June 21, 2014
Thandai Panna Cotta ♥ Floral Flavors - Recipe Redux Challenge June 2014
When this post is published I will be at my family reunion and from there we leave on a cruise to Bermuda. At first I thought I would pass on this month's Recipe Redux challenge but when I saw the theme, well I just got busy.
Last year I got the idea to make Baklava so I purchased a bottle of rose water, at least I think that was why? It has been sitting in my spice cabinet since then and it was about time, don't you think? What to make that will make four servings. I certainly don't want to put food into a fridge I am trying to pull food out of.
I stumbled on an India recipe site and saw a drink that they consume during a fast when solid foods is not allowed. It had a ingredient list of a combination of spices that was very unique to me and that is always a catalyst in the push I need to give it a try.
Have you guessed the challenge theme yet? No, it's not Indian food now that I mentioned it, that would make a good theme, a food from a country never eaten.
The theme is - ta da......Floral Flavors - Nothing brightens up a dish like a real flower! Whether you live in the northern or the southern hemisphere, edible flowers can add flavor and aroma to salads, breads, spreads, desserts or dips. Make your recipe bloom with rose water, flowering herbs, floral teas, dried lavender blossoms or even fresh flowers like nasturtiums, violets, borage, squash, sunflowers or pretty much any blossom in a vegetable garden.
I decided to take that milk drink and make it into a Panna Cotta.
Panna Cotta (cooked milk) takes 10 minutes to prepare and only a few hours in the refrigerator. Because of the paste this recipe requires just a few more minutes of your time. It starts with soaking raw almonds and then pureeing them with seeds and saffron to make a paste that is then added to milk. The flavored milk is strained, unflavored gelatin is added, dissolved and then refrigerated.
You might think this is similar to Chi but it's not. Tough to describe exactly what it tastes like, it has that mysterious undertone that the orient is known for. I liked the taste but not sure The Nudge will enjoy this. The success of this dessert depends on the sauce I serve it with.
I took the basic sugar & water syrup, added cardamom, more rose water and the juice of one lemon. The pink color? was from a jar of Maraschino cherries.
While The Nudge took one bite and decided the cat was more fun (no surprise there!!), I loved it.
It wasn't the spices that turned him off, it was the consistency (this from a man who ate Jello every night during his grammar school years!!).
The best part is you can use a low-fat milk, or a non-dairy milk, and a sugar substitute to make this dessert very healthy and perfectly diabetic-friendly, vegan, gluten-free and low carb.
Makes 4 servings
* 1/4 cup almonds, soaked, drained and peeled
* 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
* 10-12 whole black peppercorns
* 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
* A few strands saffron, dissolved in...
* 1 tablespoon warm milk
* 1 tablespoon rose water
* 2 packets unflavored gelatin
* 1 quart milk, dairy or not
* 1/2 cup powdered sugar
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar, or 1/2 cup sugar sub
* 1/2 cup water
* 1 teaspoon rose water
* Pinch of ground cardamom
* Juice of 1 lemon
* Splash of Grenadine, Chambord or food coloring (optional)
1. In a spice grinder, food processor or morter & pestal, make the paste.
2. Add the gelatin to 1 cup of the milk; stir and let it rest for 2 minutes.
3. Bring all milk and the paste to a simmer, stirring but do not boil.
4. Add the powdered sugar and strain into a 1 quart pitcher.
5. Line 4 (1 cup) ramekins and evenly fill each ramekin. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until the mixture is a jelly.
6. In a small saucepan add the syrup ingredients and boil to reduce by half. Cool completely.
To serve: Run a knife around the inside of the ramekin and tilt onto a dish. It should plop right out. If it does not, use the knife to get some air into the bottom of the panna cotta. You will hear it release.
Spoon the syrup over the panna cotta and serve cold.