February Daring Bakers Challenge

I have blogged about panna cotta in the past. In fact I have two panna cotta posts, the strawberry panna cotta and a milk chocolate panna cotta. But they have been healthier versions of the panna cotta but this blog is about the original panna cotta, the melt in your mouth kind, the kind you shut out all other senses for…

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.

Both the recipes are absolutely easy to make even in large quantities and so delicious. I actually rate my recipes by the rate at which Amit finishes the dish. And this one actually was cleaned out in about 3-4 minutes. So now you can rate the dish yourself. Hope you enjoy the recipe and love it as much as I loved it.

I was supposed to post this recipe last weekend but due to my very hectic schedule now, I was able to make the cookies but not the panna cotta last weekend.

Giada’s Vanilla Panna Cotta


  1. 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  2. 1 tablespoon (one packet) (15 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
  3. 3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
  4. 1/3 cup (80 ml) honey
  5. 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar
  6. pinch of salt


  • 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.

I added a layer of strawberry gelee over my vanilla panna cotta. The recipe for that follows.

Strawberry Gelee


  1. 1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) fruit (strawberries, raspberries, mango, blackberry, etc.)*Note:  Certain fruits interact with gelatin and stop it gelling like pineapple and kiwi etc.
  2. 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
  3. 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  4. 1½ teaspoons (7½ ml) (3½ gm) (1/8 oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
  5. 1/4 cup triple sec


  • Sprinkle gelatin over water.
  • Place the fruit and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until sugar has dissolved.
  • Next add the triple sec and let the mixture come to a boil.
  • Now mix the gelatin into the strawberry mixture and stir until gelatin has dissolved.
  • Let the gelee mixture simmer till the fruit has completely disintegrated.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool (close to room temp, again, if you’re planning on layering on pouring on top of your Panna Cotta, a hot mixture will also heat up your chilled Panna Cotta).

I added a few slices of strawberry over the chilled panna cotta before adding the gelee over it.

Nestle Florentine Cookies


This recipe is from the cookbook “Nestle Classic Recipes”.

  1. 2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm) (5.3 oz) unsalted butter
  2. 2 cups (480 ml) (160 gm) (5 2/3 oz) quick oats
  3. 1 cup (240 ml) (230 gm) (8 oz) granulated sugar
  4. 2/3 cup (160 ml) (95 gm) (3⅓ oz) plain (all purpose) flour
  5. 1/4 cup (60 ml) dark corn syrup
  6. 1/4 cup (60 ml) whole milk
  7. 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
  8. pinch of salt
  9. 1½ cups (360 ml) (250 gm) (9 oz) dark or milk 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).

  • Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F (190°C) (gas mark 5).  Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
  • 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. I did not sandwich the cookies, I just added the chocolate over the cookie to form a hash pattern.

Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I enjoyed making and eating them.

  1. Audax Artifex says:

    WOW they both look so delicious the colours of the panna cotta looks so elegant and I think the berries which are slightly tart and the sweetness of the panna cotta would be a perfect foil, and the decoration of the cookies is superb well done on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audas in Sydney Australia.

    • shilpamshinde says:

      Thanks Audax. I was amazed by how simple and delicious the recipes were. I loved the challenge specially my husband… And yes, the tartness of the berries along with the sweetness of the panna cotta was just perfect!!!


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