Boyfriend and I were in New York City four weeks ago apartment hunting. After a long and fruitless day of looking at either mediocre apartments or overpriced ones, we headed to the Meatpacking district for dinner. It was the beginning of restaurant week and we decided to try Ajna Bar on Little 12th Street. The most recent snowfall had made crossing intersections (in cute shoes nonetheless) very, very difficult. Also, if you are familiar with this particular section of Manhattan, you know the streets are cobbled. Cobbled streets, covered in several inches of slush, are a cute shoe-wearing girls nightmare. Boyfriend also refused to carry me across the street. Bad boyfriend.
We made it to Anja bar and were greeted with a burst of warm air and dark corridor. Once we were seated we had to take a minute to absorb all of the things going on around us. The restaurant is huge, with an equally large wait staff. There are huge columns, carved into dragons, candles galore and what I’m pretty sure was an aquarium filled with jellyfish. All the crazy décor aside, the meal was actually pretty delicious. (I’d highly recommend their shrimp curry.) The perfect ending to the meal was their Thai tea panna cotta. Smooth and creamy panna cotta buried beneath a layer of cool whipped cream and chocolate crunch. Perfect.
For my panna cotta, I decided to go a little more south, and less east, for my influence. Key lime is one of my favorite flavors and with this being the season of citrus I was able to get some good ones! Just don’t skimp on the fat in this panna cotta recipe. If you go with lite coconut milk you will likely wind up with a panna cotta that won’t set. Give this a try and enjoy a little summer on a plate.
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 Nestlé Florentine Cookies. Since Giadas recipe called for honey, and I hate honey, I went in another direction. The florentine cookies weren't anything to write home about, so I omitted the recipe. You can find it on the Nestle website.