Pomegranate Red Wine Panna Cotta


I have tasted panna cottas in hotels and never really liked it. To me, they were bland! So, when I came across this simple and easy recipe on Pastry Affair, I wanted to try it the very moment.... But somehow, it kept on postponing...I even thought of making them on Valentine's Day as it would be a perfect dessert for the day but since we had guests, didn't bother!! 


Finally, yesterday when I had some free time, I decided to give it a try. Since it was my first attempt with panna cottas, I decided to keep it minimal. However, it was a success at home and my people loved them. If making for kids, you could avoid the wine syrup and use any fruit coulis instead, as the wine syrup was a bit sharp in taste for the kids!!



Ingredients: 
Recipe Source: Pastry Affair

For the Panna Cotta
Unflavored gelatin - 2 1/4 tsps
Cold Water - 3 tbsps
Heavy Cream - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Granulated sugar - 1/4 cup
Salt - a pinch
Vanilla essence - 2 tsps

For the Red Wine Syrup
Sweet Red Wine - 1 cup
Granulated sugar - 2 tbsps (optional)
Pomegranate seeds


Method:

Making Panna Cotta
  • In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water, whisk together and allow it to sit for 5- 10 mins to bloom.
  • In a large saucepan, heat cream, milk, sugar and salt over medium heat, stirring until sugar fully dissolve and it begins to boil.
  • Bring to a low simmer and add in the gelatin, stirring constantly for 1-2 mins.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla essence.
  • Divide evenly among serving glasses and refrigerate until set, about 4 -5 hours.
Making Red Wine Syrup
  • In a small saucepan, bring the red wine and sugar (if using) to a slow simmer. Reduce the wine by 1/2 cup to concentrate the flavor. Remove from heat and chill.
  • Spoon the wine syrup evenly over the panna cottas and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Chill until ready to serve.


Notes:
  • I used home-made sweet red wine, so I didn't add extra sugar for the syrup.
  • You could use white wine too for making the syrup.



 

Espresso Choco-Chip Bundt Cake

"No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home."
L. FRANK BAUM, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz


Though I am happy to be free from my vacation hangover; deep inside I miss the vacation.... We had a wonderful time in Kerala. The best part of the trip was the to and fro train journeys. The kids were totally excited especially my little one as this was her first journey by train... When we reached Kerala it was blazing but it started pouring like anything towards the end of our vacation. They were days when we hardly saw the sun!! Come rain or shine, the kids had a marvelous time…. And me; I had a delicious time having mangoes, jackfruits and of course mummy-made foodyum yum….Oh!! How I miss all this……

Anyways coming back to today's recipe....I bookmarked this recipe in my mind the day it was posted on Divya's blog, but, I was on a vacation. Once back, I knew this would make the perfect recipe to reactivate the baker in me!!


Now, in the original recipe, Divya used a chocolate ganache to coat the cake. Since, I preferred a simple chocolate cake, I omitted that part. Nevertheless, it tasted good and as usual better as it aged...Also, she used yogurt instead of fresh cream. Since, I didn't have yogurt, I substituted it with cream, but it was fine!



Ingredients:
Recipe Source: Easycooking


Espresso coffee powder - 1 tsp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Hot water - 1/4 tsp
Maida - 1 1/2 cups
Cocoa powder - 1/4 cup
Salt - a fat pinch
Baking soda - a fat pinch
Baking powder - a fat pinch
Chocolate chips - 1 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup
Granulated sugar - 1 cup
Brown sugar - 1/3 cup
Eggs - 3
Fresh Cream - 1/2 cup




Method:
  • Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a bundt tin.
  • Stir together the espresso powder, vanilla extract and hot water in a small bowl.
  • Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep aside.
  • In a medium bowl, toss the chocolate chips in 1 tbsp of the above flour mixture. Set aside.
  • Cream butter for a minute and add sugar in three lots. Add brown sugar and beat for another 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs one by one beating well after each addition.
  • Mix in the coffee mixture and beat again. Scrape the bowl.
  • Add the sifted flour and cream alternately.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula into the prepared mixture.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared bundt tin and bake for 45-50 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Cool cake in pan on a cooling rack for 10-15 mins. Loosen the edges with a knife and remove the cake from the tin and let it cool completely for another 20 mins.