Sunday, 27 February 2011

A Creamy Dreamy Crunchy Sweet Daring Bakers' February

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

This was always going to be a tricky challenge for me: Panna Cotta is basically sweetened set cream, and florentines are full of butter, cream or condensed milk, and sometimes chocolate. And I'm still dairy-free. So I got a bit creative again, spurred on by my success with the dairy-free Joconde/Entremet last month.

After some extensive googling action, I came up with a recipe for Soya Milk Panna Cotta on the BBC Good Food Magazine website. But since I don't particularly like soya milk, I used Oatly Chocolate Oat Drink.

I also adapted a recipe for chocolate cherry florentines, again from the BBC Good Food Magazine website, substituting dairy free margarine for butter, and using 70% cocoa chocolate to coat it. Instead of almonds I used oats, to try to link back to the original recipe given in the challenge, and because I didn't have enough cherries, I chucked in some dried apricots too.

Because it was thinner than cream, I think the oat milk set with a firmer set, which meant it was possible to make some tiny heart shaped panna cotta, using a silicone chocolate mould. Since I made it around valentines day I went a bit heart-crazy and cut hearts out of the florentine, and served it with a red raspberry compote (made by mashing a cupful of frozen raspberries with 1 tbps oat cream, and 1 tbsp icing sugar)

Then later in the month I was browsing through Delia Smith's How to Cheat at Cooking, and I found a recipe for coconut lime jellies, which are very similar to a dairy free panna cotta. My original recipe was actually supposed to have coconut milk in it along with the oat milk, but when I opened the tin it was a weird grayish blue colour and smelled seriously nasty, so needless to say it went down the sink and I continued on with just the chocolate oat milk. But I was still intrigued by the possibilities of the coconut version, and since I had a packet of lime jelly in the fridge I decided to give it a go.

I served it with some mango and lime sauce that was loitering in the fridge, and it was lovely - the perfect way to finish off a meal of spicy beef satay noodles in which I was a bit generous with the chili - very cooling! I didn't have a fresh lime for the jelly so just missed it out, and it was still delicious. The jelly set beautifully - wobbly but not too firm, and so unbelievably easy! I'll definitely be making it again.

Coconut & Lime Jellies (from Delia Smith's How to Cheat at Cooking) (serves 4-6)
  • 1x135g block of lime flavoured jelly cubes
  • 1x 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime (which I missed out and it still was fab)
  • 150ml boiling water.

Pull the jelly block apart into cubes and put in a bowl. Add the lime juice and zest and 150ml boiling water. Stir for a few minutes to completely dissolve the jelly. Pour in the coconut milk and mix well. Divide between 4-6 mini pudding tins or ramekins. Leave to set in the fridge for several hours, ideally over night. Enjoy!


  1. Your panna cotta hearts are so cute!

  2. Delicious... coconut and lemon was my second choice!!

  3. The coconut lime sounds delicious

  4. I love all the heart shapes - great for Feb!

  5. I have been looking forward to seeing your post since seeing your photos in the forum. You did a really great job. I love all the panna cottas - they unmolded so beautifully and make the entire dessert look so impressive. You did an awesome job.

  6. I just love your mini panna cotta they look so cute I love the shine on them. Wonderful to hear that went vegan on this well done.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  7. Wow! Dairy-free on panna cotta? Well done :) Coconut lime sounds delicious!



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