Sunday, September 12, 2010
Momofuku Cereal Milk with Chocolate-Hazelnut Thing (vegetarian vesion)
So, you know I'm not a great photographer, right? Sorry about the shadows.
Anyway, I've never made panna cotta before, so this was fun. I don't think I've ever even had panna cotta. I modified the Momofuku recipe a little to make this dessert suitable for Niall.
To make the Cereal Milk vegetarian I used agar flakes instead of gelatin. I halved the recipe (and also used 2% milk instead of whole) and after straining the cornflakes I had almost two cups of liquid. I poured the liquid into a pot, added the brown sugar and salt, and sprinkled two heaping tablespoons of agar flakes on top. I heated the liquid on the lowest heat possible without stirring. Once the liquid was piping hot (but not boiling) I stirred in the agar flakes and continued stirring until they dissolved. Then I poured the milk into the molds.
Niall (who has had panna cotta) said this was a little stiff. It may be because of the agar but most likely it's because of who was making it. Maybe the tablespoons shouldn't have been quite so heaping. Overall, this was pretty good. Niall probably liked it more than me because I'm not a fan of hazelnuts. The Cereal Milk on its own tasted like milk and cereal. But adding the chocolate-hazelnut thing with the caramelized corn flakes added sweetness and salt.
The chocolate-hazelnut thing has a praline paste, which is roasted hazelnuts with caramelized sugar. I poured the caramel into the blender with the nuts and almost broke the blender. (The sugar hardened right away and stuck to the sides. Luckily Niall got it fixed and cleaned.) Once we had the paste, I mixed sugar, powdered milk, salt, butter and cornflakes and then baked them in the oven. Then mixed together the bittersweet (okay, half semi-sweet half baking chocolate) with the praline paste and other ingredients. The book calls for gianduja, but I cheated and just used Nutella. I spread the mix on waxed paper and topped with the caramelized cornflakes. I didn't do it fast enough and the cornflakes didn't stick.
I put it in the freezer. After it was cold, I broke it into pieces and sprinkled it on top of the panna cotta, which had been removed from the mold. You're supposed to make an avocado puree as well, but I didn't. We still have half of this left (it's in the freezer) so maybe next time I'll add the avocado.