We are finishing February on a sweet note… Another talented baker from the Daring Bakers group challenged us to make creamy, dreamy Panna Cotta and Nestle Florentine cookies…
Blog Checking Lines: The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.
Since I got my first very daring Daring Bakers’ Challenge under my belt last month, this month I felt like I did not have to panic as much and could do it in a couple of hours…
It turns out I could have done much better on the panna cotta if I only knew beforehand how gelatin works… Thanks to ruining my first batch of pomegranate gelee by boiling it—making my gelatin lose its thickening ability—I had to do another batch. Of course this was after I waited two hours to find a still liquid gelee sitting in the fridge. The trick is never to add boiling water; sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the liquid and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then heat the liquid until hot but not boiling. What I loved about the process: Gelatin created a surface on the milk that looks like a wrinkled bulldog skin :)
The Florentine cookies were done without a problem… It was suggested to make sandwiches with melted chocolate, but I thought they were great on their own and I could pair them with other things later, like Nutella and berries on top or icecream! I think I will make another batch soon with almonds or shredded coconut. It is such a great basic recipe that you can twist in many different ways.
You can make Panna Cotta with lots of different options such as chocolate, vanilla beans, or as the Cake Duchess did with espresso… You can create layers with fruit gelée, other options or nothing at all. You can assemble it in pretty glasses or put it in a ramekin and turn it upside down when serving.
I made pomegranate gelée and poured it on the bottom of 6 wine glasses. If you want to make a middle layer of fruit or something else, it takes longer, because you have to let the first layer of Panna cotta set very well and firm up before you can pour anything on it without messing it up. So I took the lazy way, two layers, fruit on the bottom. Another baker from the group gave me the recipe for the gelée. One problem I have with the desserts in glass is that I can never take decent pictures of them. The glass gets foggy, and when I try to clean it, I can’t get it right. I know the problem is not the glass, it is me! I guess I will try more molded custards in the next challenges.
You can find the recipes for Panna Cotta and Nestle Florentine Cookies in this link.
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 teaspoon unflavered powder gelatin
- 1/3 cup sugar
1. Mix juice and sugar in a saucepan and sprinkle gelatin evenly over the juice mixture. Wait for five minutes.
2. Heat on medium heat until sugar dissolves for 2-3 minutes. Do not let it boil.