.

  36. i mostly don’t like coconut desserts, but lookin’ at your photos makes me want to grab a spoon and take a piece of it……….it looks very yummy ^ – ^

  37. Hello Beatrice, I found your blog while searching for a coconut dessert. I made this beautiful panna cotta and it turned out so great. Thanks so much for posting. I love your blog with all the well written recipes and the amazing pictures!

  38. I was just thinking of a coconut milk panna cotta! This looks dreamy! Am thinking of making it with a little cardamom and maybe rosewater- a combinaton of flavours typical to my Indian cusine.
    Gabriella if I am not mistaken I think the darker layer you are talking about is a “skin” that develops on most puddings. If you place a piece of cling wrap directly on the surface of the pudding before you keep it in the fridge -a skin won’t develop- though some people consider the skin to be the best part 🙂