Tag Archive for Coffee

Espresso Mousse

The perfect dessert for coffee lovers. It is light and airy, not too sweet, and has a very good coffee flavour.

Espresso Mousse (8 servings)
Slightly adapted from “De Banketbakker – Cees Holtkamp”

400 g espresso, still hot
10 g gelatin (leafs, not powder)
150 g sugar
400 g whipping cream

Soak the gelatin in cold water.
Squeeze the excess moisture from the gelatin and add it to the hot espresso, stir to dissolve. Add the sugar. Leave to cool to room temperature.
Whip the cream. Fold the cream through the coffee. Pour into a large, wet pudding form or into individual cups or glasses.
Put in the fridge for several hours.
Serve the individual portions in their forms, or dip the large form in hot water and turn it out onto a plate.

Nice to serve with vanilla sauce, but it’s not necessary.

Pots de crème – café

These custard pots have a lovely creamy and smooth texture, are not too sweet and have an intense coffee flavour. Because no cream is used, they are not as heavy as other recipes. And I like it that the whole eggs are used, so you don’t have excess egg whites left. Instead of rum you can use whisky, coffee liquor, hazelnut liquor, or maybe even something like baileys or liquor 43.
Officially the recipe makes 6 ramekins, but I found that it makes a lot more. Next time I’ll probably make half the recipe for 6 ramekins.

Petits pots de crème – café
Adapted from “Ripailles – Stéphane Reynaud”

6 eggs
200 g sugar
800 ml full fat milk
3 espresso coffees
50 ml rum

Whisk the eggs with the sugar until pale and thick in a bowl (choose a size taking in account that the egg-mixture will expand quite a bit, and the milk will be added as well).
Heat the milk with the coffee and rum.
Off the heat, pour the scalded liquid over the egg mixture.
Pour into ramekins and cook au bain marie in a 180C oven for 20 minutes, or until they have a slight wobble.
Serve at room temperature. Can be made 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge covered with cling film.

Chocolate Mousse

Everyone loves a good chocolate mousse. Well, there are some people that don’t like chocolate, but it’s a minority. This version is really indulgent, the small portions are perfect to satisfy your need for chocolate but not feel to heavy after eating it. It is a grown-up version, using dark sugar, only a small amount of sugar and a hint of coffee.

Chcoolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse (4 glasses/ramekins)
Adapted from “Leon – Ingredients & Recipes”

100 g chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
30 g butter
2 egg yolks
1 shot dark, strong espresso
2 egg whites
1.5 tbsp sugar

Melt the butter and chocolate.
Beat the egg yolks until nearly white and thick.
Gently stir the beaten yolks into the butter and chocolate, then stir in the coffee.
Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then gradually add the sugar while whipping, keep whipping until the sugar has dissolved.
Add 1/3 of the egg white to the chocolate mixture and mix well. Add the next third, fold in. Then add the last third and fold in very carefully. Keep mixing until the white streaks have disappeared, but not longer than that, or you will loose all the air.
Put the mousse in glasses, cups or ramekins and place in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Honey Caramels

Kind of confusing: the sticky, chewy, melty confection I know as toffee, is actually caramel. Toffee, on the contrary, is hard and crunchy. These caramels are lovely soft and sticky and have loads of flavour. You will taste the honey very well, so choose one you like. Using another honey is a really nice way to make different variations on this caramel.
I did have some trouble while making them. I cooked them to the temperature for chewy caramels, which they were at first when set. I did not wrap them immediately (as you can see on the picture), and when I wanted to, they all were stuck together and molten into puddles. I think my thermometer is a bit off, and it was also quite humid. They still tasted great, so it wasn’t a big problem. But I advice you to individually wrap them immediately after cutting.
You can buy coffee extract online, but I’ve always made it myself. I make a double strength cup of coffee, then gently boil it down until very reduced. Take care not to burn it, this will make it bitter and yucky! I’ve also seen recipes on the internet which soak coffee in wodka to make extract, but I haven’t tried that myself.

Honey Toffee

Vanilla Honey Caramels
From “Advanced Bread and Pastry – Michel Suas”

125 g cream
60 g honey
260 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
15 g butter

Coffee Honey Caramels
From “Advanced Bread and Pastry – Michel Suas”

110 g cream
105 g honey
225 g sugar
8 g coffee extract
15 g butter

Bring all the ingredients, except the butter, to a boil in a pan.
Stir constantly and cook to the desired temperature.
After reaching the desired temperature, stir in the butter.
After the bubbles have subsided, pour into a silicone (cake) mold, to a thickness of 1 cm.
When it is set, cut to the desired size, and wrap (I used baking paper) to prevent them from sticking to each other.

A final temperature of 121C will give you soft, 124C chewy and 130C hard caramels. The resulting texture of the caramels will be determined by the maximum temperature reached in cooking. Humidity will also have an effect. When working in a humid environment, add a few degrees to the chosen temperature.

Hazelnut Affogato

A faster dessert than affogato is virtually impossible. You scoop some ice-cream in a glass, pour some liqueur over it, then pour a shot of (just made) hot espresso over it and serve it immediately, so that the ice-cream isn’t molten yet. And it’s delicious!
Traditionally there is no liqueur in it and is it made with vanilla ice-cream, but my variant used a hazelnut liqueur and hazelnut ice-cream to make a hazelnut affogato. Keep in mind that, as with all simple dishes, the quality and taste of your ingredients will make or break this dessert. You need good coffee, good ice-cream and good liqueur, otherwise it will taste cheap and/or inferior. The amounts of everything depend on what size glass you use. how boozy you want it to be and how large you want the dessert to be, but I used medium glasses, 1 scoop of ice-cream, 1/2 shot liqueur and 1 shot espresso.

Affogato

Choux tower

This is the first of a few posts about choux. People are daunted by making choux, but if you follow a good recipe and know a few tips and tricks, they can’t go wrong. Furthermore, they are incredibly versatile. You can make them small or large, and everything in between, and when you make them elongated instead of round, you get eclairs. You can fill them with chantilly cream, pastry cream, flavoured (pastry) cream, ganache or whatever you fancy, and dip or drizzle them with caramel, chocolate or fondant. And they don’t have to be sweet, for example gougeres (crispy cheese choux) or choux filled with a cheese-ham bechamel filling. Of course, there are also many savoury variations to be thought off.

This recipe is for a choux tower with a coffee filling and caramel. Stacking choux gives them a stunning presentation perfect when you need a dessert to impress, but it is a lot easier (and more stable!) than making a real croquembouche (which is hollow inside). It also gives you a more edible finish with just a little caramel instead of the rock-hard tooth breaking croquembouche (all that caramel is needed to stabilize the thing).

Choux tower (64 choux)
Choux recipe slightly adapted from Joe Pastry

Choux – make this recipe twice (2 separate small batches are easier to work with than one large one)
110 g butter
250 ml water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
140 g flour
4 eggs

coffee cream
140 g milk
140 g very strong coffee (make coffee with 500 ml water at double strength, then let it condense to 140 g in a pan on very low heat; don’t boil because this makes the coffee bitter)
15 g sugar
20 g corn starch
50 g sugar
2 egg yolks
500 ml cream
2 bags whipped cream stabilizer (klopfix in the Netherlands)
2 tbsp of sugar

sugar, for the caramel

Choux freeze excellent, so you can make them in advance and freeze them until needed (up to a few weeks). Make sure they are completely cooled before placing in the freezer. When ready to use them, leave to defrost at room temperature for an hour, then place in a preheated oven at 220C for about 5 minutes. Then tend to get a little soggy in the freezer, by baking them they will crisp up again. Leave to cool completely on a rack before filling.

Preheat the oven to 220C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
Heat the butter, water, salt and sugar together until it comes to the boil. Don’t leave it boiling too long, because this will evaporate some of the water, which causes an imbalance in the recipe. Take the pan from the heat and add the flour to the butter-water mixture. Stir until the flour is completely incorporated. Place the pan back on medium heat and cook the dough while stirring 3 minutes on medium heat. Set a timer, because this step is essential for a good end result. Take the pan from the heat and tip the dough into a bowl. Leave to cool a little, then add an egg. Stir until well incorporated before adding the next egg. Repeat this with the other two eggs.
Scoop the dough into a piping bag with the tip snipped of to create an opening of about 1 cm diameter. Pipe blobs of about 1,5-2 tbsp equally spaced on the prepared baking sheets, they puff up quite a bit so leave enough room. I can fit 16 blobs on my baking sheets and bake two sheets at once, so I can bake this batch in one go.
Place the baking sheets in the oven. Bake them for 10 minutes at 220C, then reduce the temperature to 190C and bake them another 15 minutes. Take the baking sheets out, turn each bun on its side and stick a knife in the bottom to let the steam escape. Place the sheets back in the oven at 120C and stick a wooden spoon between the oven and the door to keep it open slightly. Keep them in there for 20 minutes, then take them out and leave to cool on a rack.
Repeat the steps above for the second batch of choux.

Make the pastry cream the day before serving the choux tower, because it needs time to get completely cool. Mix the milk, coffee and first measure of sugar in a pan and bring it to the boil. Meanwhile, mix the corn starch and second measure of sugar. Add the egg yolks and whisk to mix. Pour a little of the boiling milk-coffee mixture on top and mix well, then add the rest of the boiling milk-coffee mixture while whisking continuously. Pour the whole mixture back into the pan and place it on medium heat. Bring it slowly to the boil to thicken it. It should bubble very gently for 45 seconds to 1 minute to thicken completely. Then take it from the heat and pour it into a bowl. Cover with cling film directly on top to prevent a skin from forming. Leave to cool at room temperature for about an hour, then place it in the fridge to cool it completely.
Pour the cold cream in a cold bowl. Add the sugar and start mixing (I use an electric hand mixer for this). Gradually sprinkle in the stabilizer. Keep whipping until the cream is stiff, but not too stiff. Add about 1/3 of the cream to the pastry cream and stir it trough. Add the rest of the cream and fold gently until mixed. Scoop into a piping bag fitted with a bismark tip.

Make the caramel by sprinkling sugar in a pan (I like to use non-stick), adding a splash of water and cooking on medium heat until it turns to a caramel colour.

To assemble the choux tower, start with a large plate or serving platter. Take a choux, stick the bismark tip into the knife hole you made in the bottom and fill it up with the coffee cream. Place on the plate and repeat until you have a nice base. For the second tier, fill a choux, dip it into the caramel (careful, it is VERY hot and will give nasty burns) and place it on top of the first layer of choux. Repeat until you finished this layer, and go further with additional layers. The goal is to make a nice conical tower, finishing with 1 bun as the top. When the caramel cools too much it will be difficult to dip the buns, in that case gently reheat it.

Serve immediately, or within 2 hours. I like to let people tear of their preferred amount of choux themselves, but of course you can plate them out if you like. Unfortunately, I was not able to photograph my choux tower before it was devoured.

Smoothies

I love making my own smoothies as an afternoon and/or pre-workout snack. They are easy to make, healthy, filling and you can make up endless variations and mix and match with the ingredients you have available. And of course they are delicious!

Because I often use frozen fruit, you need a sturdy blender or immersion blender, otherwise the smoothies will not get thick and creamy. The frozen fruit also is an economic way to eat fruit, for example berries, fresh they are terribly expensive but frozen they are quite affordable. And overripe banana’s work perfectly well in a smoothie (when you have too many of the overripe banana’s you can easily freeze them; just peel, cut (or break) into chunks and freeze).

Milk and banana are the base ingredients of my smoothies. I generally use semi-skim cow milk, but you can also use other milks like soy and almond, according to your preference; yoghurt also works very well. The banana is a base ingredient to make them deliciously thick, creamy and smooth. Using frozen fruit also makes the smoothie thick, creamy and smooth; if banana is the only fruit in the smoothie I freeze it, but when I also use frozen fruits I don’t bother with freezing the banana. I never add sugar, honey or other sweeteners because the fruit is sweet enough on its own.

Berry Smoothie

The two favorites I have right now are banana-berry (in lots of variations) and banana-chocolate.

Banana-berry smoothie
1 banana
150 ml milk
a handful of frozen berries (I like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries, or a mixture of berries)
optional: linseed (to bulk it up and add valuable healthy fats), vanilla or cinnamon (to amp up the flavour)

Blend everything together. Serve immediately, in a large glass with a straw.

Banana-chocolate smoothie
1 banana
150 ml milk
1 tbsp almond-hazelnut butter (can be any nut butter you like)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
optional: dessicated coconut, or coconut flour, or bran (to add fibers)

Blend everything together. Serve immediately, in a large glass with a straw.

Variations
– banana-vanilla: frozen banana, milk and vanilla extract (or use a vanilla flavoured milk; cinnamon, ginger or cardamom are also delicious spices to add
– banana-mango: banana, milk and frozen mango (also nice with a grating of lime zest)
– banana-tropical: frozen banana, coconut milk and a can of pinapple or tropical fruit mix (use fruit on juice, not fruit in syrup which contains lots of extra sugar)
– banana-coffee: frozen banana and coffee flavoured soy milk, optional add some nut butter
– citrus-berry: yoghurt, orange (or grapefruit) and frozenberries (because the yoghurt is thick you can add a liquidy fruit like orange without thinning the smoothie too much)
– pear-oat: milk, frozen peeled pear, oats and cinnamon
– winter: milk, frozen peeled apple, soaked prunes (dried plums) and pumpkin/speculaas spice-mix
– ….: any combination of milk, fruit, flavourings and add-ons

I know that there are a lot of people out there who like to add vegetables (spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, avocado, etc) to their smoothies, stating that you really cannot taste it. Well, I can, and I don’t like it. For recipes search on pinterest or google for (green) smoothie, and you will find tons of them. Another popular thing is to add powerfood like chia seeds to your smoothies. I don’t, because they are poorly available and very expensive over here. Also, I’m not so sure that they actually are as beneficiary as claimed.

Cheat’s ice-cream

Recently the new Nigella Lawson programme started on the BBC: Nigellissima. I had quite a high expectation, Nigella programmes in the past were always very amusing. And even though she used cheat’s methods a bit too much for my liking, her recipes were always good for inspiration. But this series are just very disappointing. Most of the dishes lack originality, or are just plain weird. And I still don’t understand why the series are promoted as going about Italian cooking, while it is pseudo Italian at most.

But enough ranting. The show did inspire me to make 1 dish: cheat’s no-churn coffee ice-cream. It consists completely of pantry ingredients, is sweet, rich, fatty, smooth, has a mild coffee flavour and comes together very fast (although it does take a while to freeze). Because of the high fat and sugar content, and the air you whip in, it is not necessary to churn the ice-cream to prevent crystals from forming. So this is a perfect recipe if you don’t have an ice-cream maker!

I think this recipe could work perfectly with other flavours as well. Plain vanilla, chocolate, etc. But it is important to not add too much extra liquid, because that gives a higher risk at crystal formation… So for fruit ice-cream, just make vanilla and serve with fruit coulis or compote.

Coffee ice-cream (about 1 liter)
Adapted from Nigella Lawson – Nigellissima

300 ml cream
175 g condensed milk (this is sweetened)
2 tbsp coffee, espresso or cappuccino powder

Whisk everything together until light and airy, and soft peaks form. Cover and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Note: 1 can of condensed milk is 400 gram. The remaining is nice to use in coffee, or melt some chocolate into it for a delicious chocolate sauce. Or make some dulce de leche by pouring it into a baking dish, placing this in a water bath and bake it in the oven at 200C until caramelized.

Cappuccino cake

A festive cake mildly flavoured with coffee and decorated with whipped cream, chocolate coffee beans and pralines. It is easy to prepare and keeps well, but it does need the layer of cream to give the cake enough moistness. The coffee and the relatively low amount of sugar used make this a real grown-up cake.

Cappuccino Cake (12-16 servings)
Adapted from “Das Grosse Backbuch, Unsere besten Backrezepte – Kochen & Geniessen”
100 gram dark chocolate
600 gram whipping cream (divided in 200 gram and 400 gram)
4 eggs
150 gram sugar
a pinch of salt
20 gram cappuccino powder (the stuff you use with hot water to make instant-cappuccino; make sure you use an unsweetened one!)
150 gram flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 package klop-fix (whipping cream stiffener)
1 package vanilla sugar
1 tbsp sugar
mini-pralines and chocolate coffee beans for decorating

Prepare a springform (24 or 26 cm) by greasing it with soft butter or oil and then dusting it with some flour.
Chop the chocolate finely. Larger bits will sink to the bottom of the cake, because the batter is very light.
Preheat the oven at 175C.
Whip the eggs, sugar and salt together for about 8 minutes until pale, fluffy and increased in volume, this works best with an electric or standing mixer. The mixture will run from the whisk in a ribbon. Then whip 200 gram of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold the flour and baking powder into the egg mix, then fold in the chocolate and whipped cream. Pour into the prepared springform and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a sateh stick comes out clean. Take care not to overbrown the cake, when it gets a bit dark but is not cook yet, cover it with some aluminium foil. Let the cake cool and remove the springform side.
Klop-fix works best when used with cold whipping cream, so make sure that the remaining cream is very cold, place it in the fridge for a few hours. I usually place my metal bowl in the freezer at the same time and use that to whip the cream in.
Pour the cold cream in the cold bowl, add the package of vanilla sugar and the tablespoon of sugar. While mixing (I find an electric hand mixer works best) gradually add in the klop-fix. Keep whipping until the cream is stiff. Spread halve of it on top of the cake, and put the other halve in a piping bag with starred nozzle. Use this to decorate the cake, I make rosettes around the edge of the cake, on which I place the mini-pralines and chocolate coffee beans alternating. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving. When assembled, it keeps 1 day. You can make the cake itself a day earlier and store it well wrapped at room temperature.

Indian espresso coffee

I’ve seen this thing called Indian espresso coffee passing by for a long time on all kinds of blogs before I gave it a try. I could not imagine that something like this would be tasty, with the coffee powder instead of real coffee, and with the sugar (I hate sugar in my coffee), and with all that milk it is certainly not an espresso. But when I gave it a try, I liked it a lot!

The principle is very simple. You add a tablespoon of instant coffee powder/granules and a tablespoon of sugar to a tall mug (you can adjust the amounts to your taste). You wet it with a few drops of water, just to get it going, and then you beat the hell out of it. It is suggested to do it with a spoon, but I found that a fork works much better. The mixture start dark and sandy, but the more you beat it, the paler and fluffier it gets. It can easily increase a 4-fold in volume, it is like magic, it just gets really stiff and frothy. After beating 5-10 minutes (according to how frothy you want it) you add hot milk. And voila, your sweet coffee beverage is ready.

Indian espresso coffee is often described as a cross between espresso and cappuccino. I think that is not true, both real espresso and cappuccino are made with freshly brewed espresso from good quality, and cappuccino has microfoam milk froth. Indian espresso coffee doesn’t suffice to these criteria. But it does taste better than instant cappuccino, it kicks a punch, it has generous amounts of caffeine in there, but still is nice and creamy. And when making it you can beat out your frustration. So it is the perfect accompaniment when you need to study or meet a deadline or something like that. But I do think that the drink will benefit from good instant coffee powder… as far as that is possible.

Indian Espresso Coffee