Posts Tagged ‘coffee’


September 29, 2012

My favorite dessert is hands down tiramisu. Not because it is an Italian food (although that doesn’t hurt) but because there is something about coffee-soaked ladyfingers, chocolate and cream filling that just makes me happy. And I mean REALLY happy.

But it always seemed such a daunting task to actually make it by hand, and therefore my experience had been limited to restaurants. But, for Valentine’s Day last year, I decided of all desserts to know how to make, this one seemed essential. The only “hard” thing about this dish is planning ahead, since you need to make it the night before consuming. But otherwise, I was pleasantly surprised at the simplicity. Do be careful of soaking the ladyfingers too long, as they will fall apart in your hands. The good news is, after destroying a few, I started getting the hang of it!

Thanks to Gourmet for this recipe which will now be my default when I am craving my favorite sweet treat. Bon Appetit!


6 Servings

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese (1 scant cup)
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 cups very strong brewed coffee or brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
  • 18 savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers, 6 oz)
  • 1/4 cup fine-quality bittersweet chocolate shavings (not unsweetened; made with a vegetable peeler) or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.

Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, then continue to beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat cream in another bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds soft peaks. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture gently but thoroughly, then fold in whites.

Stir together coffee and Marsala in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee mixture, soaking it about 4 seconds on each side, and transfer to an 8-inch glass baking dish (2-quart capacity). Repeat with 8 more ladyfingers and arrange in bottom of dish, trimming as needed to fit snugly. Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Make another layer in same manner with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture. Chill tiramisu, covered, at least 6 hours.

Just before serving, sprinkle with chocolate.


Chili-Baked Ribs

January 3, 2012

For years, my husband has continuously asked me to make “saucy ribs.” But for some reason, every recipe I have tried, although good, never really gave me that sweet, spicy, sticky, lick-your-fingers ribs. Until last night.

Thanks to my parents, a bottle of liquid smoke was in my stocking this year (which is apparently available in many specialty food stores or online and can be used in many dishes!). I had heard of the ingredient and was curious about the depth of flavor it would add to items made in the kitchen vs. the grill. So when I found a saucy rib recipe that required liquid smoke, I knew I had to try it.

You need a weekend day for this one, but it is WELL worth it. I will never make another rib recipe again. The sauce is AMAZING and has such complex flavors – layering the liquid smoke, molasses, coffee and cinnamon. Then, it combines that sauciness with a great dry rub along with slow roasting the ribs until they fall off the bone.

The recipe is from Bon Appetit, but I made a few changes based on user reviews. I changed the recipe for a slower roast, and reduced the sugar for the right balance of sweet and spicy/smoky.

As someone who has tried many rib recipes, take my word that this one will be your favorite. And, if you have any doubts, just ask my rib-requesting husband!

Serves 8

Sauce (might want to make extra!)
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup unsulfured (light) molasses (although I used dark and it tasted great!)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 baby back pork rib racks (about 9 pounds total weight)
1/2 cup cider vinegar
4 teaspoons liquid smoke flavoring
6 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar

For Sauce:
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For Ribs:
Score white membrane on underside of ribs. Place ribs in large roasting pan. Mix vinegar and liquid smoke in small bowl; brush over both sides of ribs. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 300°F. Mix chili powder, cumin, sugar, onion powder and cayenne. Rub over both sides of ribs. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange ribs, meat side up, in single layer on 2 large baking sheets. Roast 3 hours, covering loosely with foil if browning too quickly.

Remove ribs from oven. Brush both sides of ribs with 3/4 cup sauce. Roast 10 minutes. Brush both sides of ribs with additional 3/4 cup sauce. Roast 15 minutes longer. Remove ribs from oven. Cover with foil; let stand 15 minutes.

Cut ribs between bones into 3- to 4- rib sections. Serve with remaining sauce.

Molten Chocolate-Espresso Cakes

June 21, 2010

The dessert I probably get asked to make most often are my brownies. And now, my coworker (who is 6 months pregnant) is craving them constantly (in addition to her husband who eats the leftovers she brings home).

I am convinced the reason the brownies are so fantastic is because they have coffee in them (and a whole lot of chocolate!). So, when I saw this recipe in my Martha Stewart cookbook, I thought it might work for her next fix.

These are incredibly easy to make – literally take as long as cookies. And what is great about them, is you can make them in advance and serve them for company – just sift powdered sugar on top and add a sprig of mint, melt raspberries and sugar to make a sauce to pour over top, serve with a scoop of ice cream, etc. There are so many options. But no matter how you dress them up, you can guarantee they will be heavenly.

I didn’t eat them right out of the oven (but I bet they were amazing), although once they are room temperature, they have almost a mousse-like filling that will satisfy any sweet tooth.

Enjoy, Chocolate Lovers!

Makes 6

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for muffin tins
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for muffin tins
3 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
1 tablespoon instant espresso or coffee powder/crystals
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 6 cups of a standard muffin tin with butter, and dust with sugar; tap out excess. Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring until smooth. Let chocolate cool.

Whisk together flour, espresso/coffee powder, and salt. With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. And eggs one at a time, mixing until completely incorporated after each. Add flour mixture, and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla and chocolate.

Spoon batter into prepared cups, dividing evenly. Bake until cakes no longer jiggle when tin is shaken, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool at least 10 minutes before turning out cakes.

Layered Mocha

January 16, 2010

So, I normally don’t blog drinks, but when we made this one the other night, I knew I had to. I saw something similar in the Food Network Magazine, but it was missing Baileys! So, I made my own version of it (adding Baileys and swapping out the espresso for decaf coffee) and it was fantastic. It is like a warm, chocolately dessert drink for a cold winter night. Enjoy!

Serves 4

4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/4 cup water
4 spoonfuls condensed milk
4 shots of Baileys

Microwave chopped bittersweet chocolate with 1/4 cup water in microwave for 2 minutes on 50 percent power, stirring once. Divide among mugs (clear if you have them). Then top each with a spoonful or two of condensed milk, some coffee and a shot of Baileys. Stir before drinking but make sure to admire the beautiful layers first!

Chocolate Brownies

January 1, 2010

I learned early on in my baking that the best complement to chocolate is coffee. Might sound a bit strange, but there is something about coffee that brings out the true flavor of chocolate and gives everyone that “hmmm, what is in there?!” feeling.

This recipe is by far my one and only go to chocolate brownie recipe. One word of advice is that since it is SO cholocately and gooey, wait until they are completely cooled and even put in the fridge for a while before cutting them or you will have quite a mess on your hands.

Thanks to Ina Garten for this one!

1/2 pound unsalted butter
1/2 pound plus 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 extra-large eggs
1.5 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 1/8 cups sugar
1/2 cup, 1/8 cup all-purpose flour, divided (1/2 cup for batter and 1/8 cup in the chips and nuts)
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1.5 cups diced walnut pieces (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 by 13 glass baking dish.

Melt together the butter, 1/2 pound chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler. Cool slightly. Stir together the eggs, instant coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir in the warm chocolate mixture and cool to room temperature.

Stir together 1/2 cup of the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1/8 cup flour to coat. Then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until tester just comes out clean. Halfway through the baking, rap the pan against the oven shelf to allow air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Do not over-bake! Cool thoroughly, refrigerate well and cut into squares.

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