In the Kitchen: Panna Cotta and Florentine Cookies

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Earlier this year I joined The Daring Kitchen, a group of international bakers who each month take on a new challenge in the kitchen and simulatneously post their challenge results, worldwide on the same date (the 27th) of each month.

The February 2011 challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She challenged us to make Panna Cotta and Florentine Cookies. (Pronounced "Pan-ah Cot-ah" which in Italian means "cooked cream.")

It's not a common dessert so if you've never seen, eaten or heard of Panna Cotta before it's cream, sugar, vanilla, honey, gelatin and a pinch of salt all combined and cooked in a saucepan on your stove top then chilled in the fridge. It's like a cross between pudding and Jello. It's very light and silky smooth and can be made with milk and gelatin (derived from animal by-products) for omnivores, or using almond or coconut milk and agar agar for vegetarians and vegans (aka "kanten" derived from seaweed and often available in Asian markets). IMO it's the epitome of a "Creamy Dreamy" dessert.

chocolate-panna-cotta-florentine-cookies

I created two versions, the first were these miniature ice cream cone shaped Florentine cookies filled with bittersweet chocolate Panna Cotta made with the agar agar and below, chocolate Panna Cotta topped with unsweetened frozen raspberries I ran through my food processor.

chocolate-panna-cotta-frozen-raspberries
bittersweet-chocolate-filled-florentine-cookie
Success! A Chocolate Filled Florentine Cookie

To try this challenge at home Download the PDF of the full recipes (below) from The Daring Kitchen website by CLICKING HERE Giada's Vanilla Panna Cotta Fruit Gelée Chocolate Panna Cotta Coffee Gelée Nestle Florentine Cookies.

For more pictures and tips about this Daring Bakers' Challenge:

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