Saturday, August 23, 2008

We interrupt our regularly scheduled program for:

As promised, here are a couple of my favorite recipes involving espresso. The first, of course, is Tira Mi Su. This wonderful name translates to "Pick Me Up", which I find wholly appropriate!

Without further ado, I give you, Tiramisu:
8 oz mascarpone cheese
1 pint heavy cream
3 egg yolks
5 Tbsp sugar, divided
2 cups (approx) fresh, cooled espresso
3 Tbsp Kahlua (optional..can also use other liqueur or a couple teaspoons
about 32 Savoiardi (Italian ladyfingers...these are crisp, not soft)

First thing you'll do is put the egg yolks in the top of a double boiler and
whisk until they are lemon colored and thickened over simmering water. Add 2
Tbsp of sugar midway through, superfine is best. Remove from heat. You can
now add a little Kahlua if you like, or other flavoring. Cool.
Whip mascarpone until smooth and soft, then add in the custard. In a
separate bowl, whip cream to soft peaks with 2 Tbsp sugar. Fold into
mascarpone mixture.
Combine the espresso with 1 Tbsp Kahlua (if desired) and 1 tbsp superfine
sugar. Pour espresso into a flat bottomed dish (I use a small Pyrex dish for
this, but the Tupperware sandwich containers work in a pinch, just do part
of it at a time). Have your serving dish ready. My favorite is my 7x11 glass
baking dish. (I like to use glass as I think it makes a more dramatic
presentation when you can see the layers through the sides). Working from
one side to the other, dip the ladyfingers into the espresso for a few
seconds on each side and lay into the bottom of the dish. Work until you
have covered the entire bottom, and if you have any gaps, you can cut some
of the ladyfingers in half lengthwise to fill them. Don't oversoak or you
will have a puddle of espresso in the bottom after it sits. Cover with a
layer of the mascarpone cream, then repeat until your reach the top, ending
with the cream. Top with either sifted quality cocoa powder (I like to use
the Valrhona cocoa for this) or finely grated bittersweet chocolate. Cover
and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, then remove from the fridge at least
15 minutes prior to serving. If it is too cold, you won't get the full
flavor and effect of the creaminess vs. the ladyfingers.

The next recipe is for Espresso Gelato. This is one of my absolute favorites! Gelato is much better than ice cream, I think. Because it's made with milk, rather than heavy cream, it's much more flavorful. For best results, remove from the freezer 15 minutes before serving.
2 cups of milk
4 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 cup espresso (preferably ristretto)

Heat the milk to scalding. Whisk together yolks and sugar until light &
lightly thickened. Temper the egg mixture by adding roughly 1/3 of the hot
milk, stirring constantly. Then add the eggs to the remaining milk, whisking
constantly. Cook over med-low heat until it coats the back of a spoon **(see
note). Remove from heat and cool to room temp before chilling. Chill
thoroughly before freezing.
For an added touch, though I don't recommend it for the kiddies
(smile)...melt 4 oz good quality semi sweet chocolate and stir in 1 tbsp
ground espresso beans. During freezing, drizzle the chocolate into the ice
cream. It will make chocolate flakes, rather than chips, and it's soooo yummy!

The last recipe I'll add right now is for Espresso Mousse. It's a delicious change from chocolate mousse, and if you love coffee as much as I do, I know you'll love it!
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup coffee beans, lightly crushed
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 cup freshly brewed espresso, room temperature
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
3 cups heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

Heat the milk with the coffee beans over low heat until small bubbles show up around the edges. Strain the coffee beans out.
In another bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until thick. Beat in the hot milk. Return to the pan and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Do not allow to boil.
Dissolve the gelatin powder in 1/4 cup of the espresso. Heat the rest of the espresso and whisk into the pan. Stir in the reserved gelatin/espresso mixture and pour into a bowl. Cool until room temperature.
Whip cream until thick, but not stiff. Whisk mascarpone to soften.
Fold the mascarpone and whipped cream together and then carefully fold in the espresso mixture. Pour into serving bowl and refrigerate until set. Garnish with coffee beans, shaved chocolate and additional whipped cream if desired.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming :-)


Ashley said...

hey... that stuff looks sooo good...especially the breakfast!!!

i cant wait to try it!!! <3 ya

Ingrid said...

Yum! It all looks wonderful especially the tiramisu!