Archive for the ‘Panna Cotta’ Category

Butterscotch Panna Cotta

Since making panna cotta last month for the first time in over a year, I have been on a somewhat panna cotta kick. It is so luscious and creamy with such a wonderful mouth feel and it makes such a pretty finale to a meal. My brother-in-law was in town last night and I was making homemade pizza, so it was pretty casual. I wanted a dessert that was not carb based andI  knew I had panna cotta on the brain. It’s all Italian, right?
This recipe uses muscovado sugar, an extra dark brown sugar that has a nice molasses flavor. If you don’t have this available you can also use regular dark brown sugar or light brown sugar with a tablespoon of molasses added. It’s not completely necessary, but it adds such a deep butterscotch flavor.

Aren’t these cute?

Best of all, I had these vintage Tupperware molds that I got at a garage sale and pretty much forgot about that were perfect for this! It makes me feel like less of a hoarder when I can actually use some of the things I acquire along the way.

I served this with dulce de leche and shaved bittersweet chocolate, but the real final clincher on this dessert is a sprinkling of fleur de sel. I used a celtic grey sea salt. This final note sends this dessert into culinary heaven! The sprinkling of salt really brings out the butterscotch flavor and makes it soar. Enjoy!

Serves 6

3/4 cup water, to be divided
2 1/2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (I use knox)
3 cups heavy cream (34-36 %)
3/4 cup packed dark muscovado sugar, to be divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
seeds from one vanilla bean (optional – I have a thing for vanilla)
2 teaspoons dark rum

Garnish- flaky sea salt, shaved chocolate, dulce de leche

Place 1/4 cup of the water in a small bowl and sprinkle with the gelatin. This is to soften the gelatin before using. Let it sit while you proceed with the rest of the recipe.
In a medium saucepan, bring the cream, vanilla bean seeds (if using), salt and 1/2 cup of the dark sugar to a gentle simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
In another saucepan (2 quart), place the remaining 1/2 cup water and the 1/4 cup sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir a few times to completely dissolve the sugar . Let this mixture cook for about 5 minutes, or until it is thickish and syrupy. It will reduce to about 3 tablespoons. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cream mixture. It might bubble up a bit so be careful. Whisk in the softened gelatin and stir until all of the gelatin is dissolved, at least 2 minutes. Stir in the rum and vanilla extract.

Ladle or pour into 6 3/4- cup molds of your choice. Loosely cover with wrap (not touching the panna cotta) and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

To serve, dip the bottom of you molds into a bowl of hot water for about 10 seconds. Run a sharp knife around the edge and flip over onto a plate.

Recipe source: Panna Cotta by Camilla V. Saulsbury


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This months Bakers Challenge was hosted by  Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She requested two recipes actually, one for the cool and creamy Panna cotta, the other, a sweet,crunchy florentine cookie. I served this for dessert a few weeks ago and it was a great light ending for the linguine and clam sauce dinner.

Panna Cotta is an Italian eggless custard dessert. The literal translation is “cooked cream”. Except the cream isn’t really cooked. It’s really just warmed to dissolve the sugar and gelatin.  It is very similar to Blancmange, with the major difference being that one is thickened with gelatin and the latter with corn starch. I haven’t made Panna cotta since last New  Years Eve so I very was glad to be able to revisit this dessert. It is quite simple to make, the variations are endless, and it has  great “mouth feel”.  I think I will be making this quite often from now on. For this challenge I made a cappuccino style Panna cotta. It was constructed of three layers; a coffee jelly, a cinnamon Panna cotta, and a vanilla bean sour cream Panna cotta. Panna Cotta is typically unmolded but I chose not to do it  for this version. If you want to unmold your Panna cotta just dip the bottom of your mold into warm water for a minute run a sharp knife around the edge, then flip it over into your serving dish. It sounds scarier than it is, trust me.

The cookie chosen is a florentine. I make these at Christmas time and never posted the recipe so I am happy to finally get around to that. I made two different kinds, the traditional version with candied orange peel and almonds (my favorite!) and also a dried cherry hazelnut, also a winner. I think dried fruit and nuts taste great together so I imagine any combination would be terrific. I was thinking maybe dried blueberry and brazil nut with a drizzle of white chocolate. Maybe next time…

Bake on!

This requires time for each layer to set up so either make the day before start it in the morning. The actual work time for each layer is less than 10 minutes.
Coffee jelly layer

3 scant tsp gelatin powder (I used Knox)
2 Tablespoons warm water
2 cups strong brewed coffee (you could also use espresso)
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Place the gelatin and warm water in a small dish; stir to combine. Set is aside to soften while you prepare the rest. Place the coffee and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring it up to boil, turn off the heat and take if off the element. Stir in the softened gelatin and stir until all of the gelatin is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes then divide it up 6 serving dishes. I used small glasses but use whatever you have on hand. Place  these onto a baking tray and transfer into the fridge. Let set up at least one hour before the next layer.

Cinnamon Panna Cotta Layer

1 3/4 tsp gelatin
3 Tablespoons warm water
1 1/4 cup heavy cream (33-36%)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
pinch ground cinnamon
3 Tablespoons dark brown sugar

Heat the cream, cinnamon sticks, pinch ground cinnamon and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar (do not let it boil). Turn off the heat and let it steep for 20 minutes.
Place the gelatin and warm water into a small dish; stir to combine. Let it soften for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently heat the cream back up.  Off the heat, stir in the gelatin until it is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks . Pour into Pyrex measuring cup or other lipped dish for easier pouring. Take the coffee jelly our of the fridge and equally pour the Panna cotta over the coffee jellies (it’s about 1/4 c (2 oz) per dish). Place the dishes back into the fridge to set up


Vanilla Bean Sour Cream Panna Cotta Layer

1 cup 1/2 & 1/2 cream (10%)
1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract)
1/3 cup sour cream (14%)
1 1/2  tsp gelatin
3 tablespoons warm water

Place the water and gelatin in a small dish to soften; set aside. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod and place into a medium saucepan along with the pod. Add the cream and sugar and  heat  over medium- low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Take off the heat; remove the vanilla pod (rinse it off and toss into your sugar bowl). Add the sour cream and whisk until it is smooth and creamy. Sir in the softened gelatin and stir for a few minutes to make sure that the gelatin is completely dissolved and incorporated.
Take the jellies out of the fridge and gently pour the vanilla sour cream Panna cotta over the cinnamon layer, dividing equally amongst the serving dishes. Place back into the fridge and let set up for 2 hours before serving.

Dried Cherry & Hazelnut Florentines

Makes 36 cookies

Preheat your oven to 350F

1/2 cup heavy cream (33-36%)                                                    
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups finely chopped almonds
1/2 cup diced candied orange peel

Bittersweet chocolate to drizzle (optional)

Place the nuts and fruit in a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan, add the  cream and sugar and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Take it off the heat and pour over the nuts and fruit. Add the flour and stir.
Drop by teaspoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten the cookies slightly using a wet spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before removing from the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Let cool completely.  Melt some chocolate and place in a disposable pastry bag or a small ziploc bag with a corner snipped off. Drizzle of the cookies. Place in the fridge for a few minutes to set the chocolate.These cookies will last about 5 days (if you don’t eat them all) but they do not freeze well.

This cookie recipe is from the Gourmet Magazine Cookie Book

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