Food

Daring Bakers – Panna Cotta & Florentines

The last half of February got a bit hectic both at work and home so I’m only now finding some time to post this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge; a dreamy, creamy panna cotta and crunchy florentine cookies. This challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa In The Kitchen. Thanks!

Daring Bakers Panna Cotta & Florentines

Fortunately I’d made panna cotta before so this half of the challenge didn’t freak me out so much (see my Gingerbread Panna Cotta :D) but I did want to make one that was a bit more interesting. As for florentines, they’re something you often see sitting in giant glass jars at cafes but dare not actually order for fear of sending your blood sugar level sky-high with just one bite. Of the floretines I’ve seen in Australia anyway, they tend to be made with corn flakes (which I like), glace cherries and dried fruit. The chocolate on top of all that just seems a bit much. Perhaps this challenge could see me make florentines of more moderate sweetness?

Daring Bakers Panna Cotta & Florentines

For the challenge I did up a simple coconut panna cotta which only required me to adjust the basic recipe slightly (1/4 milk and the rest of amount coconut milk). If I had more time I would have experimented with coconut powder to get a stronger flavour. Still, the panna cotta turned out nicely with a good coconut taste. For an accompanying gelee, I drew a blank until I discovered a can of lychees to play with. I placed a few pieces of lychee into a mould and made up a harder jelly/gelee with the remaining juice. The result was a little unstable (getting them out of the mould was a challenge in itself!) but I enjoyed the resulting flavour combination of the lychee and coconut panna cotta. Again, if I had more time I would have perfected the lychee jelly but given how pleasant the outcome was, I will no doubt try again for a dinner party dessert :)

Daring Bakers Panna Cotta & Florentines

The florentine making was fairly straightforward but I was grateful for the opportunity to actually make my own and to have a go at tempering chocolate with my Thermomix. Wow… What a breeze! I don’t think I can go back to the guesswork of doing it otherwise. I actually do like the use of corn flakes in florentines so I’m sorry to say that I deviated somewhat from the challenge recipe and added a half-and-half of oats and corn flakes to the mix. I also added some toasted coconut and home-dried mangoes to add to the tropical theme of my panna cotta. I am happy to report that the florentines were enjoyed by all those who sampled them, including Master Seven who is usually a bit reserved when something involves dark chocolate. Thanks again for the challenge Mallory. I know I’ll be making florentines again and who can resist a panna cotta?

Daring Bakers Panna Cotta & Florentines

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Meggy

    February 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I love Florentines. the rich warmth of them, chewy and crunchy at once.. its love

    • Monica

      March 2, 2011 at 9:45 pm

      Me too :) They aren’t too hard to make and worth the effort to make some that aren’t uber-sweet and laced heavily with glace cherries and dried fruit!

  2. Angela

    February 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Mmmm, tropical goodness on a plate! I love the look of your panna cotta, and the florentines, well I would not be able to stop munching on them! xxx

    • Monica

      March 2, 2011 at 9:42 pm

      Thanks :) As sweet as they are, florentines are actually quite moreish. Nice job on your panna cotta and florentines too :D

  3. pavithra

    March 1, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Wow looks fabulous and wonderful flavors… Absolutely love it. Great work on this challenge.

    Pavithra
    http://www.dishesfrommykitchen.com

    • Monica

      March 3, 2011 at 3:58 pm

      Thank you! The colours of your panna cotta are so pretty and refreshing!

  4. Sassy

    March 7, 2011 at 5:14 am

    What a great idea to use lychees! My dad would really love that. I had a hard time getting my panna cotta out too and ended up serving it in the bowl rather than wrestling them out. I also like your interpretation of the florentine cookies.

    • Monica

      March 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

      Thanks :) I think if I serve panna cotta to guests that I’ll stick to using bowls or verrines :| Canned lychee definitely saved the day and the juice was perfect to use for the jelly/gelee.

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