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. I had never tried panna cotta before but I love creamy chilled desserts so I was looking forward to this challenge.
Her cake had a layer of sponge, bananas, chocolate mousse, more bananas, and then I was planning on pouring the panna cotta as the top layer. I should have thought this through better. The panna cotta just soaked into the sponge and I was left with no top layer.
Sponge cake = full of air holes for panna cotta to soak into. In hindsight this fact is really obvious.
So I cooked bananas with brown sugar and butter, pureed them and then folded it with whipped cream to make the top layer. It was delicious but I *still* had to actually make the panna cotta for the challenge.
If you haven't tried panna cotta before you should.. it's smooth, creamy, slightly sweet. I can't wait till summer berries are available because they would be delicious on top of it.
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)
1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
- Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk (make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
- 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).
- Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, 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.
- Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
- Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups chilled whipping cream
- 1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur (I've used spiced rum, kaluha, and other liqueurs as well)
Whisk eggs and sugar in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water (do not allow bottom of bowl to touch water) and whisk constantly until candy thermometer registers 60°F, about 5 minutes.
Remove bowl from over water. Using electric mixer, beat egg mixture until cool and very thick, about 10 minutes.
Place chocolate in top of another bowl over simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Cool to lukewarm.
Combine cream and Irish cream liqueur in medium bowl; beat to stiff peaks. Pour lukewarm melted chocolate over egg mixture and fold together. Fold in cream mixture. Cover and chill until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.