creamy dreamy chewy sweet

Creamy. Dreamy. Chewy. Sweet. A little while ago now, I, with the help of my sister, made vanilla panna cotta and florentines. Well, by the time the florentines came around, it was just me, but that’s not the point.

It was pretty much all the title of this post describes. There was cream. There was vanilla. There was honey. There was sugar. There was agar agar and honestly, take what I say with a pinch of salt (that’s a pun by the way) but that was pretty much all there was to it.

I’m vegetarian (not sure I’d mentioned that yet, apart from where I say hello) so instead of the animal-based gelatin in the recipe I opted for agar agar, a vegetarian equivalent derived from seaweed.

With the florentines, I have to say they reminded me of ANZAC biscuits but not quite as awesome, although they did have chocolate on the bottom which is a huge plus.

Now, I did take photos but unfortunately, I don’t have access to them at the moment so you’ll just have to wait for them. In anticipation, I’m sure.

I served the panna cottas with preserved plums and cream but I think they’d be just as happy gracing your plate on their own.

Giada’s Vanilla Panna Cotta

Ingredients

1 cup (240 ml) whole milk

1 tablespoon (7 gm) powdered agar agar

3 cups (720 ml) whipping cream

1/3 cup (80 ml) honey

1 tablespoon (15 gm)granulated sugar

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. 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.

2. 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).

3. 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.

4. Remove from heat, allow it to sit for a few minutes to cool slightly. Then pour into the glass or ramekin.

5. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Add garnishes and serve.

Florentines

Ingredients:

150 gm unsalted butter

2 cups (160 gm) quick oats

1 cup (230 gm) granulated sugar

2/3 cup (95 gm)plain 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 (250 gm) dark or milk chocolate (I prefer dark)

Directions:

Preheat oven to moderately hot 190°C.  Prepare your biscuit tray with baking paper.

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.

2. 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.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.

4. 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).

5. Peel the cookies from baking paper and place face down on a wire rack.

6. Pour the melted chocolate into a resealable plastic lunch bag and snip of the end. Pipe chocolate over the flat ends of the cookies and let set. Eat with a cup of coffee.

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