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Orange & Cardamom Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

11 Mar

Orange and Cardamom Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta

Feeding Your Appetite is 6 months old, and we are celebrating with a divinely decadent dessert!

Panna cotta (Italian for cooked cream) is a classic Italian dessert made by simmering together cream, milk and sugar, mixing it with gelatin and letting it cool until set. Using Greek yogurt instead of the milk creates a variation from the classic Italian dessert. The Greek yogurt creates a tangy and creamier Panna Cotta. The flavors of the cardamom with the Greek yogurt are suggestive of an Indian Shrikhand (Indian hung yogurt sweetened and flavored with cardamom). But it’s the addition of the cooked cream, orange extract and gelatin that make this dessert a closer relative of the Italian Panna Cotta than the Indian Srikhand.

This is one of those desserts that are effortless to create and yet it portrays you as a Master Chef, mesmerizing all when it’s served. So go ahead and have yourself a Master Chef moment!

Orange & Cardamom Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta
Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten’s Panna Cotta with Balsamic Strawberries
Time: Active 15 minutes   Inactive 24 hours for setting
Yield: 5 (4-5oz) ramekins

Ingredients:
Panna Cotta Ingredients:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin powder
1 ½ tablespoons of cold water
1 ½ cups of heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole-milk (full fat) Greek Yogurt (See note)
½ teaspoon orange extract
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (See note)
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon fine granulated sugar
Orange segments for garnishing

Orange Sauce Ingredients:
½ cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
½ tablespoon of butter
½ teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon sugar

Notes:

  • If you live in a country where it is hard to find Greek yogurt then just replace it with regular whole-milk (full fat) yogurt. The resulting Panna Cotta will be a little less creamy and a little less tangy but will still taste great.
  • If you do not have pre-ground cardamom use a mortar-pestle to break the pods and remove the seeds. Grind the cardamom seeds in a spice or coffee grinder or using your mortar-pestle.

Method:
1) In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin on 1 ½ tablespoons of cold water. Stir and set it aside for 10 minutes to let the gelatin dissolve.
2) In the meantime, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek Yogurt, ¾ cup of cream, the orange extract, 1 tablespoon of orange zest and the ground cardamom.
3) In a small sauce pan stir together ¾ cup of cream and the 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar and bring it to a simmer on medium heat. Keep stirring till the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat, add the softened gelatin and stir to dissolve.
4) Pour this hot cream mixture into the cold yogurt and cream mixture and stir to combine.
5) Pour the mixture into 5 (4-5oz) ramekins or custard cups and refrigerate uncovered until cold. When the panna cottas are thoroughly chilled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
6)  For the Orange sauce: In a small sauce pan heat all the sauce ingredients for about 15-20 minutes, until all the ingredients are well combined and the sauce is reduced to the consistency you want. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside to cool.
7) To serve: Run a small knife around each dessert in the ramekin and dip the bottom of each ramekin for 3-4 seconds in a bowl of hot tap water. Invert onto a dessert plate and spoon some sauce over each one. Garnish with orange segments

Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups

11 Feb

Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate CupsNo hallmark card can say “I love you” like a homemade sweet treat for your sweetie! This easy, elegant and delectable recipe, features just in time for Valentine’s Day to help you express your true feelings for that special someone.

Nothing spells romance like chocolate and strawberries and this dessert marries both these ingredients.Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups The star this Valentine’s Day is creamy white chocolate, perked up with an underlying hint of fresh strawberry juice. If you prefer raspberries, you can entirely substitute the strawberries with raspberries. Setting this mousse in chocolate cups (the perfect aphrodisiac) creates a patisserie equivalent masterpiece. All you need with these is a bottle of bubbly and it won’t be long before you are showing that someone special how you feel ….in more ways than one! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse in Chocolate Cups
Recipe Adapted from Le 15 Patisserie’s Chocolate Lover’s Class
Time: Active: 30 minutes Inactive: 3 hours (setting time)
Yield: 14-16 shot glasses

Ingredients:
6 oz of white baking chocolate
3 oz whole milk
3 tablespoons, freshly squeezed strawberry juice (See note)
2 large egg whites, at room temperature (See note)
¼ teaspoon lemon juice
7.5 oz heavy-whipping cream
Dark or milk chocolate cups or cases, store-bought (See note)

Garnish:
Chopped strawberries
Milk or dark chocolate shavings

Notes:

  • Place a handful of strawberries in a blender and puree them. Place this puree in a sieve and use a spoon to press the fresh juice through the sieve. Keep the juice and discard the seeds and skin, leftover in the sieve.
  • The eggs must be at room temperature to get the most volume out of the whites when you beat them. Make sure the egg whites have no traces of yolk in them.
  • Most large grocery stores, gourmet food and party stores carry chocolate cups or cases for setting desserts in them. These can also be ordered online. If you cannot find these, just set the mousse in shot or cordial glasses and increase the amount of chocolate shavings.

Method:
1)  Create a double-boiler over the stove-top and melt the white chocolate in it. Keep stirring so that the chocolate does not burn.
2) Stir in the milk and strawberry juice into the melted chocolate and set aside.
3) In a separate bowl, stir the lemon juice into the egg whites. Turn on a hand-held electric mixer or an electric stand mixer on low, and beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the chocolate mixture carefully into the eggs whites. Be careful to not deflate the air volume that has been incorporated into the egg whites.
4) In a separate bowl, using a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer on low beat the heavy-cream until it forms soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
5) Divide this mousse into chocolate cups or cordial/shot glasses and chill for at least 3 hours. You can use a piping bag to make the mousse look even fancier in the cups.
6) Just before serving garnish with chocolate shavings and chopped strawberries.

Dark Chocolate and Orange Mousse

28 Nov

Photo Credit: Sneha http://www.prettyinpic.com

My Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting post last month was my first blogosphere declaration of my fascination with the harmonious marriage of chocolate and orange in any dessert. This assertion will certainly recur every few months on this blog. Anytime I plan to make a chocolate dessert (specifically a dark chocolate one), I start thinking of the best way to add some orange flavor to it.

That was exactly the first thought I had when I saw a very highly rated Chocolate Mousse Recipe on Epicurious.com. The recipe provided a perfect base for me to experiment and derive a recipe that has a subtle hint of orange in each bite. Bitter-sweet chocolate is the dominant flavor but when you savor this decadent treat, your tastes buds will also be tantalized with a delicate kiss of orange. Let yourself succumb to this temptation, you can always make your confessions on the treadmill the next day!

Dark Chocolate & Orange Mousse Recipe
Recipe Adapted from Epicurious’ Chocolate Mousse Recipe
Serving:  8 servings
Time:  Active 45 min; Inactive 6 hours (refrigeration)

Ingredients:
2 cups chilled heavy cream
Zest of 1 large orange
4 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
7 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped (see note)
Garnish: Whipped cream and chocolate shavings (optional)

Note:

  • You want to choose a baking chocolate with 50-60% cocoa solids. Anything higher that this may result in a slightly denser mousse. I used Ghirardelli 60% Cocoa baking bar.

Method:
1) Heat 3/4 cup cream along with the orange zest in a 1-2 quart heavy saucepan until hot. Once heated turn-off heat and set aside.
2) In a large glass or metal mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and a pinch of salt until combined well. Then add the cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking until combined.
3) Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly. If you have a heat safe instant read thermometer use it to ensure that the mixture registers 160 degrees F. Pour this custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and set aside.
4) Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring frequently. Remove from the stove-top once fully melted.
5) Slowly whisk the custard into the melted chocolate for a smooth mixture; set aside to cool. You want this to be at room temperature or cooled.
6) Beat the remaining 1 1/4 cups cream in a bowl with an electric mixer or hand mixer until it just holds stiff peaks.
7) Whisk 1/4 of the (stiff peak) cream into chocolate custard to lighten. Slowly fold in remaining cream gently but thoroughly (until fully combined). Folding it in carefully ensures that the mousse stays light and does not become too dense.
8) Spoon the mousse into 8 (6oz) stemmed glasses or ramekins and refrigerate, covered, for at least 6 hours. This mousse can be refrigerated up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature about 20 minutes before serving.
9) Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings just before serving.

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