Coconut panna cotta with Napa style strawberry & mango salad

This dessert celebrates summer in Australia, which reminds me of visiting the Napa Valley in California. Both places have access to some wonderful local produce. Incredible local strawberries from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria are as big as tomatoes and full of flavour.

Here they are steeped in local pinot and infused with vanilla and fresh herbs. Set this dessert in a large glass so there is ample room for plenty of fruit and pinot syrup!

Coconut panna cotta with Napa style strawberry & mango salad

Ingredients and Methods

35 min *
50 min
* Additional time required if making all the ingredients yourself


For the coconut panna cotta

  • 2 cups (500 ml) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (250 ml) full cream milk
  • ½ cup (125 ml) double cream
  • ½ cup (115 g) caster sugar
  • 40g freeze dried strawberries, lightly crushed
  • 1 vanilla pod, split & seeds scraped
  • very small pinch of sea salt
  • 4 gelatine leaves, pre-soaked in water

For the poached strawberries

  • 2 cups (500 ml) pinot
  • ⅓ cup (80g) caster sugar
  • 50ml reduced balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small handful basil leaves
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • 1 vanilla pod split & seeds scraped
  • 500g strawberries, hulled

For the mango & strawberry salad

  • quartered or perfect ornate slices of marinated strawberry
  • perfect cubes or ornate slices of mango
  • some mint leaves


To prepare the panna cottas, combine the coconut cream, milk, cream, sugar, dried strawberries, vanilla pod and seeds and salt in a medium saucepan and heat over low, until warm. Set aside for 20 minutes, to infuse.

Blend the infused cream using a hand held blender, vitamiser or stand blender, until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Return 1 cup (250 ml) to the saucepan and warm over low heat.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for 5–10 minutes, until softened. Squeeze out the excess water and add to the warm cream mixture. Stir to dissolve. Add the mixture back to the remaining infused cream and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture into a jug.

Pour the infused cream into four large burgundy style glasses, to fill just under halfway. Cover the glasses with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, until set.

To prepare the poached strawberries, combine the pinot, sugar, balsamic reduction, mint, basil and vanilla pod and seeds and simmer over low-medium heat for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pour the cooled pinot liquid over the strawberries, cover and refrigerate for 1 day, to infuse.

Drain the strawberries, straining the liquid into a small saucepan.

Simmer the liquid over low-medium heat, until reduced by half to become a more full flavoured liquid. Cool and chill.

To serve, place neat layers of strawberry and mango on the set creams and top with the chilled strawberry liquor. Garnish with mint and praline.

Nut Pralineto top

12 min
18 min
1 ½ Cups


  • 125g hazelnuts, pistachios or blanched almonds
  • ½ cup (50 g) flaked almonds
  • ⅔ cup (140 g) sugar
  • 2 ½ tbsp glucose


Preheat the oven to 180 ° C.

Spread the hazelnuts or pistachios and the flaked almonds onto separate trays. Roast the hazelnuts or pistachios for 5–8 minutes and the flaked almonds for 3–5 minutes, until golden.

Place the hazelnuts or almonds in a clean tea towel and rub to remove the skins. If using pistachios, they do not need to be roasted.

Lightly grease a small baking tray with cooking spray.

Place the sugar and glucose in a medium heavy based saucepan. Gently heat over low, until the sugar begins to caramelise. Swirl the sugar mixture to help create an even caramel. Add the nuts, stirring constantly, to combine.

Pour the nutty caramel onto the greased tray and allow to cool.

Once cool, crush the praline with a rolling pin. Transfer into a food processor and coarsely blend.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Cooks Note: – By blending the praline very finely to a powder, then passing through a sieve you can create delicate nutty flavoured wafers. Simply create a stencil to your desired shape and place on a lightly greased tray or silicon baking mat. Sprinkle the dust over a stencil and bake until it becomes liquid. Allow to cool slightly, then cut out once more with a cookie cutter for a more precise finish. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Chef Paul Wilson

Credited with serving some of Australia’s most exciting food, Paul Wilson has been described as one of the most extraordinary culinary talents in the Commonwealth & continues to receive critical acclaim for crafting inspiring dishes that take an innovative approach to cuisine traditions. (more)

here to view all of Chef Paul Wilson's recipes.

Paul Wilson

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