And it's amazing! Imagine a fine pudding that sets like Jello. It is strikingly light and silky smooth and can be made with milk and gelatin (derived from animal by-products) for omnivores, or using almond or coconut milk and agar agar for vegetarians and vegans (aka "kanten" derived from seaweed and often available in Asian markets). Panna Cotta is the epitome of a "Creamy Dreamy" dessert.
To get a better grasp about what Panna Cotta is like I conducted some aesthetics and texture "research" with this Meyer Lemon Panna Cotta from the "Miette" Bakery at San Francisco's Ferry Building
The Panna Cotta was so easy to make! I made chocolate in the hopes my hubby would try it and I did substitute agar agar powder for the gelatin to keep the dish vegetarian.
I created two finished versions of bittersweet chocolate Panna Cotta and several shapes of Florentine Cookies. The first was to turn the cookies into mini ice cream cones, dip the edges into melted bittersweet chocolate and fill with the Panna Cotta.
Success! How Florentine Cookies should look: Thin and Lacy
The second part of the challenge was to create Florentine Cookies, filling or decorating them with chocolate. This is one of the sandwich cookies I made with a thin layer of melted, semisweet, Ghirardelli chocolate spread between two cookies. I was thrilled it looked so pretty but next time I may experiment and add in some nut flour while subtracting some of the white flour just to give the cookie a bit more flavor.
If you want to try this challenge at home Download the PDF of the full recipes (below) from The Daring Kitchen website by CLICKING HERE
Giada's Vanilla Panna Cotta
Chocolate Panna Cotta
Nestle Florentine Cookies
The cream cooking on my stovetop.
Here is the Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe I Used from the PDF
(Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups (480 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
½ cup (115 gm) (4 oz) sugar
¾ cup (145 gm)(5 oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) vanilla extract
- Pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top, set aside for 2-5 minutes.
- Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir in cream, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil.
- Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk the milk/gelatin mixture into chocolate cream mixture. Whisk until gelatin has dissolved.
- Transfer to ramekins, or nice glasses for serving.
- Cover and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight
The Ingredients for the Florentine Cookies
See how the heat melts and softens the dough before baking?
Important Tips I Learned During this Baking Challenge:
- To create a mini ice cream cone shaped cookie make sure you heat the metal pastry tip. I rolled the metal tip along the hot cookie sheet while the cookies set for one minute right out of the oven. But be careful not to burn yourself, it gets really hot! I tried to roll two cookies onto a room temperature metal tip and they broke each time. Finally it dawned on me that if it were heated the cookie would remain more pliable.
- The easiest way to pour the cooked, liquid, Panna Cotta mixture into narrow glasses is to first pour the exact amount of the mixture you want to use into an extra glass. Then carefully pour it from the first container into your final serving glass. It worked like a charm.
- As illustrated above the cookies bake best when the dough is placed on a preheated baking sheet. Make sure your baking sheet is hot and I used my fingers to flatten down each ball of dough as much as possible.
And one of my favorite parts about the Daring Bakers' Challenges: Showing you the range of finished desserts some of the other Bakers made! You can click on their blog names below to visit their blogs and view many more recipes and fantastic creations!
Click on the Image to View an Enlargement on flickr
Cooking Weekends - Vanilla Panna Cotta with Rasptberries
Heart Soul Desserts Ginger PC with Cointreau Mandarin Syrup
Chez Lucie - Black & White Chocolate PC with OJ & Cointreau Jelly
Half The Sugar Bowl.com - Green Tea Vanilla PC with Raspberry Gelee
I Can Do That - Nutella Panna Cotta
There's a Newf In My Soup - Meyer Lemon & Basil PC with Blackberry
Hot From My Oven - Mango PC
Chez Lucie - White Russian Vanilla PC with Vodka & Kahlua Jelly
Lady Cakes - Vegan Panna Cotta with Berry Puree
Finger Licking Food - Lychee Panna Cotta with Lychee Gelee
Magpies Recipes - Vanilla Bean Yogurt PC with Blackberry Coulis
Crumbs of Love - Coffee Jelly with Cinnamon and Vanilla Bean Sour Cream PC
Thursdays Cooking - Panna Cotta with Caramel
A Little Less Vanilla Clove Panna Cotta with Fresh Fig
Tasty Treats - Vanilla PC with Pomegranate-Blueberry Gelee
My thanks to The Daring KItchen for their terrific website and to Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen for choosing such a great challenge for all of us to attempt! If this looks like fun you should apply to join The Daring Kitchen too! It has quickly become one of my most favorite sites on the internet!
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