Coconut and mango panna cotta with mango and passionfruit salad.
Coconut and mango panna cotta with mango and passionfruit salad. Contributed

Fabulous fruits make sweet treat

THIS is one of the easiest dessert recipes and it takes no more time to multiply the recipe to feed a large party.

Any seasonal fruits can be used. In winter, when mangoes are out of season use strawberries.

A shot or two of Malibu, Cointreau or other liqueur is also a decadent addition to the fruit salad.

Coconut and mango panna cotta

Serves 6



50ml water

100g sugar

1½ gelatine leaves titanium strength or 3½ leaves gold strength

100ml coconut cream

200ml mango puree

200ml pure cream


METHOD: Bring the water and sugar to the boil then remove from heat.

Soften the gelatin sheets in cold tap water then squeeze out excess water before stirring into the warm sugar syrup. Cool to room temperature.

Place the sugar syrup and coconut cream in a large bowl and mix together. Stir through the mango puree.

Whip the cream to soft peaks and carefully fold through the mango mix. Divide the panna cotta mix between six glasses and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours to set.




INGREDIENTS: 2 mangoes, peeled and cut into 2cm dice-sized pieces

3 passionfruit

1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar


METHOD: Combine mangoes, passionfruit pulp and sugar in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.

To finish, remove the panna cotta from the refrigerator. Add the mango and passionfruit salad to each glass and serve.


CHEF'S TIP: Use a pretty drinking glass to set the panna cotta rather than the more traditional mould.

It saves having to remove the dessert from the mould.

HOT TIP: Leaf gelatine can be found in 2 strengths - gold and titanium. Titanium is 5 gm and gold 2.2 gm, so a recipe needs to be adjusted depending on which you use. Leaf gelatine gives a smooth silken texture with no flavour, and is so superior to powdered gelatine which should be avoided at all costs. Leaf gelatine is available at good supermarkets and can be purchased from food outlets online.

Q and A with Annette Fear (Chef and creator of recipes from the Spirit House Cookbook)

1. What is your earliest memory of food?

My earliest food memory would be when I was about 4 or 5. We were very close to my maternal grandmother and she was a fantastic country cook and I always remember sitting around her kitchen table with Mum and my Aunties . Nana would whip up a batch of gem scones to have with afternoon tea and I would have a cup of sweet milky tea and her warm gem scones dripping with butter.

2. What is your favourite dish? Why?

My favourite dish is very simple and something that's on a permanent rotation in my home kitchen and it's just a fresh piece of fish fillet like local Gold Band snapper that I grill on the barbecue, a big bowl of steamed vegetables and jasmine rice. I always have a bowl of hot sliced chillies with fish sauce and lime juice, toasted sesame seeds for nutty crunch plus some soy for extra seasoning. I love it because it just tastes so amazing and it highlights the often heard principle that fresh and simple is best.

3. What is your favourite memory of food?

One of my favourite places is Mae Hong Son in Northern Thailand. Where we stay is surrounded by rice paddies and mountains. All the staff are Shan villagers and the women cook the most amazing food. Nothing takes me back to such a happy food memory as thinking about sitting out by the rice paddies at sunset with an ice cold beer and some of the local ladies Gaeng Hang Lai pork belly curry or their smoky and spicy grilled eggplant salad.

Spirit House The Cookbook, by Helen Brierty and Annette Fear, published by New Holland Publishers Australia, RRP $49.99, is available now.


The Spirit House cookbook is out now.
The Spirit House cookbook is out now.

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