Tuesday, July 27, 2010
I was inspired by crack (pie). Haven't heard of crack pie? Well neither had I until my colleague and fellow blogger Marty brought a deliciously sinful plate of pie to work and declared that it was called Crack Pie.
A Momofuku creation, Crack Pie is essentially all butter and sugar on a homemade oatmeal crust (read more here). Oh Marty, how you tempt me. She made the pie to collaborate with another colleague and fellow blogger, The Hungry Caterpillar who was doing a review of the Momofuku cookbook. This is beginning to sound all too confusing isn't it? Simply put, I jumped on the Momofuku bandwagon minutes after perusing the book and corresponding website. You will too, if you dare to check it out.
So anyway, I was attracted to the Cereal milk panna cotta recipe. Why did I find it so appealing? Firstly, the idea of using cereal milk -- not the cereal itself mind you, just the milk you steep them in -- was intriguing. The pana cotta itself uses very little sugar -- less than a tbsp -- so the flavour is really from the cereal. A breakfast dessert if you will.
Now the other attraction to this recipe is the garnishes: caramelised corn flakes and a slab of home-modified chocolate dubbed, the Chocolate Hazelnut Thing (chocolate with hazelnut praline and caramelised cornflakes in it -- oh yum).
I have to apologise for my picture which barely does any justice to the recipe. To see a more aestheically pleasing version of the dessert, click HERE.
The panna cotta is also served with an avocado puree but I prefered mine without it.
Here's how you do it. Be warned, there are more than a couple of steps to the recipe but they're really easy to follow and pretty quick to execute.
Cereal panna cotta
First, toast 4 cups of corn flakes lightly in the oven (150C) for about 10 to 15 mins. Then, mix 2 cups of milk with 2 cups of heavy cream in a bowl. Add the cups of cereal to the milk + cream mixture and steep for 45 mins. Now, strain the milk from the cereal (get as much of the milk out). Now, add 3/4 tbsp sugar and a pinch of salt to the milk heat the milk+cream mixture slowly until the sugar dissolves. Keep stirring.
Set aside 1 tbsp agar agar flakes or 1/2 tbsp agar agar powder in a bowl. As the milk+cream+sugar heats up, ladle some of it into the bowl with the agar-agar and let it dissolve. Once done, whisk soaked gelatin back into remaining milk + cream mixture. Strain the mixture so that any undissolved bits of agar agar or sugar are containes and pour the liquid into wither ramekins or wine/cocktail glasses. Refrigerate until set (at least 2 hours).
Chocolate hazelnut thing
Part A: Caramelised corn flakes
Mix 1 cup of corn flakes + 2 tbsp sugar + 2 tbsp millk powder. Spread the coated flakes out on a tray and bake (120C) for about 15 mins or until it's a deep golden colour. Set aside.
Part B: Hazelnut Praline
Roast 1/2 cup skinned hazelnuts till they're nice and toasty. Set aside. Heat 3/4 cup sugar on the stove (low heat) until it melts and becomes a syrup. Add the nuts and stir the mix so the nuts are nicely coated. Turn off and let the sugar+nuts cool.
Blend or pound the mixture to a paste/powder. Set aside.
Part 3: Melting the chocolate and assembling all parts
Choose a choclate of your choice: plain or one with a nutty flavour would be good. Melt the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over simmering water. Once melted, add the praline and caramelised corn flakes and spread the mixture on a tray. (I kept aside some of the praline powder to sprinkle on the panna cotta seperately). Freeze till it sets and break it up into pieces.
Once the panna cotta and the chocolate are set, it's time to put the sum of all parts together and enjoy the fruit of your labour :)