Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daring Baker's 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 loved this challenge because there were one 100 million ways to do this, so many different flavor combos.. At first I thought berries for valentine's day, but then everyone would do it.. then I thought coconut and pineapple.. Erm, no, still no. Then it hit me.. I had done a post back in october about the Harry Potter butterbeer, so I decided to make a butterbeer panna cotta. I loved it!

So here is the recipe:

Panna Cotta Base

1/2 cup  brown sugar
1 tablespoons water
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1 3/4 heavy cream
3 sheets gelatin


1. In a small saucepan over medium, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, until the mixture reads 240 F on a candy thermometer. (Please be careful when cooking sugar, the burns are dangerous)
2. Stir in the butter, salt, and 1/4  cup heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

3. Once the mixture has cooled a little, stir in the rum extract. (Don't use real rum, uncooked alcohol doesn't taste very pleasant in a drink that isn't supposed to taste like it!)

4. Heat up the rest of the heavy cream. Meanwhile, bloom the gelatin sheets in ice cold water.
5. When the heavy cream comes to a boil, dissolve the gelatin sheets in it and pour into the brown sugar mixture.
6. Whisk very well then set into mould or cup. Chill for 8 hours in the fridge before topping with gelatin base.
Gelatin Base
1 can cream soda
2oz water
4 oz sugar
4 gelatin sheets
  1. Pour cream soda into a bowl and stir to release some carbonation.
  2. Bloom the gelatin sheets in ice water.
  3. Boil the water with the sugar till it dissolves, then add the bloomed gelatin and stir.
  4. Add gelatin mixture to the soda and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour on top of the set panna cotta and refrigerate till set for 5 hours.

Florentine Cookies Recipe
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 2/3 oz) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk chocolate
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. And here are my own plating versions:
    This one is with a roasted banana on top of the cookies.

And to celebrate the Harry Potter Butterbeer Phenomenon...
And a little sneak peak at Stardust's Favorite Photographer Josh Wong: He was just in the World of Harry Potter and took some amazing shots... Enjoy:


  1. Butterbeer panna cotta, well I've never seen that! Although it looks like it worked very well and would be a dessert any Harry Potter fan would love.

  2. Such a clever flavor choice--love it!