Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Espresso Desserts/Trio with recipes

Coviglia al caffe

Total time: 30 minutes, plus freezing time

Servings: 10

Note: Adapted from Cucina del Sole by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. "Coviglia should not be frozen hard," she writes. If you must keep them in the freezer longer than 2 to 3 hours, transfer them out of the freezer and into the refrigerator so they loosen up before serving.

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons very finely ground espresso coffee (freshly ground)
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed black coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream, divided
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • Grated bittersweet chocolate for garnish

1. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm the milk until it is just hot to the touch, but do not let the milk come to a boil. Keep warm.

2. In a small bowl, combine the ground espresso and flour, tossing with a fork to mix well. Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat until the mixture is light-colored and thickened. Continue beating as you slowly pour in the warm milk. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, the coffee and the mixture of ground espresso and flour, beating constantly.

4. When everything is well-combined, transfer the mixture to a heavy saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to a creamy consistency. Note that it's important to watch the mixture and stir constantly because if it comes to a boil, it will curdle as the eggs start to cook. (If that starts to happen, immediately pull the pan off the heat and cool it by setting the base of the pan in cold water. Strain the mixture to get rid of any curdled/cooked bits and continue with the remainder.) In the end, the mixture will thicken to a custard and coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

5. Beat 1 cup of the whipping cream in a chilled bowl to soft peaks, then fold the whipped cream into the coffee mixture. Rinse the beaters and beat the egg whites to stiff peaks; fold into the coffee cream.

6. Pour into a glass bowl and freeze about 1 hour, then stir the mixture, which should be half-frozen. Divide into espresso cups and return to the freezer until almost frozen, an additional 2 to 3 hours.

7. Whip the remaining cream together with the powdered sugar and remaining vanilla to soft peaks. Spoon a small dollop of whipped cream onto each serving and sprinkle lightly with bittersweet chocolate. Serve immediately.

Caramel Espresso Float (4 servings)
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup instant-espresso powder
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 4 generous scoops premium vanilla ice cream (from 1 pint)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate shavings (made with a vegetable peeler; from a 3-oz bar)

1. Cook granulated sugar in a dry 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Remove from heat and carefully add 1 cup water (caramel will harden and steam vigorously). Cook over high heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved, then remove pan from heat. Add espresso powder and stir until dissolved. Add remaining cup water and ice cubes and stir until espresso is cold. Discard any unmelted ice cubes.

2. Beat cream with confectioners sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks. Divide ice cream among 4 (8-ounce) glasses, then pour 1/2 cup espresso over each serving and top with whipped cream, nuts, and chocolate.

Chocolate Espresso Cups:
  • 100 g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 150 ml single cream
  • 1 tsp instant espresso coffee powder
  • 2 tbsp brandy
  • 6 coffee beans to decorate (optional)
  • 12 chocolate curls for decoration (optional)

1. Melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
2. Lightly whip the double cream and reserve 2 tbsp. place the remaining cream and the single cream in a small pan. Heat very gently until just below boiling point, but do not boil. Add the melted chocolate and coffee powder and stir until smooth and velvety. Stir in the brandy.
3. Pour into espresso cups or very small dessert bowls and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly, before chilling for 2 hours. Spoon the remaining whipped cream on top of each cup and top with a coffee bean before serving.

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