Tuesday, December 25, 2007

SHF #38 - The Proof is in the Pudding! - Panna Cotta

SHF #38 - The Proof is in the Pudding! - Panna Cotta
Firstly, Merry Christmas to All! Its Christmas Eve and special thanks to Zorra of Kochtopf for her invitation to participate in yet another Sugar High Fridays. The theme this time round is Pudding. As many of the participants may post recipes on Christmas Puddings, I have decided to post an Italian Dessert which is easy to make and can be served at parties - Panna Cotta.

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing this with gelatin, and letting it cool until set. An Italian phrase which literally means "cooked cream", it generally refers to a creamy, set dessert from the Northern Italian region of Piedmont. It is eaten all over Italy where it is served with wild berries, caramel or chocolate sauce. It is not generally known exactly how or when this dessert came to be, but some theories suggest that cream, for which mountainous Northern Italy is famous, was historically eaten plain or sweetened with fruit or hazelnuts. Earlier recipes for the dish used boiled fish bones in place of gelatin; however, sugar, a main ingredient, would not have been widely available as it was an expensive imported commodity. After years this treat evolved into what is now a gelatin dessert, flavored with vanilla and topped with fruit or spices, and served chilled. Similar versions of this dish are also found in Greece and France.

Here is the recipe...

Panna Cotta (Makes 17 Shot Glasses)
600 mL Milk 600 ml
3 tsp Gelatine
150 g Cream
90 g Sugar
1 Tbsp Almond Essence (Optional)

Strawberry Jam, Sliced Strawberries.

1. Place 5 times the amount of gelatine of milk in a small bowl & sprinkle with gelatine. Allow the gelatine to bloom for 5 minutes.
2. Put the remaining milk in a pan with the cream & sugar & heat gently while stirring, until almost boiling (when you see small bubbles appearing).
CAUTION: Do not Boil or the mixture will overflow.
3. Remove the pan from the heat & whisk in the gelatine into the cream mixture until dissolved.
4. Stir in the Almond Essence & leave it to cool for a while.
5. Pour the mixture into the glasses & chill until set (about 4 hours).
6. Serve with strawberry jam and decorate with sliced strawberries.

Recipe By Samuel Chan
February 2007

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

YMCA - Festival of Love 2007 (Christmas Cookies)

YMCA - Festival of Love 2007 (Christmas Cookies)

With Christmas round the corner, I was given the opportunity work with YMCA on one of their charity events - Festival of Love. This is apparently the 3rd and final run for this year. Earlier this year, they made pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year and rice dumplings for Dumplings Festival.

For Christmas, they requested me to teach the members, staffs and volunteers how to make gingerbread man cookies for a children's home. As gingerbread may not appeal to the children, I decided to teach them how to make a simple cut-out cookie that they can then decorate with royal icing, topped with hundreds and thousands, M&Ms, etc.

Despite the time constraints, we managed to complete the required number of packets of cookies.

Special thanks to Angeline and Annie for providing the necessary ingredients and equipments and I hope to be part of future events such as this organised by YMCA.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Baking Demonstration at Robinsons Centrepoint

Baking Demonstration at Robinsons Centrepoint

Thanks to Mayer Marketing, I was given the opportunity to do a baking demostration to promote their KitchenAid mixer at Robinsons Centrepoint. With kaya kindly sponsored by Fong Yit Kaya, I decided to do a Christmas Log Cake with a twist - Kaya Christmas Log Cake. Here is the recipe for you to try this christmas!

Kaya Christmas Log Cake
Log Cake Ingredients:
3 Nos Eggs
75 g Caster Sugar
85 g Self – Raising Flour
40 g Water
40 g Corn Oil
½ tsp Vanilla Essence
1 bottle Fong Yit XO Kaya

Chocolate Ganache:
100 g Chocolate
60 g Dairy Cream

1. Preheat oven to about 200C.
2. Whisk Eggs & gradually add in the Caster Sugar whisk till ribbon stage.
3. Mix Water, Corn Oil & Vanilla Essence together.
4. Fold in Self – Raising Flour, Water, Corn Oil & Vanilla Essence.
5. Bake at 200C for 12 to 15 mins.

Recipe By Samuel Chan
December 2007