What do you do on Saturday?
Study (or pretend to study while you actually browse the interweb)?
Catch up on work around the house?
Or maybe do nothing at all?
Those all sound like valid, sane options. But the life of an insane, food blogging student doesn’t always work that way.
Instead, it looks more like this:
Wake up before 8. Stay in bed for awhile solidifying your recipe ideas. Get up, because you want to actually be able to eat the breakfast cookies you are about to bake for breakfast, not lunch.
Bake some cookies, cool some cookies. Make some more cookies (that are actually fancy cookies called “tuiles” not normal cookies – and if my Mac autocorrects “tuiles” to “tuples” one more time I am going to lose it!). Burn some cookies. Clearly both my oven and my computer have it out for me.
Move on to making chocolate chai panna cotta. Cookies are still cooling. Rummage through the cupboard and pick out fancy wine classes to serve the panna cotta. Finish and refrigerate the chocolate chai panna cotta, back to the cookies (the non-tuile, not burned ones, you with me?).
Picture time. No family, you can’t eat any yet because there are only 8 and I need them for pictures. Ok fine, 5 will be enough, go to town. Strike a pose cookies, looking good out there! Take about 100 shots which will eventually be edited down to 5 or 6.
Pictures done, props away, dishes in the dishwater. Can I eat my breakfast cookie now? Only 9:30am, still breakfast time, right?
Go get groceries because I ran out of milk making chocolate chai panna cotta and also need food to make dinner. Come back home, eat lunch, back to blogging. Stock up on posts for the week and take pictures of completed panna cotta (only about 30 this time). Upload and edit pictures.
And type up this dramatic little tale. I’m going to confirm my insanity here because I have to admit, I love it. It makes me sad when I don’t have time during the week to contribute to my blog as much as I would like to. I feel as though I have to compensate for that by the time the weekend rolls around.
But then come Sunday I am about ready to do nothing at all. Maybe I still have a tad bit of sanity left after all.
Chocolate Chai Panna Cotta
Serves 4 (but I only had 3 pretty wine glasses so I omitted the extra, boring glass I had to use in the pictures)
2 cups milk
1 chai tea bag
1/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup milk chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. or 1/2 tbsp. gelatin
3 tbsp. cold water
1. Bring the milk to a boil. Add the tea bag, remove it from the heat and allow it to steep for 15-20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it over 3 tbsp. of cold water. No need to stir or anything, just let it sit for 5-10 minutes and absorb the water. Set it aside until you are ready to use.
3. Once the milk and tea are done steeping, remove the tea bag. Add the sugar, chocolate chips and vanilla to the milk. Return it to low heat and stir constantly until the chocolate chips are fully melted.
4. Off the heat, whisk the bloomed gelatin into the hot milk mixture. Portion the liquid into 4 serving vessels of your choice (I used wine glasses but ramekins or bowls will also work).
5. Cool slightly at room temperature so you don’t put piping hot liquid into the fridge and cause condensation. Then you can cover each glass with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours. You can even make this dessert a couple days in advance and have it all ready to go.
6. Serve with fresh berries and honey tuiles (see recipe below)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. honey
1/4 cup flour
1. Heat your oven to 400F. Meanwhile, heat the butter, sugar and honey in a pot over medium high heat.
2. Onces it begins to bubble (the butter should be all melted and the sugar dissolved), remove it from the heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth.
3. Dollop about 1 tsp. of the batter onto a parchment lined cookie sheet for each tuile. Be sure to space them out as the batter will spread – a lot. No more than 5-6 per cookie sheet should do it.
4. Bake at 400F for 5-7 minutes (but probably closer to 5). Watch these babies like a hawk, they will go from golden to burned in a second.
5. Remove them from the oven and let them cool for 1-2 minutes before shaping them as desired. You can leave them flat or make little cups by draping the tuiles over an upside down mini muffin tin. Or you can wrap them around the handle of a wooden spoon, essentially making little tuile cigars.
6. Cover and keep at room temperature until you are ready to serve the chocolate chai panna cotta.