DB Challenge: Lemon and Mascarpone Panna Cotta with Vanilla Poached Pears

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

I like panna cotta because it is one of the easiest desserts you can make and it can be made ahead of time.  Plus you can let your imagination go wild with flavours and combinations.
Last time I made panna cotta was  couple month ago so it’s a good time to make another one.
Lemon panna cotta turned out better then I thought it would, smooth and not to rich with a hint of the lemon. And vanilla poached pears added little something to my panna cotta.
 I am eating last serving as I type this : )
Prep time : 10 min + 2-4 hours to chill in refrigerator
Cooking time : 20 min
(Serves 4)
For Panna Cotta:
7 tbs fresh lemon juice
3 tsp lemon rind
10 g unflavoured gelatine
300 ml double cream
200 ml mascarpone cheese
120 g sugar
For Pears:
150 g sugar
300 ml water
1 vanilla bean, split
4 pears
For panna cotta:
Put lemon juice in a small pot, sprinkle with gelatine and leave to stand for 5 min. Add 60 ml cream to the gelatine and stir over low heat until gelatine dissolves. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk mascarpone, sugar and lemon rind until blended. Gradually add in cream, then gelatine mix. 
Divide among 4 glasses and leave to chill for 2-4 h.
To poach pears, place all ingredients into saucepan. Bring it to a boil until sugar dissolves then turn heat to low and poach pears for about 15 minutes or until tender.
Serve panna cotta with poached pears.
We had to make Nestle Florentine Cookies as well but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make them and I am very sorry for that. But here is recipe for Florentine cookies and hope you will make them!
Nestle Florentine Cookies
(Makes approx. 2 1/2 – 3 dozen sandwiched Florentine cookies)
150 g unsalted butter
160 g quick oats
230 g granulated sugar
95 g plain (all purpose) flour
60 ml dark corn syrup
60 ml whole milk
1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
250 g  dark or milk chocolate
Preheat oven to moderately hot 190°C. Prepare your baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.
Melt butter in a medium saucepan, then remove from the heat.
To the melted butter add oats, sugar, flour, corn syrup, milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon full, three inches (75 mm) apart, onto your prepared baking sheet. Flatten slightly with the back of your tablespoon, or use a spatula.
Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until cookies are golden brown. Cool completely on the baking sheets.
While the cookies are cooling melt your chocolate until smooth either in the microwave (1 1/2 minutes), or stovetop (in a double boiler, or a bowl that fits atop a saucepan filled with a bit of water, being sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl).
Peel the cookies from the silpat or parchment and place face down on a wire rack set over a sheet of wax/parchment paper (to keep counters clean).
Spread a tablespoon of chocolate on the bottom/flat side of your cookie, sandwiching another (flat end) cookie atop the chocolate.

Join the Conversation

  1. This panna cotta sounds absolutely heavenly! I love the addition of the mascarpone and lemon, and that you topped it with a poached pear! Well done :)!

  2. I love elegant panna cotta this one is awesome

  3. how stunning! ive never seen this topped with a poached pear – great job : j

  4. Bravo on your results it looks so astounding I love the pears they are inspiring. Lovely photography as well great work on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  5. wow all your pics look so fantastic!!! clean and elegant. great job! I did a cheese-cake type panna cotta 🙂

  6. What a brilliant idea! Love the poached pears on top. Great take on this challenge!

  7. beautiful! where are the florentines? (my favorite cookie, i'm like thc cookie monster about those) your pictures are beautiful. thanks for sharing =)

  8. Wow, I love your addition of pears! Marvelous!!!!

  9. What a lovely dessert! Sounds yummy….


  10. Such a beautifully elegant dessert. Can you believe I've never tried panna caotta before? Thanks for sharing such a lovely dessert. I hope you had a great Monday…and that tomorrow is even better, my sweet friend!

  11. wowowowowowowowowowowowowow! I love all of these flavors! The crisp lemon, rich mascarpone, fragrant vanilla! This is a WINNER!

  12. Thank you for all your lovely comments!

  13. I love poached pears.

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