I've had Panna Cotta a couple of times in my life. First, when my mother made it and used yogurt in it. It was a sour Panna Cotta. Not cool. Second, when I ate it in a pizzeria. That was good, but nothing so special that I would want to make it myself. Of course, the Daring Bakers took care of that yet again. Here I am, and I can make Panna Cotta myself!
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 Laurentis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.
Giada's Vanilla Panna Cotta
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tbsp (7 g) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30%+ butterfat)
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1 tbsp (15 g) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
- Pour the milk into a bowl or a pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk. Make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
- Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about 5 minutes.
- Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn't boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved - 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
- Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.
2/3 cup (150 g) unsalted butter
2 cups (160 g) quick oats
1 cup (230 g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (95 g) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups (250 g) dark or milk chocolate
- Preheat oven to moderately hot (375°F - 190°C). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from heat.
- To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla and salt. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon, or use a spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
- While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate until smooth either in the microwave or stovetop (in a double boiler).
- Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment paper and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).
- Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookies. You can also choose not to sandwich yours, in which case, drizzle the tops with chocolate.
If you noticed that there are no photos of the cookies, congratulations. Yesterday was apparently a bad day for baking. My cookies ended up as a giant liquid blob. The whole baking mat was so greasy that the blob just slided off it. I wasn't going to eat that, especially after it hardened, because I like my teeth the way they are.
There was also a recipe for chocolate Panna Cotta. But I bake everything with chocolate, so I decided to make the classic. I only made a third of it, as usual, but ended up with 4 really small cups. Just the right amount for dessert after a big lunch. We topped the Panna Cotta with store-bought Rote Grütze (a pudding-like dish made of cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries...), which was a delicious combination.
I've never heard of Panna Cotta made with honey, and I didn't like its taste very much. I read that it's possible to substitute it with sugar, so I'll do that next time. The cream really brings out the true taste of honey, so if you like it, you'll like the whole dessert too. We definitely liked it and I'm making it again soon, maybe topped with a homemade puree of some sort. Can't wait!
Approximate cost (Panna Cotta): 8 €