A tiny slice of my life

This is a look at my life, and the many things I try to learn and do.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Daring Bakers Challenge February 2011

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.

Well my first ever Daring Bakers challenge, the days disappeared before I realised that I had to start cooking, but I made it in time !

The result, a beautiful creamy but not too sweet panna cotta and sticky chewy florentine biscuits, both a hit with my husband and daughter.

Panna Cotta Recipe - by Giada De Laurentis

I sachet unflavoured gelatin ( 1 tablespoon - 15 ml - 7 grams) 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
3 cups (720 ml) cream 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey 1 tablespoon (15 ml) sugar
pinch of salt 1 vanilla bean split in half seeds removed

Additional flavourings - food grade lavender buds and rosewater

Pour the milk into a chilled bowl, I placed a small glass bowl in the fridge while I was measuring out the other ingredients. Place cold milk into the bowl then sprinkle the gelatin over evenly. Leave for 5 minutes for the gelatin to soften.

Pour the milk into a saucepan, over medium heat, heat mixture until hot NOT boiling. I whisked every couple of minutes, it took about 5 minutes.

Next add remaining ingredients, leaving it on the same heat, whisk until sugar and honey have dissolved and mixture hot again NOT boiling. About 5 minutes.

Remove from heat. At this stage I placed a generous third of the mixture including the vanilla pod in a glass bowl, the other third in another bowl to which I added 2 teaspoons of lavender buds and to the remainder in another bowl I added two capfuls of rose water.

Leave for 10 minutes. Pour the vanilla and rose panna cotta into seperate glasses/ramikens. For the lavender one I strained the lavender buds pressing them to extract as much flavour as possible. I retained a few to sit on top of the panna cotta, so that you could see it was lavender. Set in fridge 6 hours or overnight. Garnish and serve, I garnished the rose panna cotta with rose petals.

Nestle Florentine Cookies
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) unsalted butter 2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) quick oats
1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) granulated sugar 2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) plain 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

Preheat the oven to moderatley hot 190.C (375.F). Prepare baking sheets with silpat or baking paper.

Melt butter in medium saucepan, then remove from the heat. - I did this in a large jug in the microwave.

Add remaining ingredients to melted butter, mix well.

Drop tablespoons full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your trays. Flatten slightly with the back of the tablespoon.

Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, or until biscuits are golden. Cool completely on cake rack or baking sheets. I used the baking paper they had cooked but moved them a bit so they wouldn't stick to the paper when cool.

Melt chocolate in the microwave ( 1 - 1 1/2 minutes) or over a double boiler, ensuring that the water isn't touching the bottom of the bowl.

Use the chocolate to sandwich the biscuits together or as I did spread some chocolate over the top.

Enjoy !


  1. WOW that looks so marvellous and well done on this challenge. Lovely step by step photos as well.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. Welcome to the Kitchen! Your panna cotta looks wonderful, and the florentines look just perfect! Thanks for sharing, and I hope you continue to have fun with us!

  3. Well done with your Daring Bakers creation and welcome to the group! I love those Turkish glasses-aren't they gorgeous! :D