Sunday, February 27, 2011

Self layering coffee panna cotta for the Daring Bakers February 2011

Your not going to believe it.....this is not a time consuming layered dessert, it is a mix and pour panna cotta which settled into the 3 layers you see in the picture whilst it was setting in the fridge.

Crazy huh! I could not believe my luck when I unmolded the panna cotta and saw the beautiful dessert which looked like I had spent hours slaving away but in reality spent only minutes creating.

The picture for the original recipe did not look like this at all so I am unsure if it was my recipe tinkering that resulted in the layers or it was just luck. I did notice that the tall mini serve glasses did not layer quite as well and wonder if that is because they set faster due to their small size. 

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 previously made a recipe similar to the one provided before so decided to be a little daring and try out this recipe from the Cuisine Magazine site here. 

But then being even more daring as I am (only where cooking is involved mind you) I modified it a bit as I only have leaf geletine and I hate measuring liquids in anything other than cup increments so I weighed it.

The changes worked well and the finished product resulted in a lovely tasting panna cotta which had a gorgeous wobbly breast effect (which incidentally is what I always think of now when I see panna cotta thanks to one of my favourite blogs Not Quite Nigella)

Then I made the florentine cookies using the recipe provided but substituting golden syrup for the dark corn syrup and omitting the chocolate. They were ok on their own, certainly not something I would rush out and make. To me they seemed more like an ANZAC biscuit I have always thought florentines to be lovely large cookies with cherries, almonds and other treats held together barely by the mixture.

The florentine did however work well with the panna cotta, the crisp and buttery biscuit was a lovely contrast.

Thank you Mallory I enjoyed this challenge and I'm looking forward to seeing all the other Daring Bakers results.

Recipe after jump

Coffee Panna Cotta (recipe modified from Cuisine Magazine) serves 6 and make sure you read all the notes at the bottom of the recipe before you attempt it.

55g caster sugar (1 7/8 ounce)
20g (3/4 ounce) freshly ground coffee (mine was ground for espresso machine)
270gm (9 1/2 ounce) full cream milk
2 and a half leaves gelatin
270gm (9 1/2 ounce) unthickened pouring cream

Place gelatine into a bowl and cover with cold water whilst you heat the milk (I usually ripe the sheets into 2 or 3 pieces so they are smaller and fit into a small bowl).

Pop sugar, milk and coffee into a saucepan and bring to a simmer stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Squeeze excess water from gelatin and add to the milk mixture and immediately remove from heat. Stir to dissolve all gelatin.

Add cream and stir well.

Get a large jug with a handle and place a sieve over the top lined with 4 layers of muslin. If you do not have muslin you may use clean unused chux type dishcloths or even a coffee filter or paper towels. Pass the coffee mixture through the lined sieve into the jug. Ensure as much of the mixture as possible gets through, you may need to replace the top layer if it becomes clogged.

Half fill  6 X 150ml capacity plastic dariole molds stirring the mixture in the jug between each pour. If you do not have dariole molds you can use glasses or what ever you have at hand. Then carefully add the remaining mixture to fill each mold to the same height.

Allow to set in the fridge overnight (but covered with plastic or in an airtight container).

When ready to serve I ran a knife carefully around the edge as recommended in the challenge and then gently warmed the top with a dishcloth soaked in warm water before placing the plate on top of the mold and then turning both over. When I lifted the mold the panna cotta slid out perfectly.

Notes for recipe - the weights for the liquids are actually weights on a set of scales I use electric scales that can convert between ounce and gram which I love.

Use unthickened cream - in Australia Thickened cream has added gelatin so you are changing the ratios and may end up with a panna cotta that is harder and more set than you intend. I use the blue carton Pauls brand.

The gelatin brand I used says on the front Rheingold schnell-losliche Blatt-Gelatine it is light blue on the front and white with lots of darker blue writing on the back. I believe it is a normal strength gelatin sheet.  If you use a different strength gelatin it will effect how the panna cotta sets but not the taste.

Dariole molds are available in kitchen and baking stores. The ones I use are small single plastic molds, so pretty much it is a fancy way of saying little plastic cups.

When filling the moulds I did it in 2 parts which I think assisted distributing the mixture for the layers.

Nestle Florentine recipe can be found by clicking here

I made half a batch and substituted golden syrup for corn syrup.


  1. So amazing that you got three layers . . . Looks fantastic.

  2. You were the "lucky one" huh! I can imagine your surprise when you unmolded!
    It sounds delicious!

  3. Very cool layering! My thoughts exactly on the Florentine, I always thought they were those conrflake/ almond ones with the huge cherries in them. These did taste a lot like Anzacs :) I'm in awe at your awesome baking and decorating skills as I didn't realise you have 3 kids under 6. Where do you find the time? Well done!

  4. You did such a beautiful job Linda! And hehe yes the wobbly boob thing is so visual but so apt for panna cotta :)

  5. Fantastic!!! So beautiful and with a polished presentation too. Wish I was one of the lucky ones to taste this ;0)

  6. The three layers look so elegant and like they were tons of work--can't believe it was that easy. Gorgeous!

  7. Hi.. I just can't stop reading your yummylicious blog... it's so beautiful and errrgggh.. I just can't describe it... I just feel like eating everything.... If you don't mind I put your link on my blog. Thanks..can't wait to give it a try....

  8. I just can't believe that that happened naturally. Wow - looks beautiful!

  9. Your layers look lovely! I thought you had to refrigerate after each layer??

  10. Wow your pannacotta looks like it turned out amazingly, i love the layered effect youve done, I bet the coffee flavour in it was heaven!

  11. How lucky re. the self-layering! I was SO worried that my layers would not turn out. I am SO with you about wobbly panna cotta though! Soy and I took a video of me jiggling my panna cotta- it was hilarious!! :)

  12. Gorgeous layers! Your panna cotta looks perfectly elegant. Great job on this challenge!

  13. Wow look at those layers, it looks wonderful!

  14. Wobbly breast effect sounds so like Lorraine! LOL! And what stunning perfect panna cotta! Absolutely love it!

  15. Mine didn't set properly yet. I'm assuming there's definitely no egg yolks missing from this recipe which most others have? So far it's been in the fridge overnight for 12 hours, I'm now popping it into the freezer to hope to finish it off enough to serve in a couple of hours for Mum's special day.

    1. Hi Lesley, there are no egg yolks required the gelatine should do the setting. Perhaps the sheets you used were a different strength? I made some last week and it set within an hour or so as it's really just a milk jelly. Hope it works out in the end - it might be a layered parfait instead.

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