Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daring Bakers' February Challenge: Panna Cotta and Florentine Cookies


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.

I'd never heard of Panna Cotta before, but now it's one of my favorite desserts, for several reasons. First of all, it's beautiful and looks like something you'd find at a fancy restaurant or in a cruise ship dining room! Secondly, it's easy. Really, folks, it's very easy and maybe even "no fail." And, thirdly, it's delicious. The main ingredient is cream. It is sweetened with honey, and thickened just right with gelatin. It tastes similar to creme brulee (my VERY favorite dessert), but has a lighter, fresher taste, I believe. On top I poured a thin layer of home made pomegranate jelly. Yum! Pretty, tasty and easy.

To go with the Panna Cotta, we were challenged to bake a batch of Florentine Cookies. Florentines are thin, caramelized oat cookies, drizzled with chocolate. Maybe you can see, in this picture, how lacy they turned out.


I'm still laughing at my first pan of Florentine Cookies, which didn't turn out looking like cookies at all. Instead they spread and ran all together, making one giant Florentine.

But I peeled the thin mass of cookie from the Silpat liner, and used a pair of clean scissors to cut it into randomly-shaped individual cookies, which, by the way, tasted just as good as the nicely-shaped ones that came out on pans #2 and #3.


Audax said...

Wonderful to hear that you love panna cotta so much and your version is so good looking. And yes I think you did the right thing about the cookies cutting them out your final photographs are inspiring well done on this challenge.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Jenny said...

I was feeling the pomegranate flavor combination too, but if you head over to my blog you'll see a great example of how this is not a no-fail proposition. Haha! Your florentine cookies are almost transparent, really beautiful. Nice job!

shelley c. said...

First, I have to tell you how much I love the picture of the glass of panna cotta on the mirror - very cool. You really did an awesome job on this challenge. I, too, was amazed at how simple yet impressive panna cotta is to make. And your florentines came out beautifully - even your one big melted together pan of one! :) Great job.

Oma Hagen said...

Panna Cotta is one of my favorite desserts! There's a restaurant in Tualatin that serves it, and I order it every time we go there!! :-) ~Laura

Linda Judd said...

Oma, Tualatin was one of our old stompin' grounds. We lived in Newberg. Wish I'd have known about that restaurant back then!!!

Oma Hagen said...

Linda - It's me - Laura (Kronewitter) Hagen. Oma is my granny handle. :-)

Linda Judd said...

Ha! Laura! I should have figured that out! How fun to hear from you. I think you and I should get together for some Panna Cotta in Tualatin sometime! Take care.

Aparna said...

Your panna cotta does look nice. Those florentines taste good no matter what their shape. :)
I was worried about spreading too, but mine never did!