Chefs' Recipes

XO's pandan panna cotta with gula melaka syrup and sesame tuiles

Try Canberra restaurant XO's innovative recipe for a silky pandan-flavoured panna cotta topped with a crunchy sesame tuile.

  • 30 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking plus chilling
  • Serves 4
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  • 320 ml coconut milk (see note)
  • 140 ml coconut cream
  • 75 gm raw caster sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 1½ titanium-strength gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes to soften
  • ¼ tsp pandan essence, or to taste (see note)
  • 100 gm gula melaka, finely shaved (see note)
  • Black and white sesame seeds, to serve
Sesame tuiles
  • 2½ tsp melted butter
  • 1 eggwhite
  • 50 gm pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 20 gm plain flour
  • 1½ tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1½ tsp black sesame seeds
  • Vegetable or grapeseed oil, for brushing


  • 1
    Heat coconut milk, coconut cream and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until just hot (2-3 minutes; don't let it simmer or it may split). Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to pan along with pandan essence and stir to combine. Strain mixture into a jug, divide among four 125ml dariole moulds and chill until set (4-5 hours).
  • 2
    Combine gula melaka and 80ml water in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture is syrupy and coats the back of a spoon (2-3 minutes). Set aside to cool.
  • 3
    For tuiles, stir butter and 1 tsp water to combine. Whisk eggwhite and icing sugar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (7-9 minutes). Fold in flour, then butter and sesame seeds. Cover and chill to rest (at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days). Preheat oven to 150C. Line 2 oven trays with baking paper and brush lightly with oil. Using a palette knife, spread 1¼ tbsp batter into a round about 11cm wide, then spread again from one edge to form a rough apostrophe shape. Repeat with remaining batter, leaving 4cm between each. Bake until golden brown (5-7 minutes). Cool on trays to crisp (4-5 minutes), then remove from paper with a palette knife. Makes 8. Store in an airtight container.
  • 4
    Run a wet finger around the edge of a panna cotta to break seal. Turn mould on its side, pull down edge of panna cotta to create an air pocket, then turn out onto a serving plate. Repeat with remaining moulds. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with syrup and tuiles.


XO's chefs use Kara coconut milk. Pandan essence and gula melaka, a dark palm sugar, are available at select Asian grocers; if gula melaka is unavailable, use another dark palm sugar.