Peanut milk panna cotta

The concept of this dessert came about when I was thinking about childhood favorites. Growing up in an immigrant family, we had this milk peanut soup dessert from a can that we would often enjoy during the summer. It was almost like a sweetened milk with these peeled and poached peanuts inside of it, which soaked up the milk and were plump and tender. I wanted to combine that with something a little more familiar, so I went with banana bread, using bananas that I froze for a day then roasted in the oven: I did that because it was a surefire way to guarantee that a shit ton of banana flavor would be imparted into the banana bread. And I also paired it with a caramelized white chocolate puree, because I love the contrast of caramel, banana, and peanuts together. It is a simple dessert, and it does not necessarily play off the crunch of the peanut as much as it does the flavor of them.

For the banana bread:
2 blackened bananas
1 cup molasses, room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 tablespoon yellow miso paste
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Freeze bananas overnight. Roast in a 350 degree F oven until room temp. Puree bananas with oil. Combine ingredients together. Pour onto a sheet tray and bake for 30 minutes. cool completely and cut into small cubes.

For the panna cotta:
1 cup peanut milk*
1 teaspoon gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup poached peanuts

Combine gelatin and water and allow to bloom. Melt into the milk with the brown sugar and peanuts, allowing the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes, or until the gelatin is fully dissolved and the fortified cream has seeped into the peanuts. Pour into four silicone dome molds and refrigerate for 1 hour to set.

For the peanut milk:
1 cup roasted peanuts, shelled and peeled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

On medium-low heat, steep the peanuts into the milk for 30 minutes. Strain out the peanuts, reserving them for the panna cotta.

For the caramelized white chocolate puree:
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut milk
a pinch of salt

Roast white chocolate in a 350 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Cool completely before pureeing with the milk. Season with salt to finish.

For assembly:
In a bowl, start with the caramel puree, then garnish with everything. Make sure that the panna cotta is not frozen upon serving; it should wobble slightly to the touch.


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