Sunday, July 13, 2008

panna cotta

Panna cotta

This was one of my favorite desserts learned from the cooking class. It's something I've always wanted to learn how to do as it presented me with limitless options for flavoring and topping. My only apprehension was finding the gelatin sheets here in Manila as it's not something I was familiar with. I've only worked with the powdered and the "gulaman" blocks. So when I was in Santi's buying meat for the fileto balsamico and I saw them sheets, I immediately decided to get the cream and take a spin at doing my own panna cotta.

My ingredients were 2 one liter packs of cream, 1 liter milk, 230 g of sugar (which I googled and found to be roughly one and a third cups)
and 25 g gelatin sheets and peel of one lemon and one orange.

I boiled the milk, cream and sugar with the lemon and orange peel. While that was cooking, I soaked the gelatin sheets in tap water. Aft
er heating the milk and cream mix, I added the softened gelatin sheets in the mixture. THIS was where I think my mistake lay. The gelatin sheets didn't just soften, I think a large part of it dissolved in the water. So I don't think I put in 25 g worth. The water I soaked it in was kind'a thick already by the time I retrieved the sheets. But I put the mixture into little serving dishes , hoped and prayed and let them cool and put them in the ref to set.

I left them in the ref overnight and found cream soup the morning after. Saaad. Carmen (my trusty sidekick) thought of re-boiling the crea
m mix and adding some more gelatin. We didn't soak the sheets anymore but just dunked them in the water to soften before adding it to the cream mixture. We also didn't do individual servings anymore as it was taking too much space in the ref. We just let them set in bigger plastic containers.

Well, the panna cotta was rescued. In class,Chef made a strawberry puree and I was thinking of doing mango. Ysobel declared them a success and didn't even want to put any sort of topping on it.We scooped them into chilled martini glasses and reprised the orange flavoring by putting orange wedges on the side. We served them to guests who came for a dessert one evening. It was perfect because it was light and refreshing and something you won't have to worry about going to sleep with.

In the post-Florence world, humidity is a factor. Failure is a possibility but rescue is an option. :-)

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