Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 2011 Daring Bakers - Panna Cotta and 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.

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) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
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:
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.
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.
Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
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).
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).
Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie
atop the chocolate.

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)





Panna Cotta

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
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
pinch of salt

Directions:

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.
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).
Next, add the cream, honey, sugar, 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.
Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.
Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Best Chocolate Cake Ever




120g dark eating chocolate chopped coarsely
1 & 1/3 cups of strong coffee
180g softened butter
2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
4 eggs
1 & 1/3 cups self-raising flour
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2/3 cup of almond meal

Preheat oven to 170 line a cake tin with baking paper
Stir chocolate and the coffee in a saucepan over low heat until smooth. Beat butter, sugar and eggs in a bowl until light and fluffy. Stir in sifted flour and cocoa, almonds and warm chocolate mixture.
Pour into pan and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool before removing from tin.

Simple Cheesecake




Cheesecake

Crust
250g butternut snaps biscuits
125g unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Filling
2 tsp powdered gelatine
250g cream cheese, softened
110g caster sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
300ml thickened cream

Grease an 11cmx34cm tart pan with removable base
Process biscuits in a food processor until the mixture resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add butter and lemon zest, process to combine. Press mixture firmly into pan. Refrigerate until needed.

Dissolve gelatine in 2 tbls of warm water, cool.
Beat cream cheese sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Beat in cream and then gelatine. Pour into shell, and refrigerate overnight to firm.
.
Top to taste

Pizza Dough




Pizza Dough

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt

Combine the water, yeast and honey in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until the mixture is combined. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.
Brush a bowl lightly with oil. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in the prepared bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to rise for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size.