Coconut panna cotta with black sesame tuiles and rocket flowers

Photographer: Emma
serves 6-8

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.


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.