Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

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 was the perfect challenge for February! I made Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta hearts with Strawberry Coulis and Florentine Heart Cookies for Valentine’s Day. Strawberry coulis is a fancy name for a strawberry sauce that has been strained so it doesn’t have any seeds. Panna Cotta is a smooth, creamy, sensual dessert that is an ideal end to a romantic meal.

I followed the given recipes except I substituted agave nectar for the honey and added a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste in the Panna Cotta. Like many others, my cookies spread too much so I added a bit more flour and staggered them on the cookie sheet baking only 8 on a sheet. After they were baked my husband cut them out with a metal cookie cutter.

We’d never had Florentines before and we loved this light, crispy, sweet cookie. We couldn’t stop eating the bits that were cut off. The leftover bits would be a fabulous topping for a sundae.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey (I used agave)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Pour the milk into a bowl or pot and sprinkle gelatin evenly and thinly over the milk (make sure the bowl/pot is cold by placing the bowl/pot in the refrigerator for a few minutes before you start making the Panna Cotta). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin.
  2. Pour the milk into the 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).
  3. Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt. Making sure the mixture doesn't boil, continue to heat and stir occasionally until the sugar and honey have dissolved 5-7 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, 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. Add garnishes and serve.
http://www.barbarabakes.com/2011/02/vanilla-bean-panna-cotta-with-strawberry-coulis/

Nestle Florentine Cookies

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) (3? oz) plain (all purpose) flour ( I used 1 cup)
  • 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

  1. Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5). 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. 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.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
  5. 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).
  6. 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).
  7. Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.
  8. 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).
http://www.barbarabakes.com/2011/02/vanilla-bean-panna-cotta-with-strawberry-coulis/

Strawberry Coulis

Ingredients

  • Strawberry Coulis

  • 3 cups strawberries, diced
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling and the sugar has been dissolved, turn off the heat.
  • Purée until smooth with an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Strain through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
  • Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze to use at a later date.

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Once it is boiling and the sugar has been dissolved, turn off the heat.
  2. Purée until smooth with an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Strain through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
  3. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze to use at a later date.
http://www.barbarabakes.com/2011/02/vanilla-bean-panna-cotta-with-strawberry-coulis/

Thanks Mallory for a fabulous challenge! Please visit the Daring Kitchen to see a slideshow of the fabulous desserts the Daring Bakers created for this challenge and additional tips and recipes.




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Comments

    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    I’ve so enjoyed seeing on the variations on this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenge, and your version looks so very special and delicious, Barbara. Strawberry season is on here in Florida, and your recipe would be the perfect dessert treat for us right now.

  2. says

    Stunning, Barbara! It’s like Valentine’s Day all over again, which is ironic, since I dubbed my panna cotta entry my official Valentine’s day post since I missed it this year on my blog lol

    Having said that, your heart shaped panna cottas are gorgeous, so reminiscent of coeur a la cremes, and your florentines are perfect! Beautifully done as always :)

  3. says

    Barb, you did a great job on the challenge! I love the hearts. I have made a vanilla bean panna cotta so I know how delicious this was. But I haven’t made those cookies.

  4. says

    Delicious and beautiful! I really need to start doing Daring Bakers again. I used to love doing it and then I got really busy. I need to challenge myself again :)

  5. says

    Barbara, you old romantic! Stunning! And your sweets just get better and better. Fabulous panna cotta and the prettiest florentine!

  6. says

    I am in lovee with ur ruffled heart molds , i have recently received, very similiar ones in pink and red but i think urs are cuter!
    I lovee heart desserts too and the vanilla bean paste adds the gourmet look and flavor to the panna cotta.
    The red and white are stunning and the whole post saying ….come fall in love!

  7. says

    Your panna cotta and florentines are absolutely beautiful, and so perfect for February! As always, you did a fantastically wonderful job. I always love seeing what you come up with. :)

  8. Jenni says

    Wow! Great job! I love how you turned both the panna cotta and cookies into hearts!! They are too cute! They look beautifully perfect!

  9. says

    B… I saw this photo on the DB site and been waiting for the day so I can tell you
    how stunning it is!!! Just LOVE the flavors and the presentation.. soooo cute! :)))

    I am curious about the agave nectar. I have been hearing a lot about it recently. how is the taste?

  10. says

    Barbara, This is beautiful!!!! I love the little tiny florentine hears. I make a similar recipe but never thought to cut them out. I have never made panna cotta. I think I must try.

  11. says

    Barbara, your food always looks so yummy! Something like this would be way out of my comfort zone–I guess that’s why we join baking groups! Maybe I will try it. Have a great day.

  12. says

    So cute. I love the contrast of the white Panna Cotta with the vibrant red of the coulis. And the heart shaped Florentines are adorable. I wish my Florentines had spread more to be thinner. They ended up like cookies, however, they were addictive.

  13. says

    Ah, I knew I should have checked the forums, I thought I was the only one with spreading cookies! And of course, I had decided to tweak the first batch I made by using brown sugar instead, which contributed to major spread. Cutting the cookies out with a cookie cutter at the end is such a brilliant idea, they look beautiful. Well done on the challenge Barbara :)

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