Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cereal Milk Panna Cotta with Cornflake Crunch

I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  Christina Tosi is a genius.  First she brought us cereal milk.  Then, she makes it into a panna cotta.  It's like combining two of my favorite things!

Cereal Milk Panna Cotta (from Momofuku Milk Bar)
makes 4 servings

3/4 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1/2 recipe Cereal Milk (1 1/4 cups)
25 g light brown sugar (1 1/2 tablespoons, tightly packed)
1 g kosher salt (1/4 teaspoon)

Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 2 tablespoons of cold water and let bloom for a few minutes.

Warm a little bit of the cereal milk and whisk in the gelatin to dissolve.  Whisk in the remaining cereal milk, brown sugar, and salt until everything is dissolved, being careful not to incorporate too much air into the mixture.

Put 4 small ramekins on a flat, transportable surface.  Pour the cereal milk mixture into the glasses, filling them equally.  Transfer to the refrigerator to set for at least 3 hours, or overnight.

I found this panna cotta to be super soft and jiggly, which I thought I wouldn't like as I usually like my panna cotta a little firmer.  But I decided to trust Christina and took a bite.  Heavenly!  As Christina writes, "the secret to a profesh panna cotta is just the right amount of gelatin:  just enough to hold it together.  As little as possible, so that the second the panna cotta hits your mouth, it transforms into a silky river of flavored cream.  So little that you wonder how the dessert held its shape in the first place."  Yeah, it was definitely a silky river of cereal milk in my mouth.

To contrast all the soft creaminess, I made a batch of Cornflake Crunch, another invention of Christina's, to put on top.

Cornflake Crunch (from Momofuku Milk Bar)
makes about 4 cups

170 g cornflakes (5 cups)
40 g milk powder (1/2 cup)
40 g sugar (3 tablespoons)
4 g kosher salt (1 teaspoon)
130 g butter, melted (9 tablespoons)

Preheat oven to 275°F.

Pour the cornflakes into a medium bowl and crush them with your hands (it's fun!) to 1/4 of their original size.

Add the milk powder, sugar, and salt and toss to mix.  Add the butter and toss to coat.

Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.

Cool the cornflake crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe.  Stored in an airtight container at room temperature, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.

But good luck keeping it that long!  Sure, this makes a lot, and you only need a little to add on top of the panna cotta, but I couldn't stop munching on this like a snack.  And you can use 2 cups of it to make the crust of a Cereal Milk Ice Cream Pie!

Next:  Cereal Milk Ice Cream and Pie
Previously:  Cereal Milk

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