This is a fun recipe using molecular gastronomy. The creamy coconut panna cotta is served with a mango sphere which will spill the mango nectar on the panna cotta when it breaks.

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you all had a great Holiday and a wonderful time with your family and loved ones…we sure had a memorable time, and I am fortunate to say that my year started very good because my son is recovering very well after being in a snowboarding accident, sent to emergency and diagnosed with a bad concussion and a broken arm. After hours of agony and uncertainty I am so thankful that he is getting his senses back, and now is mainly dealing with the broken arm which it will mend by time. I have never felt that scared in my life…but this is all behind and I look forward to this new year.

To celebrate my joy I am sharing with you a fun dessert…which I made for our family Christmas party. I knew that I wanted to make something different for the taste bud and the eyes, and end up creating this recipe for the party, and it was so much fun from the time I envisioned to the time I served it.

This recipe consists in two parts: coconut panna cotta and mango sphere, which uses molecular gastronomy, specifically reverse spherification. If you are interested in the science behind you can read more at Molecular Recipes or at Molecule R.

I made these desserts into little disposable cups for the party and some into shot glasses. The coconut panna cotta was adapted from here and the mango spheres.


Coconut Panna Cotta

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups coconut milk (not coconut water)
  • 2 packets powdered gelatin
  • 7 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons sugar

Mango Sphere

  • 750 g mango nectar
  • 15 g calcium lactate
  • 1000 ml distilled or filtered water
  • 5 g sodium alginate
  • Fresh strawberries (or any other colorful berry) for garnish
  • Mint leaves for garnish


Coconut Panna Cotta

Mix the heavy cream, coconut and sugar together in a saucepan and place in a medium heat until begins to simmer, making sure that the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Do not boil.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Add the gelatin to the coconut mixture and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved, lift the spoon and make sure that there are no undissolved granules.

Let it cool and divide into cups, and chill until firm, for approximately 2 hours or overnight.

Mango Sphere

Combine the mango nectar with the calcium lactate. Mix well using a hand blender. Pour the mango nectar into hemispherical molds and freeze.

Combine the sodium alginate with water and blend until all the alginate is dissolved.

Fill one small bowl with water and another one with the alginate solution.

Take the frozen mango nectar spheres out of the ice tray and gently place into the alginate bath. For the small spheres leave them for about 2 ½ to 3 minutes. For the medium spheres leave them for about 5 minutes.

Remove the mango spheres from the alginate bath using a slotted spoon and place them in the clean water bath. Rinse them gently and place the mango sphere in a container with mango nectar. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.


Gently remove the mango spheres from the mango nectar. And place on the firm coconut panna cotta. Garnish with strawberry and mint leaves. Serve cold.

If you enjoy Molecular Gastronomy recipes, you might want to check on this section of my Recipe Box.

Thank you so much for visiting Color Your Recipes and wish you all a happy 2014!