Saturday, May 28, 2011

italian movie night

A while ago, the grads had an Italian-themed movie night. We all brought an Italian dish or two and watched Godfather. I made florentines (cornflakes, condensed milk, dried fruit). They were like a sticky, crunchy candy:

And pannacotta (an Italian cream-based jelly) with orange toffee sauce. I had to put them in plastic cups cos I had to travel with them:

Panna cotta with orange toffee sauce
2 1/2 tsp powered gelatine
3/4 cup milk
600mL cream
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 vanilla bean/ vanilla essence

Orange toffee sauce
2/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice

1. In a bowl, place 1/4 cup milk and sprinkle gelatine over it
2. Combine remaining milk, cream and sugar in medium saucepan
3. If using vanilla bean, scrape seeds from pod and place in cream mixture. Or put vanilla essence in cream mixture
4. Stir mixture over low heat, without boiling until sugar dissolves. Bring almost to a boil. (surface should quiver,  not bubble)
5. Remove from heat; stand, covered, 10 mins.
6. Return cream mixture to heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat
7. Stir in gelatine mixture. Strain into jug
8. Pour cream mixture into cups/serving plates. Cool, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or til set

For orange toffee sauce:
1. Combine sugar and water in small saucepan and stir over low heat without boiling until sugar dissolves.
2. Boil , uncovered, without stirring, which is about 10 mins or until sugar syrup is golden brown. Remove from heat.
3. Stir in juice. Stir over low heat without boiling, until toffee dissolves
4. Cool til room temperature

Last: Just before serving, place toffee sauce on pannacotta, when its in the serving cups. Serve with strawberries if desired...

Amended from the Women's Weekly Great Italian food cookbook

*When I brought this dish to the party, another grad used exactly the same recipe to make Pannacotta. Her one was much lighter and didn't leave a creamy after-feel in your mouth, so I suspect she used lower-fat milk & cream. Note that I used full cream milk & cream for mine.
*The orange toffee sauce is essential to balance out with the creaminess of the pannacotta.
*I didn't use strawberries, but would highly recommend them as they, similar to the sauce, are needed to balance out the creaminess of the pannacotta.
*I didn't follow the recipe and put the orange sauce on the pannacotta hours before serving. Because I used clear cups, the colours mixed and it was visible. eek.

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