Blog Check Line: 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.
I've never made panna cotta before. Basically, I've never liked any gelatined- food....with an exception of mango jelly just because I love mango and I'll eat literally mango-anything. Anyhoo. I seldom make food with gelatine and if I do, I usually make it with sheet gelatine rather than powder gelatine, as I can always taste something 'plastic-ky' with powder gelatine,I don't know if anyone else also tastes that, i just wish I'm not the only weird person in this world who feels that way :P
The other reason I've never made panna cotta is that most of my family members don't drink milk, so if I am making any panna cotta, I need to eat them all! I don't want to make a dessert, eat it all by myself, and get all the fat, that'll be very sad. :(
When the February Daring Baker challenge host revealed what we have to make is panna cotta, I was a bit hesistated, coz I know it will be pretty difficult for me because there's gelatine in it, and I can't handle gelatine very well. So, in order to increase the success rate, I decided to make a simple espresso panna cotta, i just don't want to make something awful and I still have to eat them all. But my devil inside my head keep reminding me it's a challenge for myself, so I made a little bit more by making some milk jelly and put it on top of the panna cotta.
In my imagination the espresso panna cotta will look good with some milk jelly floating on top..too bad my execution skill is awful and I couldn't really cut nice pieces of milk jelly in cubes, so I just threw in some jelly and wished it'd look okay, if not, at least it would taste okay, I guess.
Beside panna cotta, we also have to make florentines, which again I've never made or even heard before, but I'm really glad to make it, in fact, I've made it again and again because my family and friends ate all the cookies before I could take a photo! And they all ask for more! I love it when they ask for more, yay!
The florentines are crunchy on the outside, chewy in the inside, quite different with the florentines sample I saw which are so thin like lace, I think the main reason is the florentine batter didn't spread as much as it should, but then it's tasty ', so I'm gonna stay this way :P And, I didn't sandwich the florentines with any chocolate nor drizzle any chocolate on them because I think it's sweet enough and tasty enough without any chocolate on it.
Again I really need to thank Mallory for challenging us with these two delicious treats, I'm not so afraid of gelatine anymore now! :)
Espresso Panna Cotta
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis in Foodnetwork.com
1/2 cup whole milk (120mL)
1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (I used 2 gelatin sheets)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (360mL)
3 heaping teaspoons instant espres so powder
1/4 cup sugar (49g, I used around 40g)
1 small white chocolate bar, for garnishing (omitted)
1 small dark chocolate bar, for garnishing (omitted)
Place the milk in a heavy, small saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
Stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves, but the milk does not boil, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, espresso powder, sugar, and salt.
Stir over low heat, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
Pour the cream mixture into 2 martini glasses, dividing equally. Cover and refrigerate, stirring every 20 minutes during the first hour. (This is a step that cannot be omitted)
Chill until set, at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.
When ready to serve, use a vegetable peeler on the chocolate blocks to create about 1 tablespoon each of the white and dark
chocolate shavings. Sprinkle the shavings over each panna cotta and serve.
(What I did, was making half portion of the panna cotta first, chilled them until set, then made the other half portion and poured into the mold. Took them out from the fridge after first 20 minutes, stirred them; then at the 40 minutes, added the milk jelly on top of the panna cotta and chilled it overnight.)