Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daring Bakers:Panna Cotta and Florentines

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.

 We chose to make a cappuccino panna cotta, with coffee flavor on the bottom and a thin layer of vanilla on the top. We love this dessert because it is easy to make and can be adapted in so many ways to suit individual tastes. The Florentine cookies are a fun cookie that look fancy, but are also easy to make. The dark corn syrup gives a better golden color, but either way, they are crispy and tasty. The cookies that we spread the thinnest before baking yielded the better cookie- they were thin and crisp, while the thicker ones ended up too chewy. We found that a very thin layer of chocolate was best, as too much chocolate overpowers the delicate cookie and we wanted the sweet oat taste to shine. As much as we love chocolate, these were also good on their own. We enjoyed our afternoon in the kitchen on this challenge and I would definitely make both of these recipes again!  

Cappuccino Panna Cotta
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (one packet) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream
1/3 cup  granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
pinch of salt

1. In a small bowl pour milk and sprinkle with gelatin, let stand for 5 minutes to soften gelatin.
2.Heat  cream, salt  and sugar until it is hot but not boiling and the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk and gelatin mixture to the hot cream. Continue stirring over the heat (do not boil) for about 5 minutes to dissolve the gelatin.
3.Remove from heat and add vanilla. Reserve 1 cup of the vanilla flavored panna cotta mix at room temperature. To the remaining mixture add the 2 teaspoon instant espresso power and stir to combine.
4. Pour espresso panna cotta into individual bowls and refrigerate about 20 to 30 minutes to set.

5. Carefully add the vanilla flavored panna cotta mix over the espresso base.
5.Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.

printable recipe

Nestle's Florentines
2/3 cup butter
2 cups quick oats
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light or dark corn syrup
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups (11.5 oz. pkg.) Dark or  Milk Chocolate Morsels


PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Line baking sheets with foil. I used silpats

MELT butter in medium saucepan;  and  remove from heat (I used the microwave and a medium size bowl). Stir in oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla extract and salt; mix well. Drop by level teaspoons, about 3 inches apart, onto lined baking sheets. Spread thinly with rubber spatula. I used a small off set spatula dipped in water to spread them thin.

BAKE for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets on wire racks.

MICROWAVE morsels in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute; STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Spread thin layer of melted chocolate onto flat side of half the cookies. Top with remaining cookies to make sandwiches.
printable recipe