Chocolate Panna Cotta with Raspberry Gelee & Orange Florentines

Welcome to my second Daring Baker’s Challenge, Panna Cotta with Florentine Cookies.  For the second month in a row, the challenge has lived up to it’s name.  I had never made panna cotta or florentine cookies before.  Time to stretch my cooking muscles again.  Was it easy?  Kind of.

This panna cotta has a texture somewhere between a pudding and a mousse.  I layered the chocolate goodness with a raspberry gelee made with frozen raspberries brightened with a little fresh lemon juice.  To compliment all that lovely soft sweetness, I created a very crunchy almond lace cookie (aka Florentine) and dipped and drizzled that with more chocolate.

Overall, a beautiful, elegant make-ahead dessert that would work well at the end of a dinner party.

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CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA
Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit

  • 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) (1⁄4 oz) unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 2 cups (480 ml) whipping cream (30+% butterfat)
  • 1/2 cup (115 gm) (4 oz) sugar
  • 3/4 cup (145 gm) (5 oz) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 1⁄2 ml) vanilla extract

RASPBERRY GELEE
Adapted from a recipe from Mallory

  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (7 gm) (1⁄4 oz) unflavored powdered gelatin

FLORENTINES
Adapted from recipe at Food Network

  • 1 3/4 cup sliced, blanched toasted almonds (about 5 oz)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange (about 2 tablespoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

MAKING THE PANNA COTTA

Pour milk into a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over the top, set aside for 2-5 minutes.

Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir in cream and sugar. Bring to a low boil.  Turn heat to very low and add chocolate and whisk until melted.  Whisk the milk/gelatin mixture and vanilla into chocolate cream mixture. Whisk until gelatin has dissolved.

Pour about 2/3rds of the panna cotta into the bottom of serving glasses.  Cover and chill for about 2 hours.  In the meantime, make the raspberry gelee.

MAKING THE RASPBERRY GELEE

Sprinkle gelatin over the water.  Place fruit and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until sugar has dissolved. Now mix the gelatin into the raspberry mixture and stir until gelatin has dissolved.  Then strain out the raspberry seeds.

Let this come to room temperature while the panna cotta chills in the fridge.

When the first layer of panna cotta is pretty firm, cover with the raspberry gelee.  Refrigerate for another hour.  When the gelee is firm, cover with the remaining panna cotta.  Cover the glasses with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 4 hours or over night.  Actually, at this point you could keep these for up to 3 days in the fridge.

When ready to serve, top with whipped cream, a rolled florentine cookie & fresh raspberries, if available (I couldn’t find any anywhere).

MAKING THE FLORENTINES

To make the florentines, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely chopped but not pasty.  In a bowl, stir together the nuts, flour, zest, and salt.

In a small saucepan, add the sugar, cream, corn syrup, and butter and cook over medium heat (stirringly occasionally) until sugar is dissolved and it comes to a rolling boil; continue to boil for 1 minute.  Pour into almond mixture and stir to just combine.

Scoop a little batter (1/2 to 1 teaspoon, I’m serious, that’s all) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 4 to 5 inches between each cookie because they spread out a lot.  Believe me.

Bake one pan at a time, until the cookies are thin and an even golden brown color throughout, about 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan after 5 minutes.  (Make sure that the cookies are browned throughout before removing them from the oven…otherwise they won’t have the desired crispy texture.)  Once the cookies are out of the oven, slide the silicone mat or parchment paper off the baking sheet.

At this point, you can allow the cookies to cool completely before removing from the parchment/silicone.

OR

Remove them while they are still warm and pliable and roll them into a curve or even a tube.  You have to work really fast because they will crisp up in less than a minute.  Stick one in the top of each panna cotta for a fun garnish.

13 Comments

  1. A fabulous treat!

    Reply
  2. Your Panna Cotta looks delicious! I also did raspberry gelee and really wanted to do a chocolate Panna Cotta but ended up doing vanilla instead. And orange florentine cookies sound like a great compliment to the dessert. Nice job on the challenge!

    Reply
  3. Oh my… these are just gorgeous and I love the flavor combination you chose! Well done!

    Reply
  4. Heather, this looks absolutely gorgeous! Loved it that you’ve layered this with the gelee…

    Reply
  5. Wonderful job with the challenge! After January I definitely wanted to give all the bakers something a little less complicated, but delicious nonetheless. Yours turned out beautifully!

    Reply
  6. That’s some gorgeous looking panna cotta. The tall glasses show off the layers perfectly. Orange florentines dipped in chocolate, oh my!

    Reply
  7. These look absolutely stunning and delicious… I love the way they look in the tall glasses.

    Reply
  8. Your dishes look yum … loved the presentation of the food ! good work. Awesome presentation

    Reply
  9. These are incredible! I love your photos as always!
    Great idea to roll the cookies.

    Reply
  10. Gorgeous dessert, love how you did your cookies I bet is was really tasty. I took the no frills route, your photos are just beautiful!!

    Reply
  11. Wow! Your panna cotta is just beautiful and I LOVE your florentine cookies! Great idea rolling them up!
    I used almonds, too, they just need that!

    Reply
    • Ellie, you are so smart. How fantastic to have a ‘savoury’ come up for dersset and the flavours obviously just bursting out in every corner. I will definitely make this for friends when i have a dinner party. Looks sensational….

      Reply

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