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 thought the combination of panna cotta and cookies was a bit odd but I’d never made either before so I was looking forward to it. The cookies are so easy to make. It took me about an hour to make these on a weeknight. I made the panna cotta on the weekend.
Nestle Florentine Cookies
2/3 cups butter
2 cups quick oats
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup plain flour
1/4 dark corn syrup (I used golden syrup)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
*Optional extra - I added some extra chopped hazelnuts and toasted almonds to the batter. I think these need a little something extra as they’re a little plain without it.
1 cup dark chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper (I didn’t bother as I have an excellent non stick baking sheet).
2. Melt the butter in a medium sized sauce pan, remove from the heat and add the oats, sugar, flour, golden syrup, milk, vanilla and salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
3. Drop tablespoons on the baking sheets 3 inches apart. Press down on each mound slightly with a fork or back of a spoon.
4. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 second intervals. Pour into squeezy bottle and drizzle over top of each cookie. Chocolate can also be sandwiched between 2 cookie.
The panna cotta wasn’t that hard to make but it took awhile to make because I had to wait for the bottom layer to set and then for the top layer to set.
This is also the first time I’ve actually eaten a panna cotta. I prefer cake but the bottom layer was rich and creamy and the top pomegranate layer gave it a little bit of tartness.
Pomegranate Panna Cotta
adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
1 cup whole milk (I used semi skimmed)
1 tbs powdered gelatine
3 cups double cream
1/3 cup honey
1 tbs sugar
1. Place the milk in a bowl. Sprinkle in the gelatine powder and leave for 5 minutes.
2. Pour the milk into a medium sized sauce pan over medium low heat and stir until the gelatine dissolves (don’t boil the milk). Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir for 5 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and pour into glasses (or wine glasses). Refrigerate for several hours until set.
adapted from Graces Sweet Life
1 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tsp caster sugar
1. In a small bowl stir together the boiling water and gelatine until it’s dissolved
2. Stir in the pomegranate juice and sugar until combined. Pour over the set panna cotta and refrigerate for several hours.
Can’t wait to see what next months challenge brings!
Strawberry Greek Yogurt Muffins
Total Greek Yogurt has just released new Greek Yogurt Split Pots and asked me if I would like a sample! Of course I did! I love Greek yogurt and it’s great for baking. I made a variety of desserts the last time Total sent me some samples (click here to see them).
I decided to make these into mini muffin loafs so I could use these adorable cases I bought in Switzerland at the Migros grocery store (similar to ASDA in the UK). It also is the first time I get to use my Clinton Street Baking Cookbook.
They couriered this little cooler over to my office. I got a very confused call from the guy that works in the mail room! “Kelly, you’ve got a delivery of …yogurt”, Me “I better come get it then” Guy in the mail room, “That would be good”.
Strawberry Yogurt Muffins
adapted from Clinton Street Baking Company Cookbook (makes 8 muffins)
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup TOTAL Greek Yogurt (I used 2 strawberry split pots)
1/2 cup chopped strawberries (I decided to make these at the last minute and didn’t have any. I put an extra scoop of jam in instead)
2 tbs strawberry jam
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbs strawberry jam
1 tsp warm water
Other flavors include honey, blueberry and tropical
1. Preheat oven to 350 F/180 C and line muffin tray with paper liners. In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside
2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together on medium high speed. Add the egg and beat until combined.
3. Add 1/4 cup of the yogurt to the butter then half of the flour and beat until combined. Add the rest of the yogurt and the flour ending with the flour mixture.
4. If using the strawberries, fold them in.
7. Spoon into the muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.
8. While the muffins are cooling make the glaze by whisking together the icing sugar and the jam. Gradually add the warm water and the mixture will turn into a paste. Spoon over the muffins.
9. Eat any remaining yogurt!
I really should have made these in time for Valentine’s day but it’s still February so I can still post them! These wold also make really nice anniversary or birthday cupcakes by changing the decorations and cases to fit the occasion.
A fluffy vanilla cupcake with champagne infused strawberries topped with a champagne buttercream and drizzled with dark chocolate.
The frosting is out of this world it’s so fluffy and you can definitely taste the champagne. The cake is really light and moist too.
The recipe called to fold the chopped strawberries into the batter but I thought this made them a bit soggy. I would suggest filling the center with the strawberries after they’re cooked. I would think that cooking the strawberries would burn off the alcohol on the strawberries.
I put heart sprinkles, glitter, chocolate and a strawberry on top making them a little busy but all or any combination of these would look nice.
I used a small bottle of sparkling pink rose
Pink Champagne Cupcakes
adapted from DC Cupcakes via Oprah (makes about 16 cupcakes)
1/2 cup strawberries chopped
1/2 cup champagne
2 1/2 cups self rising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
115g unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
2 1/4 tsp vanilla
champagne flavoring (optional)
1 1/4 cup whole milk at room temperature (I used semi-skimmed and I’m pretty sure it was not at room temerature)
230g unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup champagne
Chocolate chips melted in the microwave and drizzled on top of the buttercream
1. Chop 1/2 cup strawberries into small pieces. Place into a medium sized bowl and pour 1/2 cup champagne over top and let them soak.
Chop them smaller than this
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F/180 C and line muffin tray with paper liners. Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until well blended. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly until combined.
3. Add the vanilla extract and champagne flavor, if using. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl. Add one third of the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, ending with the milk and continuously beating. I added some pink gel color at this point but it was too much and ended up hot pink. If you want to add the strawberries to the batter do this now and fold them in.
I added my strawberries at this point but the pieces were too big. I would prefer to add it in the center cut into smaller pieces after they’ve been baked
4. Fill each cup two thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
5. Make the butter cream by creaming the butter and sifted icing sugar together on medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla, milk, salt and champagne and beat on high speed until light and fluffy.
6. Once the cupcakes are cool cut out the center and add the champagne infused strawberries and top with a swirl of buttercream.
7. If desired add a drizzle of melted chocolate and top with a halved strawberry.
Cupcake Camp Bournemouth
Image made by Ellie
Cupcake Camp is coming to Bournemouth on April 2nd! I can’t wait. I had such a blast at Cupcake Camp London. Money is being raised for Macmillan Cancer Support. Each cupcake donated by us bakers will be sold for £1 which will be donated to charity.
This time I’m only bringing 24 cupcakes instead of the 100 I brought last time so I hope to be able to enjoy the whole day without being at a table with my cupcakes the whole time.
It takes place from 2-5pm at The Lighthouse near Poole station. Full event and RSVP details on their facebook page.
I haven’t decided what I’m making yet but I hope to see lots of people there!
I’ve chosen a winner of the last giveaway using random.org.
The winner was lucky number 23! Shala won with her tweet! Those bonus entries are worth it!
Thanks everyone for entering and CSN for sponsoring! This was the most entries that I’ve had for a giveaway. I hope to have more in the future.
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