Friday, July 30, 2010

Coconut-Pandan Panna Cotta with Macapuno

No..I did not took a break from blogging, I was just busy teaching my friend how to cook since her parents and her maid was on vacation. I also had the privileged to teach in our Bible Study group as well. Is teaching one of my gift? I do not know..but it seems like a lot of my friends are encouraging me to teach. I was even contemplating on opening a small restaurant or start a cooking class near my daughter's school. I asked my friend's opinion regarding my two options and everybody suggested that the second one is much better. So before I become preoccupied with cooking class, here's a simple dessert everybody will love.

Panna Cotta literally means cooked cream. It is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing it with gelatin and letting it cool until set. It is best served with wild berries, caramel, chocolate sauce or fruit coulis (pronounced as koo-lee). Panna Cotta can be made with different flavors like as simple as vanilla, green tea, chocolate, and coffee,
or as bold as tomato, beans and seaweeds. If you are health and weight conscious you can substitute milk with yogurt. What's nice about this dessert is that you can make this ahead and refrigerate it for 2 to 3 days before eating or serving it.

I started it out by simmering coconut cream (i used coconut powder), sugar and bloomed unflavored gelatin. Let the sugar and gelatin dissolve and transfer it into a ramekin or any container you desire. Set aside to cool and refrigerate until set. For the Pandan Cream, simmer the cream with pandan and sugar, turn off the heat once the sugar is dissolved. Let the pandan steep for 10 to 15 minutes then strain. Simmer the pandan cream again and add the bloomed gelatin, mix until dissolve. Let it cool then pour over the coconut cream which has been set. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Topped with macapuno and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes.

Bloomed gelatin is a step integral to ensure the smooth texture of a finished product. It involves sprinkling the powdered gelatin into a liquid and letting it sit for 3 to 5 minutes. Then when the mixture is heated, the gelatin will dissolved evenly.

By His Grace,

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mixed Berries Parfait with Amaretti

One of my favorite fruit when I was a kid was mangoes, mangoes and mangoes but as I aged gracefully my taste changes and began to appreciate other fruits such as dragonfruit, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, papaya, melon and a dozen more.
Months ago I bought a small container of raspberries at Robinson's Place, Ermita and used it for my panna cotta. They have a bountiful of fresh imported fruits like plums, peaches, berries, persimmons and nectarine, but lately they don't have fresh berries so i bought frozen one at Santis.

Berries are a great source of vitamins, phytochemicals and flavonoids that may help to prevent some form of cancer, it has many health benefits and low in calories...grab them now to live a vibrant and healthy life!

Parfait is a French word literally meaning "perfect", it is made of cream, eggs, sugar and flavoring frozen or fresh fruits and serve in a tall glass. It can also be made of several layers of different flavors of ice cream, fruits and flavored pastry cream. This is a simple dessert that even kids can make, just think of a base like different fruits, use yogurt instead of pastry cream or mascaporne with cream to layer them and topped it with crushed oreo, graham crackers, granola, muesli, or other biscuits of your choice. There are a wide variety of ingredients you can whip up by mixing and matching it. A perfect meal for dessert, snack or even for breakfast!

Makes 6 servings

For Pastry Cream or Crème Patissiere [crehm pah-tease-YAIR]

3 pcs large yolks

6 tbsps white sugar

1 cup low-fat or skim milk

3 tbsps flour 1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 tsp almond extract

For Whipped cream

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsps white sugar
  • Ribbon the yolks and sugar while warming the milk
  • Add the flour, tablespoon by tablespoon to the egg mixture to avoid lumps.
  • Off the heat, add warm milk to yolk mixture and stir well. Return to the heat and return to a simmer, whisking vigorously. Make certain that the mixture is smooth before it comes to the simmer.
  • Continue cooking and mixing for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Off the heat, add flavorings and butter.
  • Place it in an ice bath to cool down quickly. Set aside
  • Combine cream and sugar, beat until soft peak and fold in to pastry cream. Do not whisk vigorously.
For Mixed Berries
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries *

1/4 cup water
4 tbsps white sugar
2 tbsps lemon juice

* available at Santis or S & R
  • Place the frozen berries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small pan at medium heat.
  • Cook until sugar dissolved and liquid becomes syrupy. Set aside.
For Topping

15 pcs. Amaretti (crushed)

  • To assemble. In a small bowl or tall glass, start by putting some berries, then layer it with pastry cream then with amaretti, repeat the process until the glass is full and end it with sprinkling some crushed or whole amaretti.
Fold - the process of blending a light ingredient, such as beaten egg whites, into a heavier ingredient by lifting from underneath with a spatula or spoon.
  • How to fold. In order to fold ingredients properly, the heavier ingredient is placed at the bottom of a bowl and the lighter above. A motion commonly used to fold the ingredients involves starting at one side of the bowl, moving downward and then across the bottom to the opposite side, enabling the ingredients on top to be brought down into and replacing the ingredients on the bottom. The bowl is then rotated a quarter turn and the motion is repeated. It is important not to completely blend the ingredients together.

By His Grace,