demystifying geng & chip

The Night the Pannacotta saved the day by geng
June 25, 2009, 11:10 am
Filed under: Food, General, Geng's corner, Wednesdays with Geng and Chip

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. What can I say?  I was all set and ready to talk about Wednesdays with Geng and Chip # 20 and our awesome dessert but something went awry with our experiment.  And it all went something like this:

It was a disaster of catastrophic proportions. You should see our kitchen and our poor new baking stone. I didn’t know baking stones can stain like that.  It was  Sometimes we forget that we are novice cooks, hah!.  No worries, we’ll revisit that chapter again one day but in the meantime let’s talk about how the pannacotta saved the day.

When you have a day off with no one to play with you get bored. I took the day off on Wednesday to use up some leave time that I would otherwise lose if not used. I hate these use it or lose it policies let me tell you.  Chip is losing a couple of days because he’s so busy at work he can’t take any time off.  Grrr, don’t even get me started on that.  Breathe in… breathe out… serenity now.  There.  So as I was saying, I was all alone in the apartment futzing around wasting time with tomfoolery and shenanigans when I came up with the idea of surprising him with dessert for dinner that night. So I made pannacotta.

Pannacotta essentially means ‘cooked cream’. It is a simple Italian dessert from the Northern Italian region of Piemonte. Simply put, it is simmered cream, milk, and gelatin, flavored with vanilla. How easy is that? Pannacotta can be eaten by itself but traditionally it is sweetened with berries or other fresh fruits. 

A light refreshing dessert and perfect for summer.  This pannacotta with strawberry coulis totally saved the day.

Panna Cotta with Strawberry Coulis
This recipe has been revised to yield two servings (double everthing for four servings)

1/2  cup whole milk
1/2  heavy cream
1/4  cup sugar
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin such as knox
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup fresh strawberry
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in a little bit of water
2 tablespoons amaretto or brandy

Separate 1/4 cup of milk and sprinkle gelatin and let bloom. In a small saucepan simmer the rest of the milk, heavy cream, and sugar. Bring to a slow boil then remove from heat. Add the gelatin mix and vanilla. Stir and set aside to cool.

Slice the strawberries in small pieces. In a separate saucepan over moderate low heat combine the strawberries, sugar, and water.  Add the cornstarch. When it reaches simmer and all the sugar is dissolved remove from the heat. Add the amaretto. Puree in a food processor then run through a sieve for a smoother coulis. Yields ¼ cup.

Pour the pannacotta in two molds. I used my martini glasses but you can use other molds such as ramekins. Place in the refrigerator for two hours or until ready to serve. Top with the strawberry coulis. Enjoy.

9 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I can’t wait to make this…looks very easy! Yeah! I want to hear about the catastrophe. Don’t worry you will be recieving something in the mail for your birthday and as a thank you. Not much of a surprise now;) Baking stones will discolor the more you use them it is what they called seasoned, just to let you know.

Comment by Karen

Aaaw Karen you guys don’t have to get me a birthday present and you using my design is all the thank you that I need. Nevertheless, thank you very much.

Our baking stone doesn’t look seasoned, it looks like it’s been cast to hell and back, LOL.

Comment by geng

I’m curious what experiment went awry.

Comment by Mark

Well, we had the last serving of pizza dough in the fridge. The dough got so wet it became difficult to manage. Of course, in hindsight I probably should’ve just added more flour. Being a greenhorn that I am I just sprinkled a little bit here and there and it stuck to everything, my fingers, pizza peel, toppings. So when we transferred it to the baking stone the toppings went in first and the dough ended up a big glob. We baked it anyway and it burned. So we ended up with a big mess. It was like a Seinfeld episode.

Comment by geng

That’s funny. Yeah, dough should be dry and spongy, not wet. Although Karen is getting better with baking, I used to be one that baked in the house, especially bread. The best thing to remember about baking, and working with ANY type of yeast or rising product, patience, patience, patience. The first time you try to hurry something, it will end up in the not-so-edible category.

Comment by Mark

Where can you buy patience? Is it reasonably priced? LOL :)

Comment by geng

I find patience comes in nice little bottles filled with alcohol….

Comment by Mark

Just to be sure: that’s supposed to be 1/2 CUP heavy cream, yes?

Comment by Kim

Hi Kim, yes it’s half a cup of heavy cream. The ratio that I used is 1:1 milk and heavy cream. Enjoy!

Comment by geng

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