Life is all about attitude. Whether the glass is half full or empty can really shape your life. When it comes to Valentine’s Day I had two choices; I could mope about another year without a date or I could make and enjoy some pretty heart shaped desserts. I chose pretty heart shaped desserts.
Panna cotta is one of my favourite desserts. It’s incredibly easy to make, and the variations are infinite. In honour of Valentine’s Day, I chose to add a little rosewater to the cream. And of course it needed a touch of red so raspberry jelly layer had to be added. The result is a perfect combination of creamy and fruity layers, with just a hint of something floral.
Whatever your plans for Valentine’s Day, I wish you lots of love a little something sweet!
Rosewater Panna Cotta with Raspberry Gelée
• 2 cups frozen raspberries
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 tsp gelatin
• ¼ cup cold water
• 2 cups cream or milk
• 2 tsp rosewater
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 tsp gelatin
• ½ cup cold water
1. Grease the molds with an unflavoured oil. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the 1 tsp gelatin over the ¼ cup water. Set aside. In a medium saucepan bring the raspberries and the 1/3 cup sugar to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to release the juices. Strain, and stir the raspberry juice into the gelatin until the gelatin has completely dissolved. Pour into molds and let set in the fridge for at least one hour.
2. Once the raspberry gelée has set, make the panna cotta. In a medium bowl sprinkle the 2 tsp gelatin over the ½ cup cold water. Set aside. In a saucepan bring the cream and sugar just to boil. Add the rosewater. Stir into the gelatin until just combined. Let the cream mixture cool slightly then pour into the molds over the gelée. Let set for at least 2 hours.
3. To unmold, run a sharp knife along the edge of the mold then invert onto plates
My family and I spent the long weekend in Vermont. Every year my aunt and uncle invite us to their cottage for Thanksgiving dinner. They provide us with an incredible meal, and we bring the pie.
For years my parents rented a cottage that was just a few minutes away. The area is surrounded by water and woods. My mom would often come back with chanterelle mushrooms. This year I decided to go with her, and before we new it we had a whole foraging party.
Foraging for mushrooms is sort of like looking at those pictures that look like nothing, but if you cross your eyes a certain way an image pops out at you. (Does anyone remember what those are called?) At first it seems like there is nothing there, but the next thing you know there are mushrooms everywhere.
Unfortunately the chanterelles were not in abundance. We weren’t able to identify any of the mushrooms we did find, so nothing was kept. Mushrooms are not something to take chances with. Despite not finding anything useful, I still had a great time walking in the woods. I haven’t spent that much time in there since I was a kid.
I had hoped to find enough mushrooms to make a soup. Obviously that didn’t happen, so when I got back to Montreal I made my way to Atwater Market and picked up some chanterelles and criminis. It wasn’t quite the same as picking them myself but it was still delicious.
I used a recipe from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything. One of the good things about not having a computer for a couple of days was that it reminded me I actually own cookbooks.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 2 ounces dried chanterelle mushrooms (optional)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 pound fresh mushrooms ( I used crimini and chanterelle), cleaned, trimmed and sliced (reserve a few slices for garnishing)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp minced shallots
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 cups stock
- 1 cup cream (you can use heave cream or half and half)
- Chives for garnish
- If using dried mushrooms, rehydrate them by covering them with hot water and soaking them for 15 minutes.
- Place the butter in a large deep saucepan on medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the mushrooms and increase the heat the medium high. Cook for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms start to brown. Drain the now soaked mushrooms (keep the liquid) and add them to the cooked mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the shallots and garlic and cook for one minute. Add the stock and reserved soaking liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat.
- Stir in cream. Garnish with chives and mushroom slices.