Panna Cotta with Orange Flavored Almond Florentine cookies

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This month daring baker’s challenge by hostess Mallory from  A Sofa in the Kitchen was to make Panna cotta using recipe of Giada De Laurentiis of food network and  Nestle’s Florentine cookies . Panna cotta means cooked cream in Italian. Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made using cooked cream, milk, sugar and with some gelatin or agar agar and letting it to set. Usually this dish is served with fresh fruits, fruit sauce and fruit coulis. 
I had tried panna cotta earlier, and it tasted good, however the Panna Cotta was stuck to the mold and in spite of my coaxing, it refused to leave the mold. When I saw the challenge I was excited to try this dish again, however from my earlier attempt I realized the need for some good amount of gelatin or agar agar to make the Panna cotta, otherwise removing it from the mold would not be that easy.
Mallory’s suggestion was to use Giada’s recipe for panna cotta, however I am not a fan of Giada. As far as I am concerned, Giada shows more of her cleavage than the food. Hence I used my earlier tried version of Panna cotta with slight changes in the ingredients. I tried two version of Panna cotta. First one is coconut, ginger, cardamom Panna cotta served with fresh blueberries in maple cinnamon syrup. I used coconut and ginger as it is common in our curries giving it an Asian touch. I had some fresh blueberries in hand; hence I decide to make a sauce with those to serve with the panacotta. I simmered the blueberries in orange juice, sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with cinnamon. I used agar agar as setting agent, skipped gelatin this time. They turned out to be awesome. 
My next version was cardamom, saffron and rose water panna cotta with orange gleee which also turned out to be a melt in mouth. I used 2 tablespoon of agar agar flakes, making panna cotta to be little bit wobbly in nature. But I love it. For orange glee I used my blogger friend Elie of Almost bourdain recipe however  added only 1 tablespoon of sugar and used agar agar. I made only 3 serving, my little princess was happy to enjoy as soon as the immediate photo shoot was over. My hubby says you make food, but won’t let us eat, telling that you need to take photograph of the food. Most of the time photograph becomes anti hero in house. Importance of hero will be highlighted only when there is a villain or antihero is there I am correct?
My friend took some for herself and her husband. I made almond Florentine cookies, instead of Nestlé’s oatmeal Florentine cookies. As I have some almond meal in hand I didn’t crushed the whole almonds. I used my friend Faith of An Edible mosaic  recipe which is adapted from this recipe . I did some modification in the steps while making them and also added some orange zest. These cookies were huge hit in my house, it was in so demand that my hubby asked me to make once again. I made twice, I these cookies are the one you will die for, you won’t stop eating them. It is so addictive. Here goes the recipe.
One year ago: Orange Tiramisu
Print recipe from here
 
 Coconut- Ginger- Cardamom Panna cotta with Blueberry sauce
What you need
Heavy cream: 1 cup
Coconut milk: ¼ cup
Freshly grated ginger: 1 teaspoon
Cardamom pods: 2 no
Agar agar: 2 tablespoon
Water: ¼ cup
To blueberry sauce
Fresh blueberries: ½ cup
Orange juice: ¼ cup
Maple syrup: 1 tablespoon (Increase the amount if you want more sweetness)
Ground cinnamon:1/8 teaspoon
How I made
In a small bowl soak agar agar with ¼ cup of water for about 30 minutes. 
In the mean the grate the ginger using micro plane and set aside. Ground the cardamom using motor and pestle into a fine powder and set aside. 
Lightly grease the 3 custard bowls with canola oil and set aside. 
After 30 minutes of soaking time in a medium bowl heat agar agar, sugar and ¼ cup of heavy cream . Bring to boil and cook for 2 minutes or until entire agar agar has melted and incorporated into the cream. Switch off the flame. 
To this add ¼ cup of coconut milk, ginger and ground cardamom powder and mix everything to combine well while it is warm. 
Beat rest of heavy cream with whisk for 5-6 times or until small bubbles are visible. Add this heavy to coconut milk- ginger- heavy whipping cream- sugar- agar agar mixture. Immediately strain this using a strainer and transfer to prepared bowl. (You have to do this step immediately otherwise if the mixture is become cold then agar starts of set at room temperature.)

Keep the Panna cotta inside refrigerator for about 4 hours or overnight for chill. 
When you are ready to serve the Panna cotta prepare the blueberry sauce by heating the orange juice, blueberries, maple syrup and cinnamon. Bring to boil and switch off the flame, so that blueberries will able to hold the shape. 
For transferring to serving plate, keep the Panna cotta in warm water for one minute to loosen the side and flip them. Normally they will come out without any problem, if they still stuck to mold then slightly loosen the sides with knife dipped with warm water. 

Serve them with blueberry sauce. Enjoy.
Cardamom-Saffron- Rose water Panna cotta with Orange gelee
What you need 

Heavy cream: 1 cup
Milk: ¼ cup
Water: 1/4cup
Agar agar: 1 ½ tablespoon ( I used flakes)
Cardamom pods; 5 no
Saffron: ¼ teaspoon
Rose water: 1/3 teaspoon
For orange gelee
Orange juice: 2/3 cup ( I used fresh juice)
Agar agar:1 tablespoon
Sugar: 1 tablespoon
How I made
In a small bowl soak agar agar with ¼ cup of water for about 30 minutes. 
Ground the cardamom using motor and pestle into a fine powder and set aside. Heat milk in microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds high and add saffron and set aside.
Lightly grease the 3 custard bowls with canola oil and set aside. 
After 30 minutes of soaking time in a medium bowl heat agar agar, sugar and orange juice . Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes or until entire agar agar has melted and incorporated into the juice. Switch off the flame. Transfer this orange juice-sugar-agar agar mixture into the prepared custard bowl and allow set in refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until it set.
In the mean time heat in a medium bowl, heat agar agar, sugar and ½ cup of heavy cream and bring to boil and let it simmer for 2 minutes or until the agar agar gets incorporated well. Switch off the flame.
In the mean time beat rest of heavy cream with whisk for 5-6 times or until small bubbles are visible.
To this add milk and light beaten rest of heavy cream and ground cardamom powder and mix everything to combine well while it is warm. Immediately strain this using a strainer and transfer to prepared bowl. (You have to do this step immediately otherwise if the mixture is become cold then agar starts of set at room temperature.)

Keep the Panna cotta inside refrigerator for about 4 hours or overnight for chill. 

Preparation time: 45 minutes + Chilling time
Serving: 3
Verdict: Yummy
Will you make it again: Yes I will
 Orange flavored Almond Florentine cookies
What you need
Almond meal: 1/3 cup
Unbleached All purpose flour: 1 tablespoon (I used King Arthur flour)
Orange Zest: 1 teaspoon
Melted butter: 1 ½ tablespoon
Water: 1 ½ tablespoon
Light corn syrup: ½ tablespoon
Granulated sugar: 1 ½ tablespoon
Heavy cream: 1 tablespoon
Vanilla extract: ¼ teaspoon
Salt: 1/8 teaspoon

How I made

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cookies sheet with non stick foil or parchment paper and set aside. 
Melt the butter in microwave safe bowl by heating butter at 20 seconds high and set aside.
In a medium bowl swift together almond meal, all purpose flour, sugar, salt and set aside.
To dry ingredients add melted butter, light corn syrup, heavy cream, vanilla extract and orange zest and mix well. To this gradually add water to form thick batter ( similar to cream of wheat).
In prepared baking sheet scoop out ½ tablespoon of cookie batter and line those leaving 2 inch space in between. Once you finished the line the batter, with back of tablespoon gradually spread each batter into round similar to large cookies. This step will prevent extra spreading of batter while baking. 
Bake for about 9-10 minutes or until the sides turn golden brown in color. Leave the cookies for 5 minutes in the cookie sheets and then remove and cool them in wire rack. Store baked cookies carefully, separated by parchment or waxed paper, in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

If you want you can sandwich chocolate between two cookies or drizzle chocolate over them. I skipped that part. 

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12no
Verdict: Yummy, addictive.
Will you make it again: Yes I will.

Maniac Meatless Mondays hosted by Rebecca Jean of Midnight Maniac
Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory
The Hearth and Soul Blog Hop
Tuseday nights supper club : 29

Tasty tuesday

Treat to eyes hosted by Rumana

BYOB

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Comments

  1. says

    I love Giada,her food I mean. These days,its necessary to be glamourous if u want people to see/taste ur food.Taste comes later.Its the whole packaging that works.
    Love the pannacotta. Here the cream is low in fat and add to that the poor qlty of agar I too hav had problems in unmolding.So I agree with u- a good measure of agar is needed.

  2. says

    Swathi, that cookie is to die for…. Love it.. Bookmarked dear…is there any substitute for corn syrup ? Else can I totally neglect it?

  3. says

    Great job on the Daring Baker’s challenge! Your panna cotta looks great and I love the almond florentines you chose to do!

  4. says

    Swathi-You have done an amazing job on the panna cotta, and the florentine cookies, and made it your own. So elegant and totally impressive. Love the two tone color and flavor effect of the orange, and also love the berries.
    Just gorgeous!

  5. says

    Swathi,
    what a delicious and beautiful dish you have here – it all just looks so delightful. Your directions make it look do – able! Thanks for sharing this with the Hearth and Soul Hop!

  6. says

    i have never used agar-agar…i have been just a little afraid to. your versions of panna cotta..with gorgeous spices and orange gelee are intoxicating. thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club.

  7. says

    beautiful recipe swathi! and yummy pictures :) have never tried making a pannacotta… it just sounds so complicated and scary! but i think i will give it a try now :D