8:29 PM

Daring Bakers' Panna Cotta & 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.

This month has been a tad hectic. With Chinese New Year at the start of the month, the preparation for that was chaotic, but fun.

The second half of the month freed up a lil'. But I have an excuse! It was my birthday! teehee.. So yeah, I slacked off until now..

Florentine Cookies

150 g unsalted butter
160 g quick oats
230 g granulated sugar (I only used 30g, and it still turned out pretty sweet to me)
95 g plain (all purpose) flour
60 ml dark corn syrup (I replaced this with 1/4 molasses and 3/4 honey)
60 ml whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
250 gm dark or milk chocolate (I only used half of this to drizzle ontop)

1) Preheat oven to moderately hot 190°C. Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
2) Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.
3) To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well.
4)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.
5) Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
6) While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave, or stove top (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).
7) 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).
8)Either spread on the bottom flat side of the cookies and sandwich them together. Or just put the chocolate in a piping bag and drizzle on top. Or you could do both, which is always good. =)

Chocolate Panna Cotta

240 ml whole milk
1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
480 ml whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
115 g sugar
145 g bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

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

Coffee Gelée
480 ml good quality brewed coffee
60 ml hot water + 2 tablespoons
30 ml cold water
115 g granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1) Place granulated sugar and 1/4 c. hot water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir until the sugar has dissolved.
2) Sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tablespoons cold water and let it soften 2 minutes or so.
3) Stir the coffee, sugar, hot water, and vanilla into a small metal bowl, add gelatin mixture and stir well until gelatin has dissolved. If pouring over Panna Cotta, be sure that this mixture is no longer hot, it will melt Panna Cotta if it is, let it come to room temperature.

The Panna Cotta set beautifully, but the gelee were horrible. They didn't set right and was still liquid-ish.

I also made a Vanilla Panna Cotta with lemon gelee, again the gelee didn't set. I have no idea why.

I wanted to make a dairy free version, but I didn't have time to try them out. Maybe I'll try that sometime soon.
10:43 PM

Pepperidge Farm Sausalito Cookies *COPYCAT*~~

And so I was walking in the hypermarket with my brother. He abruptly stopped in the middle of the biscuit/cookie aisle. Turned around and said, 'Let's make these cookies.'

"These cookies" refer to Pepperidge Farm Sausalito Cookies.

After some digging, we found something that looked pleasing. I made some changes to it, and voila... Here is the results:

226g softened unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
100g brown sugar
30g granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
255g macadamia nuts, chopped
283g white chocolate, chopped (I used chocolate chips)

1) Preheat over to 180°C.
2) Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.
3) In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, sugars, egg until creamy.
4) Add vanilla.
5) Scrape down the sides of bowl occasionally.
6) Add dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
7) Fold in nuts and chocolate.
8) Line baking trays with parchment paper.
9) Form 1 inch balls. (Being the control freak that I am, I weighed each ball - 14g yields a good size cookie)
10) Remember they spread, so give them space to breath.
11) Bake about 13-15 minutes.
12) Makes about 40 cookies. (Which you can keep to yourself, or you can give to your family. Maybe.)

Just a random question, though.
Why do people love it when they receive homemade goodies?

1:39 PM

Happy Valentine's Day

I choose to wish everyone today, and not yesterday.

Because I think love should not be defined by what day it is.
I'm one of those anti-valentine's people, who condone everything about the day.
Sure, overpriced flowers and jewelries can be a bit too much, but what girl doesn't like to be romanced a little.

So.. all couples out there, hope you had a lovely day.

Those who are single, be happy. Give yourself a treat. =)
Mr/Ms Right is just around the corner.