I finished my Mesquite Honey Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Puree for the Feb. Daring Baker's Challenge just in the nick of time! They are in the fridge... chillin'... and waiting for the half-time show of the Oscars. What, no half-time show? Well, they are a B-E-A-U-tiful dessert for such a black tie event, anyway.
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.
Many thanks to Mallory for such a great and timely challenge. Panna Cotta is just the dessert to serve tonight, at our Oscars party. Light and creamy, elegant and, best of all, a "make-ahead so you can enjoy the party" type of dessert. Please visit her website, A Sofa in the Kitchen, for some amazing looking treats... some wear a black tie and some are just for everyday fun.
I followed the recipe Mallory provided very carefully. The only change I made was adding a little extra dollup of my favorite mesquite honey in place of the sugar. That way, not only did the panna cotta have a little extra honey flavor but, I didn't have to worry about the sugar not dissolving and leaving a grainy texture.
First, pour the milk into a small sauce pan. Sprinkle gelatin over the milk and let soften for about 5 minutes. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. You should see steam and little bubbles gathering around the sides of the pan. Whisk gently to be sure the gelatin is dissolved.
Add the cream, honey, sugar and salt. You may omit the sugar and add an extra dollup of honey.
Stir gently to combine. Heat the mixture until hot, but not boiling. Don't over stir, you don't want bubbles in your panna cotta. Let cool. Pour into glasses or ramekins.
Chill until set, 4 to 6 hours or over night.
Prepare the Mixed Berry Puree/Gelee. Remove from heat and let cool before adding to the top of the panna cotta. If you make the gelee at the same time as the panna cotta mixture, let it cool, then cover with plastic wrap and leave ou until ready to use. Do not chill in the refrigerator or it will set. If it does, it's not a problem, you just reheat it gently so it returns to the liquid state.
Spoon ¼ inch layer over the panna cottas. Chill until set. Garnish with fresh berries or Florentine Cookies.
Mesquite Honey Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Puree
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
⅓ cup (80 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
Mixed Berry Puree (recipe follows)
1. Pour the milk into a small , cool sauce pot. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over the milk. Let gelatin soften in the milk for about 5 minutes.
2. Heat the milk mixture over medium heat until hot, but not boiling, about 5 minutes. You should see steam and small bubbles forming around the edges of the pan. Whisk briefly to be sure the gelatin is completely dissolved. If it is not dissolved, turn off the flame and continue to gently stir until it is.
3. Add the cream, honey, sugar and salt.
4. Heat until hot and the stream and bubbles return, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Do not boil. Remove from heat and let cool before pouring into glasses or ramekins.
5. Refrigerate for 4 to six hours until set or overnight.
6. Pour a ¼ inch layer of mixed berry puree or gelee on the top of each panna cotta. Chill until set, about 1 to 2 hours.
7. Garnish with fresh berries.
Mixed Berry Puree/Gelee
8 oz blackberry juice
4 oz raspberry juice
4 oz strawberry juice
2 teaspoons gelatin (optional)
Directions for Mixed Berry Puree/Gelee
1. Pour blackberry juice into a small sauce pan.
2. If you are making the gelee, sprinkle the gelatin over the juice, evenly. Let soften for about 5 minutes. Add the other juices and heat until hot, but not boiling. Let cool and spoon a ¼ inch layer over the panna cotta. Chill until set.
3. If you are making the puree, add the other juices and simmer until reduced and thickened to a syrup consistency. Chill and spoon a ¼ inch layer over the panna cotta.
4. Garnish with fresh berries.
Nestle Florentine Cookies
⅔ cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 ⅔ oz) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar
⅔ cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
¼ cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk chocolate
Directions for Nestle Florentine Cookies
Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.
2. 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.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
4. While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 ½ 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).
5. 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).
6. Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie
atop the chocolate.
-posted by Sandy