Satsuma Panna Cotta

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

My family is having a standing rib roast for dinner tonight and we wanted something light for dessert. Enter panna cotta (Italian for cooked cream). This is a light and refreshing dessert of sweetened cream thickened with gelatin and molded.

The sweetening can be made with sugar or it can be made with fresh fruit juices. I used the very last of Dad’s crop of satsumas for tonight’s version.  If using other fruit, just adjust depending on sweetness. For example, if doing lime, I would only use about two tablespoons of lime juice versus the 1/4 cup of satsuma juice I used. Make up the difference with water to make 1 cup total, ie 3/4 cup water to 1/4 cup juice, etc.


Satsuma Panna Cotta

3/4 cup boiling water
½ cup sugar
finely grated zest of a satsuma
1/4 cup satsuma juice
¼ cup cold water
1 package unflavored gelatine (about 3 teaspoons)
2 cups cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
satsuma segments, to serve

Place water, sugar, zest and juice in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes to allow flavors to infuse.

Strain liquid into a medium saucepan, discarding solids. Pour cream in the saucepan, add the vanilla and bring just to the boil. While that comes up to temperature, combine cold water and gelatine in a small dish and allow to bloom.

Once the cream mixture is hot, whisk in the gelatine. Divide between 6 serving glasses or ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until set, about 4 hours or overnight. Panna cotta can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Invert onto a plate and cut out segments of satsuma and place over the top. Serve.



Another Broken Egg Cafe

My cousin, Betsy, and I went to breakfast on Magazine Street this morning ahead of heading to the Fairgrounds Racetrack to watch the morning gallops.

Another Broken Egg Cafe offers a wide menu of breakfast options, include omelettes, eggs Benedict, griddle items and grits.

I went for the Sweet Potato pancake. The pancake filled the plate and the cinnamon and orange marmalade infused syrup was plentifully ladled over. There were even spiced pecans sprinkled over the top of the pancake and whipped cream topping. Very yummy and filling, although a bit on the sweet side.

sweet potato

Betsy went for the Black Bean Benedict with a perfectly poached eggs on top of black bean cakes and the hollandaise was flavored with chipolte. Lots of layers of flavor to this dish. It came with country potatoes which were like little pillows of potatoey goodness.

black bean

Very friendly staff who made small talk and good recommendations. Definitely worth a repeat visit!

Happy horsey holidays!




Chocolate Pound Cake

I’m totally jonesing for chocolate and, by happy coincidence, I’ll have my cousin and her husband in town this weekend to go to the horse races, so I splurged and made this chocolate pound cake.


Chocolate Pound Cake

1 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder (I substituted instant coffee)
1 1/2 cup unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
¼ cup water

Use either a 10″ tube pan or two 5″ loaf pans. Instead of buttering and flouring the pans, butter and use cocoa powder to dust the sides and bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Sift together cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and instant espresso powder. Blend well and set aside.

Separate eggs and beat the whites to soft peaks in another bowl. Set aside.

Put butter in your mixer bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat for 5 minutes. Then beat in egg yolks one at a time. Add in vanilla and mix well.

Combine buttermilk with water. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the wet to the sugar mixture. Mix well to be sure that all is combined well to avoid streaks. Fold in the egg whites.

Pour into the greased pan and bake at 325 F. for and hour and 20-30 minutes. If using two loaf pans, at 45 minutes rotate and switch positions of the pans. Pound cake is done when a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.


Limoncello Ice Cream

We really enjoyed the limoncello gelato we picked up the other day and wanted to make some at home. Unfortunately, the recipes for it call for mascarpone cheese. We didn’t have that or an easy way to make a substitution. Instead, we went ahead and made limoncello ice cream.

This is a custard base ice cream, so you have to cook the egg yolks and cool things down before you can churn it into ice cream. And, after the big breakfast this morning, we only had three eggs. The below recipe is, therefore, half the original recipe (plus lemon zest and juice to up the lemony factor) but it was perfect as a palate cleanser for five people after a big dinner.

limocello icecream

Limoncello Ice Cream

3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons limoncello
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat the cream, buttermilk, milk and a pinch of salt in a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks and gradually add the sugar and continue whisking to combine.

Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts.  Once the eggs have come to temperature, pour into the cream mixture. Add limoncello, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir well. Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Place the bowl in the refrigerator, cover and store for up to 4 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator and pour into the ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s directions.  This process should take approximately 20 minutes.  Serve immediately for soft serve or place in the freezer and allow the ice cream to harden for a couple of hours before consuming.

Sour Cream Substitutions

I will have to head to a funeral this week and, being a good southerner, I will be bringing food for the condolence call on the family.

I decided to bring my poppy seed pound cake (see previous post here) but it wasn’t until after I had beat the egg whites to soft peaks and was creaming the butter, sugar and egg yolks that I realized I didn’t have any sour cream.

Unfortunately, I had no plain greek yogurt in the house, which is my first choice for a substituting for sour cream. You can replace equal amounts, ie 1 cup sour cream for 1 cup yogurt. If I was making a dip instead of baking it, I would put the yogurt in a cheesecloth to drain off some liquid first.

My next substitution option is using milk. First you have to sour the milk – I typically use lemon juice (1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk) and set it aside for 5 minutes or more to sour. To then substitute it for 1 cup of sour cream, use 3/4 cup of the sour milk plus three tablespoons of butter.

If no milk, my next option is using buttermilk. I keep a container of the powdered buttermilk in my fridge at all times. I make up a cup of butter milk, following the directions on the package, and then use the same ratio as for the sour milk – 3/4 cups buttermilk plus three tablespoons butter.

As a last resort, I’ve even used cottage cheese. Sour 1 cup of cottage cheese with a tablespoon of lemon juice and thin it with a tablespoon of milk (or water). I recommend putting this in a blender to smooth it out or the finished product is a little oddly textured.