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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Panna Cotta and Florentines - Daring Bakers Februrary Challenge

Blog-checking lines: 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.

1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup
1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt
2 cups assorted fresh berries
Place the milk in a small bowl. Sprinkle the
gelatin over. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Pour milk mixture into a heavy saucepan and stir over medium heat just until the gelatin dissolves but the milk does not boil, about 5 minutes. Add the cream, honey, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar dissolves, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Pour into 6 wine glasses so that they are 1/2 full. Cool slightly. Refrigerate until set, at least 6 hours.
Spoon the berries atop the
panna cotta and serve. Cover and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight
Nestle Florentine Cookies
Recipe from the cookbook “Nestle Classic Recipes”, and their website.
2/3 cup unsalted butter;2 cups quick oats; 1 cup granulated sugar; 2/3 cup plain flour; 1/4 cup dark corn syrup; 1 tsp vanilla extract; pinch of salt; 1½ cups dark or milk chocolate
Preheat oven to 375°F. 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 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.
This recipe will make about 2 1/2 – 3 dozen sandwiched Florentine cookies. You can also choose not to sandwich yours, in which case, drizzle the tops with chocolate (over your wax paper).

This was quite an easy challenge but I still learned some tips for making again - a silpat is essential!
I placed the first batch on regular baking parchment paper and they stuck to the paper - absolutely would not, would not come off without bringing sticky bits of paper with them.
The silpat batch came off smoothly and with a nice fine consistency.

I thought the cookies were a bit sweet, for my taste at any rate. I drizzled white chocolate over the cookies so that was sweet too - probably bittersweet would have been more suitable. The panna cotta was delicious - really like a nectar cream - a very elegant dessert.