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 Nestlé Florentine Cookies.
I’m irregular. I so don’t mean that in a gross Miss Flo kinda way (geez I have no shame) but I know that sometimes, I’m flaky, sketchy and unpredictable. I’ve been a bad bad Daring Baker, yes I have. I’ve turned from a regular blogger posting faithfully every month to the mysterious black sheep relative that you only see twice a year. And even if I do drop by, I end up doing a challenge at the last minute without giving much thought and taking equally shoddy photos. Cue the violins because my head just hasn’t been in the game for a while.
The point is, now that a chapter has closed for now, I hope to invest myself more into my online world. Bye bye Titus Flavius Josephus. You and I had some good years together but it’s time to bid farewell to insane moods and 4am migraines and say hello again to kitchen, blog and Daring Bakers.
So on to this challenge; panna cotta, which I paired this time with a white peach jelly. This creamy, dreamy, sexy bella donna was born to shake her Rubenesque booty so you need it to wiggle, jiggle and wobble if unmolded. Forget skim milk here (seriously, don’t touch it), for panna cottas it must be full fat or nothing. As to the challenge recipe from The Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis, it wasn’t my cup of tea. I prefer using 100% full cream instead of combining with milk and sticking to one sweetener, sugar, instead of adding honey. I definitely prefer to use my go-to panna cotta recipe but that’s just a personal thing. However, I’ll include both recipes here just because I’m so nice hehe.
My bad for the dodgy photos. My bad for not having the time to the do the second biscuitty part of the challenge. But hello again Daring Bakers indeed! I may have been long absent but I hope there’s still a spare seat for me *smile*
Perfect Panna Cotta (revised)
Recipe from David Lebovitz (who adapted from Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen by Judy Witts)
1 L pouring cream (35-36% fat content)
2 tsps of vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 1/2 tsps of powdered gelatine / approx. 3 titanium gelatine sheets
90ml cold water (for powdered gelatine)
Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the cold water in a medium-sized bowl and let stand 5 to 10 minutes. For sheet gelatine, soak in plenty of cold water for around 5 to 10 minutes until softened.
Heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
(If using a vanilla bean, scrape the seeds from the bean into the cream and add the pod. Gently heat as above, remove from heat then infuse for 30 minutes).
Add the bloomed powdered gelatine to the mixture and stir until dissolved. If using sheets, remove from water, wring as much excess water from it then add to cream.
Allow mixture to cool down before dividing out into 8 glasses. Chill for a few hours (I chilled mine overnight).
To prevent your panna cottas from separating:
• Don’t overheat the cream. Just warm it enough to dissolve the sugar and gelatine (which can dissolve at body temperature).
• Either way, allow the cream mixture to cool down sufficiently before pouring into your ramekins or glasses and chilling it.
• • •
Giada’s Vanilla Panna Cotta
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
Pour the milk into a bowl or 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 five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage).
Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, and 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.