I am not a big baker but I got a book this past Christmas called 'Bake it, Don't Fake it' and I really love it. I made a few things from the book but the easiest and most impressive is the chocolate panna cotta. Every recipe out there always says to bake in the oven but with this one it is just heating the cream and adding the gelatin. So easy to do a few days ahead if you want to have people over.
It is just really good!
1 envelope of unflavored gelatin (Knox is a good brand)
1/4 c cold water
2 3/4 cup Heavy Cream (You might see it called 'whipping cream', that is the same thing)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder SIFTED
1 tbls semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of Kosher salt (approx 1/16th of a tsp.)
Measure out the cold water in a measuring cup and then add the gelatin and set aside.
In a medium saucepan whisk together cream, sugar, and cocoa. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat.
Once a gentle boil forms, turn off the heat and add the chocolate chips, vanilla and gelatin and whisk until the chocolate melts. If the chips don't melt entirely that is ok.
Pour the chocolate mixture into little mugs, ramekins, or martini glasses or basically any small container. Chill for at least 3 hours till the panna cotta is thick and set.
Put a dollop of marshmallow creme on top with a teddy graham in the middle and enjoy!
1/4 cup egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
Dash of vanilla
In a measuring up, crack an egg in half (but not all the way) and pass the yolk back and forth so that the whites drop into the cup until it fills up to the 1/4 line. Put in a small sauce pan or a medium metal bowl.
Take a medium saucepan and cover the bottom of the pan with water and bring to a boil, put a smaller saucepan or metal bowl in to nest without the bottom of the pan to touch the water.
Gently stir the egg white and sugar together till the sugar dissolves and the mixture is very hot to touch.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and with a electric beater or kitchen aid mixer, beat the mixture on high until stiff peaks form.