Layered Lychee “Panna Cotta”

Wow, it’s been the better part of a year since I posted my recipe for Mango Daiquiri Panna Cotta, the other dessert pictured here. The plan had been to post them back to back, but hey – I’m nothing, if not a master procrastinator!

Yes, the quotation marks on “Panna cotta” were intentional. I like to mess with recipes, and I think this may be one of those instances where I bastardized it SO much, it probably can’t technically be considered in the family of food that it started. “Panna Cotta” specifically meaning “cooked cream”… and this recipe having none of that? Yeah.


The cool thing about this dessert is that specific gravity of the ingredients – combined with a reluctance to actually form a stable solution – means that you end up with a funky layered dessert by the time it actually sets up! You have a lychee flavored jelly on the bottom, and a creamy, “panna cotta”-like lychee dessert on top.


Lychee Panna Cotta

1 1/2 tsp Unflavored gelatin powder
3 Tbsp Cold water*
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup lychee puree**
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Sour cream

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a small bowl and let absorb for five minutes.

Combine coconut milk, puree, and sugar in a saucepan. Heat to just to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Do not let it come to boil! Meanwhile, microwave the gelatin for about 15 seconds, or until it’s melted.

Once the milk mixture has come to a simmer, remove it from the heat. Whisk in the gelatin until fully incorporated, and the mixture is smooth. Add sour cream, whisking once again till fully incorporated and smooth. Pour into four lightly greased ramekins or custard cups. Chill for at least 2 hours until set.

* You can also use syrup from a can of lychees, if so desired.

** While it’s possible to purchase lychee puree, we pureed lychees from a can. To do so, strain the lychees from two cans, reserving the syrup (You can make lychee liqueur from it!). Blitz in a blender until very smooth, then press through a wire sieve.

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