Sunday, February 27, 2011

DB Challenge February: I "heart" Panna Cotta

Even though I am posting today I actually managed to finish this challenge early. Like super early. I am pre-writing this post because I am out of town at the moment. Today is actually Feb. 5th, 2011.

I was pretty excited when I saw this month's challenge.
1. because I have been wanting to get over my fear of this dessert and..
2. because I had extra gelatin left over from last month's challenge.

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.

This challenge was nice because it offered a lot of freedom of expression.
I decided to go full tilt this month. I made 2 flavours of panna cotta.

The first:
Vanilla Bean & Wildflower Honey

The second:
Mexican Chocolate ( nice hints of chili and cinnamon)

The only thing I was pretty disappointed in was the florentine recipe. They looked good but really didn't strike me as the typical sugary, lacy, crispy texture I was used to. So I did go to a different recipe for the cookies.

The fillings were 2 kinds as well.
With the vanilla panna cotta I just did a Nutella filling.
For the chocolate panna cotta I did a caramel filling.

Vanilla Panna Cotta (Giada de Laurentis Recipe):

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon (one packet) unflavored powdered gelatin

3 cups whipping cream (30+% butterfat)

1/3 cup honey

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise an beans removed

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

pinch of salt


1. Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk wait. Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.

2. Pour the milk into the saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage).

3. Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, vanilla beans and pod and pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn't boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved 5-7 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Take out vanilla pod, discard.Then pour into the glass or ramekin.

5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Add garnishes and serve.

Mexican Chocolate Panna Cotta:

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin

2 cups whipping cream (30+% butterfat)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp chili powder

1⁄2 cup sugar

3⁄4 cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top, set aside for 2-5 minutes.

2. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir in cream, cinnamon, chili, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil.

3. Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk the milk/gelatin mixture into chocolate cream mixture. Whisk until gelatin has dissolved.

4. Transfer to ramekins, or nice glasses for serving.

5. Cover and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Superbowl Eats

Any given Sunday you will find millions of people dressed in the NFL Sunday best tailgating outside the stadiums or pulling off spreads of finger foods in the comfort of their own homes.

This particular Sunday however is the stuff of legends. This Sunday, today is the be all and end all of football for the year. People plan their lived around this Sunday.
No you can't go to your best friend's, ex- husband's, mother-in-law's funeral. Today is SUPERBOWL SUNDAY.

I play on an indoor recreational soccer team here in the city for the wintertime and even today our team has forfeited our game in place of another.
What? you say, oh yes.

There is no greater day, maybe Christmas, then Superbowl Sunday where you get to make tons of little finger foods to sit with all your friends and hash it out about the underdog vs. the favourite, about whether or not it was a touchdown or whether the ref should have his eyes checked.

I "heart" Superbowl Sunday.

So today I will be posting a few things I have made in honour of this glorious occasion.

1. Pulled Chicken
3. Peel & Eat Shrimp