Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daring Bakers Challenge : Ginger Panna Cotta with Raspberry/ Mango Gelée and Coconut 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.

I had Panna Cotta on my long list of desserts to try. I am not sure why I never got to it but this month's challenge gave me the perfect excuse.
Our good friends were invited for dinner the night before Valentine's Day and this seemed the best occasion to get my Panna Cotta on!
I decided on a Ginger/Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta because I love all things ginger and I fancied it up with raspberry gelée  and mango gelée. I am posting Mallory's recipe for Fruit Gelée as she wrote it. I have altered the Panna Cotta and Florentine cookies just a bit. I sandwiched some of the cookies, left some plain and used some cool transfer sheets for the rest to give a little love to Valentine's Day!

Three flavors and one delicious dessert!

The  Raspberry and Mango Gelée
Mango puree with sugar just before it hits the fire.

Raspberries pureeing in the food processor.

Fruit Gelée: Recipe by Mallory


 1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) fruit (strawberries, raspberries, mango, blackberry, etc.)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) water 1/4 cup (60 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) granulated sugar 1½ teaspoons (7½ ml) (3½ gm) (1/8 oz) unflavored powdered gelatin

1. Sprinkle gelatin over water.
2. Place fruit and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Now mix the gelatin into the strawberry mixture and stir until gelatin has dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool (close to room temp, again, if you're planning on layering on pouring on top of your Panna Cotta, a hot mixture will also heat up your chilled Panna Cotta).

The specks in the cooling Panna Cotta are from the vanilla bean

Ginger Panna Cotta

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
1/2 inch nob fresh ginger,peeled and cut into 6 slices
1/2 vanilla bean,sliced lengthwise
1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt

1. Pour 1/4 cup of the cold milk into a small heatproof container. Sprinkle the gelatin over it making sure that all the gelatin soaks into the milk. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
2. Pour the rest of the milk,the heavy cream, sugar, pinch of salt, the vanilla bean and the ginger slices a large  saucepan/pot and place over medium heat on the stove. Heat this mixture until it is hot, but not boiling, about five minutes. (I whisk it a few times at this stage). Turn off the heat and allow to stand for about 20 minutes. Strain out ginger slices and vanilla bean being sure to scrape the seeds from the pod into the milk mixture with a knife. Return to low heat.
3. Bring a small saucepan filled about an inch of water to a boil and then shut off heat. Add the heatproof bowl of gelatin as a bain marie and allow gelatin to dissolve swirling often. Be sure to pull gelatin off heat as soon as it dissolves.
4. Add dissolved gelatin to the hot milk mixture, turn off heat and allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

Florentine Cookies with Coconut-Very easy to put together!

Coconut Florentine Cookies

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
1/2 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (5 ml) coconut extract
pinch of salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) white chocolate
Chocolate Raspberry Ganache(recipe follows)

 Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.
2. To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, extracts, 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.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
4. While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir), 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).
5. 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).
6. Spread a tablespoon of melted chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie and return to rack chocolate side up until chocolate sets.  I used a heart imprinted transfer sheet to imprint a design onto the cookie.

Bake cookies until golden brown at the sides

This recipe will make about 2 1/2 - 3 dozen sandwiched Florentine cookies. You can use the yummy filling below.

Chocolate Raspberry Ganache

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
1/16 teaspoon raspberry extract

Heat heavy cream in microwave for about 1 minute or until very hot. Add chocolate pieces, allow to stand one minute, and stir until smooth. Add softened butter. Add extract. Cool until thick enough to spread on cookies.

Chocolate raspberry ganache sandwiches these Florentines


Or if you want a different look:

My friend using the heart transfer sheet and white chocolate.

Pressing down firmly to get the whole cookie imprinted


Allow the chocolate to set.

Choose your Cookie!

A de-light-ful ending to the evening!

Thanks Mallory for a great Challenge!   Evelyn


  1. Raspberry and mango gelee?? YUM!! Not only does it make fore beautiful layers, they are two of my favorite fruits!! I can only imagine how absolutely tasty everything was, as it all looks fantastic.

  2. Thanks for the lovely comment on my blog!

    I love the creativity with your panna cotta. Mango has such a wonderful flavor. I bet it all tasted amazing together.

    I love how you decorated the cookies. I have never seen anything like it before. What is it and how does it work exactly?


  3. Wow looks fabulous and wonderful flavors... Absolutely love it. Great work on this challenge. Wow love the idea heart prints in the florentine.. I am going to adopt this idea one day and looks great.


  4. The panna cotta looks gorgeous with those beautiful layers of raspberry and mango gelee! And the hearts on the florentine cookies are a very nice touch...great job on this challenge!


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