Well, my day was actually quite interesting. My sister and I were loading her car with old pictures to make picture boards for her high school graduation party when I chipmunk decided to run through the door and into our house! We were freaking out for a few minutes because we had no idea how to run the little creature out, but eventually we scared it back outside. It was definitely a funny experience.

So, for baking related subjects: I have never really tried panna cotta. I made it once before, but I botched the recipe so it tasted not quite right. So, I was a little leery whether or not to try it again, but I found this great salted carmel recipe that I just couldn't pass up. I've actually been seeing this flavor everywhere: in chocolate, ice cream, panna cotta, cupcakes, you name it! It has become one of my favorites, and I always enjoy it!

Salted Carmel Panna Cotta

Recipe From, with edits to: Manuela Zangara
Serves: 5

For the Panna Cotta:
300 ml – 10 oz. cream
100 ml – 3.5 oz. milk
100 grams – 3.5 oz. sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp gelatin powder
2 Tbs water
1 pinch of sea salt

Place water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin powder over it evenly without stirring. Let sit for 10 min.  Put the cream, milk and vanilla extract into a mug and heat it in the microwave for 40 seconds. Put the sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt it on medium heat until it becomes a dark amber colour. Do not stir, but if lumps start forming swirl the pan around. 
Carefully add the warm cream mixture stirring it into the caramel and keep it on the fire (it may solidify at this point, so keep stirring and the caramel will melt again). Add the sea salt and mix. Add gelatin to the hot caramel cream. Mix well until completely incorporated.
Strain the mixture into glasses/moulds. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or overnight) before serving.

For the Garnish:
Hazelnuts, roasted and peeled
45 ml – 3 tbsp water
65 grams – 4 ½ tbsp sugar
1 pinch salt

Melt the sugar in the water over a medium flame and let it become a medium dark amber. Let the carmel sit for 3 to 5 minutes to let it begin to thicken. While the carmel is cooling place a large sheet of parchment paper on the floor directly underneath a counter top or table top. Get something heavy to weigh the toothpicks down so they wont fall off the edge of the surface.
Insert a toothpick in each hazelnut and dip them in the caramel.  Let the carmel drip off a little before placing the end of the toothpick on the counter top with the hazelnut over the edge. Place the heavy object on top of the toothpick to hold it in place. Continue to dip until the desired amount of garnishes is reached. Allow each garnish to cool for 5 min.
Remove the toothpick and put the caramel coated hazelnut on top of the set panna cotta.
***It is important to understand that the caramelized sugar will eventually melt. If it is humid or hot the melting process will be sped up. The garnish should be made only about 2 hours in advance. However, for best results they should be used immediately after cooling.

Until next week!

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