Right around mid December, I had that feeling something somewhere was not right but I could not really put my finger on it. Something was missing every time I’d turn on the computer but I could say what. The filling lasted a few days more when suddenly it hit me, "WTSIM…" was missing! Peeps, that’s bad when your body has become so trained to certain cycles that it knows when something is out of place. And that’s even worse when it is in your "other" life, your blogging life that is. Unless they ask us to make stew or barbecue I am always there to go play with Johanna, Jeanne and Andrew. January’s theme is "Terrine" and as I was reading Johanna’s directions I almost sighed in disappointment when she said that sweet terrines were welcome. Oh good! Now what?!!
I thought about steamed puddings in terrine molds and about nice layered fruit gelatin layers. The former seemed a little heavier than I wanted to bring to our weekly gathering with the neighbors and the latter was going to be received as this weird jello-type dish no matter how sophisticated the layering and fruits would be. I was in the mood for layers of cream and fruits and decided to pair them with a light genoise and assemble the terrine that way. I got lucky at the farmers' market that Saturday and came home with some very ripe and fresh raspberries and homemade yogurt, thick and wholesome.
The yogurt is the base for a light and creamy panna cotta flavored with honey. I was inspired by a recipe from The Sweet Life by Kate Zucherman. I was intrigued by this recipe as the other element is a egg white custard. Like most of us out there I am used to egg yolks based custard so this was an interesting play on a basic. I have to say that on its own, it is very eggy tasting…not something I would want to eat by the spoonful like creme anglaise. However, once mixed in with the yogurt and honey, the strong egg flavor disappear completely and one is left with a very silky panna cotta. Something I can eat by the spoonful!!
The genoise is the same used in the December Daring Bakers' challenge as the cake is moist and fluffy and works perfectly cut up in log strips to layer the cream and the fruit. My little play on the cake is that I brushed each layer with some Saint Germain Elderflower liqueur that my sweet friend Anita sent me a few weeks ago. It took the whole terrine from "excellent" to "awesome". I have to hide the bottle from myself because it is truly addictive! You can skip the alcohol part or substitute with Kirsch or white rum. Feel free to use something else than raspberries like strawberries, peaches, etc…
Honey Panna Cotta and Raspberry Terrine:
For the Genoise (recipe from the Yule Log Daring Baker Challenge):
Note you will only need about half the sheet pan. I wrap the leftover really well and freeze it for other uses (layered cake and mousse or instant cake Napoleons, etc…)
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
¾ cup of sugar
½ cup cake flour
¼ cup cornstarch
one (1) 10 x 15 inch jelly-roll pan that has been buttered and lined with parchment paper and then buttered again.
Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat so the water is simmering.
Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and sugar together in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place over the pan of simmering water and whisk gently until the mixture is just lukewarm, about 100 degrees if you have a thermometer (or test with your finger – it should be warm to the touch).
Attach the bowl to the mixer and, with the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high speed until the egg mixture is cooled (touch the outside of the bowl to tell) and tripled in volume. The egg foam will be thick and will form a slowly dissolving ribbon falling back onto the bowl of whipped eggs when the whisk is lifted.
While the eggs are whipping, stir together the flour and cornstarch.
Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the beaten eggs. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, making sure to scrape all the way to the bottom of the bowl on every pass through the batter to prevent the flour mixture from accumulating there and making lumps. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and finally with the remainder.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake the genoise for about 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure the cake does not over bake and become too dry or it will not roll properly.
Once the cake is done (a tester will come out clean and if you press the cake lightly it will spring back), remove it from the oven and let it cool on a rack. Remove the cake from the baking sheet and invert it on a larger piece of parchment paper. Peel of the parchment paper that was lining the baking sheet. For the Panna Cotta (start the day before) (adapted from Kate Zuckerman)
16 oz plain whole milk yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tb honey
1/2 Tb unflavored gelatin
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
8 to 24 hours ahead of time: line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth or coffee filter and place it over a bowl so that it is suspended. Scrape the yogurt in the lined strainer and let it drain, refrigerated.
After 8-24 hours (I strain mine overnight), combine the yogurt, sour cream and honey. Whisk well and set aside at room temperature.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1 1/2 Tb water and set aside to bloom for 10 minutes.
Make the egg white custard: In a small saucepan, heat up the milk, cream and 2 Tb of the sugar, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is almost boiling.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg whites and the 1/4 cup of sugar. Slowly whisk in some of the hot milk to temper the eggs. Add the remaining milk, whisk well, and pour the whole thing back into the pot. Stir constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens like for a regular egg custard (should coat the back of a spoon).
Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin. Stir well until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Strain the custard through a sieve if necessary. Let cool to room temperature. You can speed up this process by putting your bowl over an ice bath. Once the custard is cooled, stir in the yogurt mixture. Set aside a room temperature until ready to use. Remaining ingredients:
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries.
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks with 1-2 Tb sugar.
Line a terrine mold with plastic wrap, making sure that it extends over the edges of the pan as it will give you a better grip when you unmold it. Cut one strip of genoise the same width as the bottom of your terrine. Mine gets wider as you reach the rim of the mold so my pieces are going to get a little wider each time.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of the honey panna cotta on top of the cake layer, carefully place raspberries the whole length of the mold, right on top of the panna cotta. Cover with another 1/4 cup of the cream. Cut another piece of the cake and repeat with the panna cotta and raspberries. Repeat the process until you reach the top. Make sure that your last layer ends with a piece of cake as it will be your base when you unmold the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 2 days before serving. To serve:
Remove the terrine from the refrigerator as well as the plastic wrap on top. Invert the pan onto a serving plate and peel of the plastic wrap that was lining the inside of the mold. Cover the cake with the whipped cream and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
To make strips: cut out strips of paper the width you desire and lay them on top of the terrine while you spread the whipped cream. Go slow and steady or you will move them at the same time. Peel the strips off and voila!