Coconut panna cotta with black sesame tuiles and rocket flowers
25th October 2011

Coconut panna cotta with black sesame tuiles and rocket flowers

By Emma Photography by Emma

Of late I have been inspired by flowers.  Perhaps due in part to the arrival of spring under which the slender branches of our cherry tree hang heavy with frilly pink blossoms.  It is only recently that I discovered that these blossoms are in fact edible and impart a light, fruity fragrance to whatever they are paired with.

It is rocket flowers however which decorate this dessert, a serendipitous addition of fresh peppery notes which contrast beautifully with the silky smooth coconut panna cotta.  If you don’t have rocket flowers then use any other edible flowers you might have in your garden.  If the flowers are bigger then just use their petals.


serves 6-8
  • Coconut Panna Cotta
  • 1 ½ cups cream
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ cups coconut, toasted in the oven for 4-5 minutes
  • 5 gelatine leaves
  • Black Sesame Tuiles
  • 55g butter
  • 20g black sesame, ground to a paste in a mortar and pestle
  • 50g icing sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 55g white flour
  • --
  • Black sesame paste
  • Rocket flowers


    • Coconut Panna Cotta
    • Makes 8 small portions
    • 1. Place the cream, sugar and toasted coconut into a saucepan and simmer for 8 minutes so that the sugar dissolves and the coconut infuses the cream. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
    • 2. Once cool, pour the cream through a sieve to remove the coconut. Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the coconut and then discard these solids.
    • 3. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 2 or 3 minutes and then squeeze out any remaining liquid. Put the cream back onto the heat and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat off and add the gelatine leaves stirring until they have completely dissolved.
    • 4. Whisk the buttermilk into the cream mixture and pour this into ramekins or any other small mould you might have. I used wee espresso cups. Place in the fridge and leave to set for an hour or two.
    • Black Sesame Tuiles
    • Makes approximately 42 7cm tuiles
    • 1. Preheat your oven to 180. Cream the butter, icing sugar and black sesame paste until light and fluffy. Add the egg white and beat and then finally carefully stir in the flour until just combined.
    • 2. Using a flat piece of plastic (I used a lid from an old ice-cream container) cut out two 7cm holes – you will use this to make your tuiles. Line a baking tray with baking paper, place the template onto the tray and using a palette knife, thinly spread out the tuile mixture. Carefully remove the template and repeat this process until you have filled the tray.
    • 3. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until the tuiles just start to brown around the edges. Watch them carefully as they will colour and burn quickly.
    • To Serve
    • 1. Using a palette knife or the back of a spoon, smear a small amount of the black sesame paste onto a plate. Unmold a panna cotta and place this onto the plate then garnish with rocket flowers and a tuile.


    1. Alisha

      My grandma used to add flowers to her baking. Such a deliciously beautiful touch :)

    2. Jess

      This look delicious! I love the pictures and presentation, too. Thanks for sharing : )

    3. Emma

      Hi Alisha!
      Thanks for your comment. What kinds of flowers did your grandma used to add to her baking? I want to get into using flowers more – as you say they add such a beautiful touch!
      I hope you are well and happy.

    4. Emma

      Hi Jess,
      Thank you for your lovely comment. Panna cotta is such an easy dessert to make and with a few extras (the tuiles/sesame paste/flowers) it makes such an impressive dessert!
      Happy cooking!

    5. Alisha

      Lavender! I remember this because when I was in Whistler I sampled some lavender and white chocolate gelato and was immediately transported back to her little Mt Albert villa with the spectacular rose garden. Back then, I was more into her perfect passionfruit sponge and cornflake and choc chip cookies, but I definitely have good memories of lavender and vanilla patty cakes as well!

    6. Viki

      Very creative ideas! Keep on

    7. Emma

      Thanks for your message Viki – it is great to hear that you find our recipes inspiring. We will keep bringing them to you don’t you worry!!
      Happy Cooking,

    8. Kathleen

      This is a very lovely recipe. I was wondering if coconut milk could be substituted for the cream and coconut…?

    9. Sara

      Hi Kathleen,
      I’m not 100% sure it would work. You could try it and increase the gelatine just to be safe?
      Let us know how you go & thanks so much for your comment,

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