vanilla-peach panna cotta; a tuesdays with dorie post


The intense heat of summer subsided a bit this week and I spent some time baking at home again.  One of the things I am enjoying about preparing the recipes from Baking Chez Moi as well as Baking with Julia is the diversity; sometimes we bake and sometimes we cook and this week, the panna cotta was prepared on the stove top.  The recipe calls for a mango puree to be poured into the bottom of the cup but I had a basket of ripe, local peaches sitting on the counter and I could not help myself.

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert made from sweetened cream and milk that have been set with gelatin.  Usually, the cream mixture is poured into a mold, chilled to set and then turned out onto a plate so that it is a free-standing dessert.  This recipe calls for pouring the mixture over a puree and serving it in the cup.  The only problem; my husband cannot eat dairy products.  Because he is such a sweet freak, I decided to make it with coconut cream and almond milk rather than the heavy cream and milk called for in the recipe.  On my last trip to the grocery store, I saw local peaches being sold by the basket and I am a sucker for fresh peaches!

Trader Joe’s sells an extra thick and creamy coconut cream which stood in for the heavy cream beautifully and while it added a lovely flavor, it was not at all over powering.  While I also substituted almond milk for the whole milk, it did not add a tremendous amount of flavor that I could detect.  Overall, it was okay.  Perhaps it is just that I am not much of a Jell-o fan and this recipe reminded me of a milky jello but the peach part was tasty.   

While the weather was pleasant (in as far as it can be in the south mid-July) this week, it was awful last week, truly awful and I did not make any effort to bake the Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack from Baking with Julia.  When the weather cooled off this week, I mixed up a batch and I am happy to say that this recipe is a keeper!

The ingredient list calls for quick cooking oats which are something that I never have in my pantry.  Oatmeal is a favorite ingredient of mine and I use it in cookies, breads and of course, hot cereal on cold winter days.  At least I did until I discovered the multi grain blend that Trader Joe’s sells.  The blend is made from rolled, whole rye, barley, oats and wheat and it looks just like oatmeal but it has a lot more flavor from the different grains.  Hardtack is essentially a cracker and typical for cracker recipes, this one called for mostly shortening with a little butter added for flavor.  Because I was making just half of the recipe, I opted for just the shortening, substituting the single tablespoon of butter with additional shortening however, I do not keep white hydrogenated shortening in my pantry either.  To make these crackers, I used virgin coconut oil which was solid in my kitchen and I loved the flavor it added.  If I make these again, I think a sprinkle of coarse salt over the top would be perfect.
IMG_4109Think you would like to bake along with us?  Visit the Tuesdays with Dorie website, pick up a copy of either book and get baking!  To see how the other bakers did with these recipes, visit the LYL pages for the panna cotta and the hard tack.

14 thoughts on “vanilla-peach panna cotta; a tuesdays with dorie post

  1. Peach is such a great idea! I think this particularly calls for a bright flavored fruit of any kind. Nice job!


  2. What a fabulous idea to replace the cream with coconut cream and almond milk! Sound like it was a successful replacement, even if one isn’t a jello-type person. And can I ask, I just LOVE your photos, do you use a light box or a photography lamp to take them? They’re just gorgeous!


    1. Thanks Margaret! Actually, I am using only natural light coming in the window. These photos were shot in late afternoon using a white board and a reflector for spot lighting. To improve my skills, I have attended classes on photography at an art school community education program as well as food photography/food styling workshops with folks like Helene Dujardin, Tammy Hardeman, Mindi Shapiro and Teresa Blackwell; all well worth the money!


  3. Good for you for not only enjoying those gorgeous fresh peaches, but for dutifully finding subs for hubby’s dairy issues. It all sounds wonderful and your pictures are insanely gorgeous. Insanely. Intrigued by that Hard Tack also but mostly think I would just like to grab a glass of wine and hang out in your kitchen (LOL I am in PA so no worries about me stalking ……:)


  4. I love how beautiful your panna cotta looks in those glasses. I was too afraid to try it with my small glasses. They barely survive washing in the sink!


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