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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Daring Bakers' Panacotta and Florentines



It is fifteen minutes past midnight and well in Bangkok it is officially three hours and fifteen minutes on a 27th February. So I might just get this challenge posted since I have got plenty of errands to run tomorrow... Hope you all don't mind :-)

What have I been doing these past few weeks? Pretty much frantically dealing with fondant. First of all I need to get the cakes perfect in terms of shape and texture, I have had so many unleveled cakes that at one point I thought that was all I could deal with, but then I was introduced to cake strips, the magical belt used to wrap around the side of a cake tin while baking and somehow helps to slow down the heat penetrating the sides of the cake and result in a level cake. Thanks God, I have this way out, even though the strips are still on their way, thanks to Kate of Artisan Sweets By Kate .



Then I still have to deal with icing the cake before rolling with fondant. Due to hot weather in Bangkok, should I use butter buttercream? shortening buttercream? meringue buttercream? I haven't figured it out, that is the reason why I haven't got into practice of rolling the fondant and covering my very first fondant cake.



Okay, take it easy... one step at a time... Let's get this challenge out, and later get back to fondant all over again. Hopefully everything will go smoothly. Meanwhile, thanks to Kate of Artisan Sweets By Kate for being such a great source of information and inspiration!

Okay, let's switch to the challenge a bit here...... This months's Panacotta and Florentines are truly fun to deal with. Colorful layers, bring it on :-) I decided to work with Chocolate Panacotta layered with Papaya Gelée and Peach Milk Gelée.



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.

PANACOTTA AND FLORENTINES



1. Chocolate Panna Cotta
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

Ingredients:
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 cups (480 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
- ½ cup (115 gm) (4 oz) sugar
- ¾ cup (145 gm)(5 oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
- ½ teaspoon (2½ ml) vanilla extract

Directions:
- Pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top, set aside for 2-5 minutes.
- Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir in cream, sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil.
- Add chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk the milk/gelatin mixture into chocolate cream mixture. Whisk until gelatin has dissolved.
- Transfer to ramekins, or nice glasses for serving.
- Cover and chill at least 8 hours, or overnight.



2. Papaya Gelée
Adapted from Mallory

Ingredients:
- 300 ml papaya puree
- 60 ml water
- 75 g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

Directions:
- Sprinkle gelatin over water.
- Place papaya puree and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Now mix the gelatin into the papaya mixture and stir until gelatin has dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool
- When cooled, pour on top of chocolate panacotta and refrigerate.



3. Peach Milk Gelée
Adapted from Mallory

Ingredients:
- 230 ml whole milk
- 90 ml peach syrup
- 60 ml water
- 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

Directions:
- Sprinkle gelatin over water.
- Place milk and peach syrup in a small saucepan and simmer. Now mix the gelatin into the milk mixture and stir until gelatin has dissolved.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- When cooled, pour on top of papaya gelée and refrigerate.



3. Nestle Florentine Cookies
Recipe from the cookbook “Nestle Classic Recipes”, and their website.

Ingredients:
- 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

Directions:
- Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.
- 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.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
- While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl).



- Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).
- Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.
- This recipe will make about 2 1/2 - 3 dozen sandwiched Florentine cookies. You can also choose not to sandwich yours, in which case, drizzle the tops with chocolate (over your wax paper).

54 comments:

  1. Beautiful, as always! I just made the regular white one with some jam, lol.

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  2. Oh, sooooo pretty! I love your take on the challenge.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. LOVE...oh my, I just adore yours. I made a coffee gelee..and it turned out fine but I really would have preferred something like yours...coffee jelly seems strange.

    Hope you having a nice weekend.

    Good luck with fondant! Cant wait to see more stuff from you.

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  4. Your Panna Cotta looks sooooo beautiful!!! And the flower detail on the cookies - amazing! Inspiring work! Well done :)

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  5. What amazing photography!!! But those Florentines look astounding that is so clever to do the decoration it really makes a huge difference. And all those delicious sounding panna cotta layers is stunning the overall look of the plating is wonderful. A brilliant result on this challenge. I loved this challenge simple fast and cheap yet it gives such exquisite result like your.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  6. Kris, absolutely stunning. Love the papaya gelee and peach milk gelee and as always, everything is a work of art. The flower decor on your florentines is simply awesome, as are the curvy ones. Mine are sitting in the fridge until I get a chance to photograph them, but I almost want to just throw them to the cats after seeing yours!! :P

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  7. Your panna cotta is so vibrant and the oatmeal florentines are decorated beautifully. Great work on the challenge! Good luck with your personal cake challenge. I bet the end result there will be lovely and delicious too.

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  8. That looks stunning... wonderful flavors and the florentines design is Fabulous.. wonderful job on the challenge asusual :)

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  9. OMG! That is SOOOO beautiful! I love every inch of your creation, stunning! And the flavors sound so delicious and colorful. Bravo to you! Wonderful work of art!

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  10. Beautiful! I love your Florentines. They are very creative. Good luck with the strips. I hear they work wonders!
    Evelyn

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  11. Wow! so gorgeous! you truly have magic hands!^^ Great work again, Kris!

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  12. Your panna cotta's are very pretty but your florentine's....could they be any cuter. I think not, definitely the sweetest I have seen.

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  13. Oh and I thought I would mention, here in Australia where it is very warm and humid a lot of the cake decorators use dark chocolate ganache under the fondant to solve the problems. You might have already seen it but if not you should pop over to the Planet Cake Tea Party and search for tips.

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  14. Your presentation is outstanding! I love the florentines and their intricate design. Just beautiful...

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  15. Looks delicious - very exotic. Love the piped detailing on the florentines, they look really pretty.

    Best of luck with the first fondant cake!

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  16. Hey Kris,
    beautiful cookies! Love the chocolate painted flowers on them! I also topped the panna cotta with papaya gelee, although my post isn't yet up ;).

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  17. Lovely. I never knew how appetizing chocolate and fruit gelee would look together but they really really do!

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  18. Cake decorating is indeed a tricky business ;0)
    But these pannacotta and florentines look perfect and far too good to eat ;0)

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  19. Your florentines are beautiful and the colors of the panna cotta are unique and appetizing. Beautifully done!

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  20. Gorgeous cookies! I love the decoration and the black seeds in them. The panna cotta sounds and looks delicious. The layered colors are so fun together and make me immediately think of the 70's color theme :)

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  21. Wow, that's a serious amount of effort that went into this month's challenge. That must have taken ages!

    I'm really impressed with the results, as well as the photos :)

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  22. I love the detail on the florentines--really makes them special.

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  23. I love what you did this month. The detail on the florentines was a nice touch. As far as your cake issues, you can make your own cake strips by wrapping wet paper towel in tin foil to make strips. It works great. Also, instead of buttercream on the outside of your cakes youcan use a thin layer of a light colored seedless jam. The fondant will stick to this beautifuly. Best, Sandie

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  24. Tu realizzi sempre dei capolavori, sono talmente belli e perfetti che è quasi un peccato mangiarseli!
    Buon inizio settimana

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  25. Beautiful! Love the flower detail on the cookies, and that wire box is gorgeous.

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  26. Wow - they look beautiful - I love the florentines like that and the peach milk gelee sounds great - I might have to try that sometime.

    I feel your pain with the cake stuff. I have some of those strips but they don't work well since my pans have slightly slanted sides. I looked at a few of your past posts and your cakes look really nice.

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  27. O my God I am speachless I 've no words to explain that how impressive it is.........

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  28. Love the angles, the layers and the pretty florentines here. I did some kumquats on mine but yours looks way more sophisticated!

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  29. Absolutely breathtaking photos! I love your layering and your tilted glasses. Nice job on the challenge!

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  30. OMG! These are fabulous, can't get my eyes off them! Your Florentine Cookies are the prettiest ever and absolutely delicious flavors in your panna cotta. Papaya gelee...wowww!

    On another note, I use shortening butter cream under fondant as well as on most of my cakes, I've had no trouble and it pretty much holds up to all kinds of weather except extreme heat. Would love to see your creations :)

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  31. Oh gosh, I thought my effort at baking a pie was great, yours is astounding! :) And with all the different steps and many hours of chilling. I like this! :) Nice one Kris!

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  32. Your presentation is stunning, as always. You did such a delicate job with the Florentines! Superb!

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  33. Wow Kris, love all the colorful layers and the papaya and peach flavors sound so delicious! And your florentine cookies are perfect. Excellent job on this challenge.
    P.S. I can't wait to see your fondant cakes!

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  34. How gorgeous is that Chris, love the colours, and textures!

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  35. wow your panna cotta and florentine cookies look so beautiful and I love the patterns on the florentine cookies! wow!

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  36. I KNEW that you would fo a fab job with this. and you surprised me with your perfect desserts + photos!

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  37. You leave me speechless each month... Beautiful execution and presentation!

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  38. I love the way you decorated the florentines, they're gorgeous!

    Also really love the sound of peach and papaya with the panna cotta. They're sort of a smooth fruit, in my opinion, so the whole lot together must be a dreamy smooth glass of heaven :)

    Beautiful Kris!

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  39. I love the flavour and look of your panna cotta--it just sounds so delicious and tropical. And your florentines are gorgeous--love the piping you've done on them. Good luck with the fondant!

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  40. Love your flavor combination and your presentation. Beautiful piping on your florentines!

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  41. งดงามมากๆคะ ทุกๆอย่างเลย

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  42. Kris, your panna cotta is so bright and inviting! I would love to try all of those flavors and textures together. Your florentines are just so beautiful too! Once again, you've given it your full effort and it shows! Bravo, Kris!

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  43. Absolutely wonderful! I love how you decorated the florentines, they are so pretty!

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  44. Kris, you make everything look so completely and utterly beautiful! Absolute perfection!!
    Good luck with the cakes!

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  45. peach milk! that sounds wonderful! and your florentines are absolutely gorgeous.

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  46. I won't say how lovely everything looks because it does! ;-)
    Interesting pairing of papaya and peach with chocolate. Wonder how it tastes? Good I'm sure.
    Your lotus decorated florentines are gorgeous, Kris!

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  47. I'm sure I've said this before and I'll say it again. Kris, I'm constantly amazed by your ability to take a challenge and make it completely your own, usually with stunning intricate details. Here it's your perfectly decorated florentines and how you tilted the layers of some of the panna cottas. Bravo, my friend!

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  48. Amazing, Kris, they are stunning. The extra details you added to the florentines really make this over-the-top special. And the flavor combination is so unusual, I'm dying to try it. Chocolate, papaya and peach. Did the flavors work together? Do tell!

    I thought I've seen every unusual chocolate combination, until I saw a chef make a honeydew melon and chocolate dessert. Now THAT was new to me.

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  49. Such delicate and pretty florentines... Also briliant addition of exotic fruit!

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  50. Gorgeous! Your attention to detail is what sets you apart and makes your blog so inspiring.
    Mimi

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  51. Kris, your creations are a wonderful! Love the details on the florentines, and that flavor combination sure is intriguing.

    P.S - Instead of cake strips, you could just use strips of a cut up towel soaked in hot water, it's what I do, works perfectly each time.

    And Bombay weather is pretty much like Bangkok's, so unless you're going to leave the cake out in the sun, the cake will be ok in a butter buttercream. I don't have much experience in the creative part, but have attended classes, read up a lot, so feel free to ask me about such stuff.

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  52. They are mouth-watering. Amazing flavor combo on the panna cotta & cookies are so pretty!

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