Sunday, 27 February 2011

Daring Bakers' Challenge No. 4 - Feb 2011 - Mocha Panna Cotta and Florentine Cookies.

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 loved these recipes.  The Panna Cotta was much easier to make than I imagined and turned out really well although I cheated and did it in a glass instead of a mould - I'll need to attempt that part of the challenge next time.  I made the chocolate panna cotta and married it with a coffee gelee.  I would love to make the vanilla panna cotta with a fruit gelee but my fruit-phobic husband wouldn't have helped me eat it so I'll have to keep that for some time I am having friends round.

The cookies were really tasty too.  They spread a LOT in the baking tin but are very tasty.

Chocolate Panna Cotta.
(recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

Ingredients - 
240ml whole milk
1 tbsp (7g) unflavoured, powdered gelatine
480ml double cream
115g sugar
145g plain chocolate
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method - 
1. Pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatine over the top, set aside for 2-5 mins.
2. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir in cream, sugar and vanilla.  Bring to a low boil.
3. Add chocolate and whisk until melted.  Whisk the milk/gelatine mixture into chocolate cream mixture. Whisk until gelatine has dissolved.
4. Transfer to ramekins or nice glasses for serving.
5. Cover and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight.

Coffee Gelee.
(recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine) 

Ingredients - 
480 ml good quality brewed coffee
60 ml hot water and 2 tbsp cold water
115g granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp (3 1/2 g) unflavoured, powdered gelatine
2 tsp vanilla extract

Method - 
1. Place sugar and hot water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stir until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Sprinkle gelatine over 2 tbsp cold water and let it soften for 2 mins or so.
3. Stir the coffee, sugar, hot water and vanilla into a small metal bowl, add gelatine mixture and stir well until gelatine has dissolved.  
4. If pouring over Panna Cotta, leave to cool to room temperature first or it will melt the panna cotta.

Florentine Cookies.
(adapted from the cookbook "Nestle Classic recipes") 

Ingredients - 
150g unsalted butter
160g quick oats
230g granulated sugar
95g plain flour (I added some extra to subsequent batches which made the hold their shape a little better while baking)
60ml golden syrup
60ml whole milk
1tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
250g dark chocolate

Method - 
1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C/GM5.  Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
2. Melt butter.
3. To the melted butter, add oats, sugar, flour, syrup, milk, vanilla and salt. Mix well.
4. Drop a tbsp full, three inches apart, onto your prepared baking sheet.  Flatten slightly with the back of your spoon.
5. Bake for 6-8 mins until the cookies are golden brown.  Cool completely on the baking sheets.
6. Melt your chocolate.
7. Spread a tbsp of chocolate on the bottom of your cookie, sandwiching another atop the chocolate.  Or you can choose not to sandwich them but simply drizzle the chocolate over the tops.

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  1. I totally cheated too. I put it in a glass and realized that it probably wouldn't unmold very well, so I photographed it a lot of ways with it in the glass and then experimented by trying unmold it. It was a disaster! Good thing I had the other photos though!

    Mocha sounds fantastic! Congrats on the challenge!

  2. Bravo! Looks fabulous and the taste is the same in the glass ;-)
    Love your comment on being fruit-phobic. I can identify a few family members, unfortunately, on this one! The cookies look delicious too.

  3. Jill - I have to say I do find the fruit phobia VERY frustrating. I LOVE chocolate but I get bored and frustrated at having to make EVERYTHING chocolate!

  4. Looks like a really delicious dessert.

    Love the crisp biscuit with the smooth panna cotta - perfect combination.

  5. BG - it was a good combination. Th Daring bakers is a great way to get fab recipes and combinations without having to put the hard work into research! Hee hee.

  6. Now I want to make mocha Panna Cotta! That looks just amazingly delicious! I'm just the opposite, my husband is coffee-phobic, and that's why I never make anything coffee flavored, or I'll have to eat it all by myself! :o)

  7. Funny - I made mine in ramekins to unmold them, and wish I had done them in a glass, as I love the look of them done that way! Yours are no exception - they look great, as do your florentines. Great job! :)

  8. They look gorgeous. I love panna cotta but have never tried chocolate ones. Well done

  9. I don't think it's cheating to serve it in a glass. Nice work :)

  10. I didn't realise that it was cheating to do it in a glass I like it that why LOL LOL. WOW I love your panna cotta it looks so delicious and the cookies are perfect. Your photography is great also.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  11. Renata, Shelley, Granny, Mushitza and Audax - thank you very much for your lovely, encouraging comments. :-D

  12. Lovely panna cotta and florentines. Love that layer of coffee gelee over the panna cotta.

  13. Wow looks fabulous.. absolutely love it.. beautiful pictures. They looks gorgeous.


  14. These cookies look really nice.. yum yum

  15. Love the coffee & choc combination and the biscuits look so crispy, would love one right now! :)

  16. Mary, Pavithra, Livs and Village Pantry - thank you very much.

  17. The criss cross pattern on the cookies is beautiful. I did some panna cotta in glasses, too, and I'm glad I did, because the moulded ones turned out into big sloppy messes! None of these pictures will ever been seen again. Well done on yours. I will definitely make the panna cotta again--I was amazed by how easy it was.

  18. Well at least you were brave enough to try, Sarah!

  19. Looks like it tasted amazing :)
    I should have done the panna cotta, too!