I was pretty happy with the choice of making Panna Cotta for this months Baker's Challenge. I absolutely love creme caramel and other custard type desserts and was thinking that I would probably like this as well. One of these days I will have to try this recipe again with a fruit flavouring as it seems to be more traditional....but to start with.....this version using buttermilk seemed to grab my attention. Plus I like buttermilk recipes since you can substitute milk kefir which I often have on hand anyway. In addition to the Panna Cotta we also were required to make florentine cookies. The recipe provided was intriguing to me as it contained no nuts which could be handy for some people. I have never noticed, nor ordered Panna Cotta on a menu before, but I am assuming it customarily comes with some type of cookie accompaniment and thus the need for this seemingly unrelated recipe??
So, the end result of the challenge.......Everyone Loved it........and asked for seconds. Using the buttermilk gave it a flavour edging towards yogurt.....a bit of a tang. The caramel sauce was super easy, and would be great for ice cream......or apparently just by itself:) The amount of gelatin was just enough to make it thicken.....but not make it like wobbly jelly.......just right in fact. And the boys enjoyed dunking their florentine cookies in through the caramel before eating them up. I will certainly be trying this one again! I like that it makes pretty individual servings....perfect to make ahead for when company is coming. And....I loved that it was super quick and easy! I poured them into vintage ruby coloured sherry glasses....let the Panna Cotta chill.....and then topped them with warm Cinnamon Caramel Sauce. YUM! It you are are looking for something to make for dessert that looks impressive.......you really should try it....
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.
Buttermilk Panna Cotta with Cinnamon Carmel Sauce
1 1/2 tsp gelatin
1 cup whip cream, divided
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 tsp vanilla, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Pour 1 1/2 tablespoons of water into a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over evenly. Let sit for 10 minutes. Combine 3/4 cup cream, 1/3 cup sugar in a small saucepan and stir over medium high heat until the sugar dissolved and the mixture begins to simmer. Remove from the heat , and add softened gelatin and stir until fully dissolved. Cool to warm stirring occasionally. Stir in buttermilk and 1 1/2 tsp vanilla. Divide into 6 ramekins, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Combine brown sugar and 1/4 cup cream in a small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and caramel sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and 1 tsp vanilla.
Nut Free Florentine Cookies
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 2/3 oz) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk chocolate
Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the 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 your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl)
- Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment 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 cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.