Thursday, December 20, 2012

Guest post and a holiday recipe - Panna cotta

And like I promised, we are back with a guest post and a holiday gift for our readers. That's right! 
Supriya and I feel blessed that so many of you chose to come back and read our posts regularly now and as a token of our appreciation, we wanted to share a little holiday recipe with you. In fact, we roped in an expert and we were so thrilled when Simi of turmeric n spice agreed to author for us. If you are not familiar with her blog then please, please stop by! For me Simi's blog was love at first sight and for the longest time, I could not decide if I loved her recipes or her pictures more.  The presentation of her gastronomic delights is fabulous - the composition, the use of colors, fabrics and textures is just awesome!  The literature that accompanies her pictures will not disappoint you either. 

Turmeric n spice is our first pick for blogs we love.  Periodically, Supriya and I will feature other blogs that catch our attention, stay tuned!

 So, here's Simi of turmeric n spice with a recipe....

"Thanks Deepa for the invitation to do a guest post on your blog.  I think you guys are doing a great job with your blog - I love the colorful pictures, snippets and creative eye candy! I enjoyed reading the about page on your blog, and I think if - or rather, when - we meet, there will be a lot of things to share. Your blog name was the first thing that caught my eye - it's perfect for your space.  I am looking forward to many more collaborations in the future. Wishing you and your readers a Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

Panna Cotta is a traditional Italian dessert and it has many variations, most of which are usually served with berries. I decide to serve it with some whipped cream and caramelized sugar art. This is my first time at weaving sugar, absolutely loved the experience and the taste is awesome. Soft, silky, coffee flavored panna cotta with airy whipped cream and caramelized sugar. Just the kind of dessert we love at our place - let me know if you guys like it as much as I do.

This is an awesome quick dessert for the holiday season.  You can make it ahead of time too, but make sure you keep your hands off..... :)

Panna Cotta

1/2 cup cream or half n half
1/2 cup full fat milk
2 tbsp expresso instant coffee
5-6 tbsp sugar ( less or more, depending on how sweet you want it to be)
1 sachet gelatin

In three tbsp of cold water add the gelatin powder ( don't stir) leave for 5-8 min.

In a saucepan mix the milk and cream and heat on low flame, do not boil. Add the sugar and coffee and let stir well.

Add 2 tbsp of the hot milk into the gelatin and mix well.

Seve the gelatin into the cream and milk mixture.  Leave for 5 min.

Pour into serving glasses. Refrigerate for 4-5 hrs hrs or till it is set. ( preferably leave refrigerated overnite)

Serve chilled with whipped cream on top or chocolate shavings.

Caramelized sugar art

I loved creating the caramelized sugar shapes, did not get stressed about getting a right shape, just played (with caution as it is very hot) around doing different shapes. Looking forward to doing more of this technique in the future.

There are two methods of doing the caramelized sugar one is dry and the other we. I did the wet method, as I was afraid to burn the sugar.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
CAUTION : this turns very very HOT! Please be careful.

Mix sugar and water in a pan and heat it on medium heat. Soon it will start to boil.  Do not stir.

 Let the mix boil to about 6-8 min. It will change color from light golden to amber. Stir it a little bit to even the color.

 Put the pan in a bowl filled with cold water - to stop the process of cooking, you don't want to end up with burnt caramel.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

With a fork or a butter knife scoop a small part of the caramel and make brush strokes in air about 2-3 inches above the parchment paper.  It will fall in random shapes.

Let the shapes cool for about 2 hours. Remember it is really hot.

Garnish the panna cotta with these cute caramel art .


Wasn't that just awesome?Aren't the pictures amazing? Thank you Simi for sharing this holiday treat with us and our readers. I plan on trying it soon!
How about you ? Tell us if liked the recipe. Simi would love your feedback and comments and again, check out her wonderful blog turmeric n spice.



  1. oh my... truly yumm... I am a total disaster in the kitchen.. so am always envious when anyone can make something look so gorgeous.. On the flip side.. my brother is a pastry chef... LOL... How ironic!!?? isnt it?

  2. :) Simi has a great food blog- make sure to visit her too! and ofcourse, every now and then Supriya and I will post recipes and such right here on Aalayam!
    Your brother is a pastry chef? How wonderful and i say that's even better, he can do all the hard work and you can enjoy the treats ;)