Tag Archives: coffee

GINGERBREAD TIRAMISU

gingerbread tiramisu

The time has come for Mr Colonial Cravings annual office festive hoopla. I’m not sure they refer to it like this but I think that maybe they should start.
To say thank you for the hours of photographing food that he puts in (my hands are just too shaky to take a decent picture) I’ve made him something extra special.
I’ve combined his favourite Italian treat with something festive from their Austrian neighbours. Gingerbread! And it is so good! If you like gingerbread lattes then you’re going to love this. Seriously, this tastes amazing. Layers of richly spiced sponge soaked in boozy coffee, sandwiched together with thick zabaglione cream. Christmas dessert heaven…

gingerbread tiramisu
You can bake the sponge ahead of time because it keeps really well, and also if it is a tiny bit stale then it tends to soak up the coffee better. Winning all round!
If you don’t have a spring-form cake tin, of just don’t want to serve the tiramisu like this, then you can of course just build up the layers in a serving dish, trifle-style. Either works well for this.

gingerbread tiramisu

Ingredients
serves 10-12

Half the quantity of gingerbread from my gingerbread latte cupcakes, baked in a spring-form pan for about 35 minutes at 180°c.

https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/gingerbread-latte-cupcakes/

300ml strong brewed coffee
3 tbsp sugar
50ml brandy/dark rum (feel free to use more if you like it really boozy)
1 tbsp coffee liqueur (optional)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla paste
225g mascarpone (room temperature)
200ml double cream
dark chocolate to serve

gingerbread tiramisu

Trim away the very top of the cake, to expose the crumb and slice the sponge in half horizontally. Set aside.
Mix one tablespoon of the sugar with the coffee, brandy/rum and coffee liqueur (if using) and let the coffee cool a bit.
Place the remaining sugar in a mixing bowl with the egg yolks and vanilla and place it over a pan of simmering water. Whip the yolks until they are pale and fluffy and have at least doubled in volume. Remove them from the heat and let it cool for a minute or two before beating the mascarpone into it.
Put the cream in another bowl and whip it until it becomes thick and fluffy. Use a large metal spoon to fold the cream into the egg yolk/mascarpone mixture.

gingerbread tiramisu
To assemble the tiramisu place a layer of the sponge back into the springform pan that you baked it in. Brush the surface of it with the coffee mixture. You need it to be saturated but not so soggy that it loses all integrity.
Spread half of the creamy filling mixture evenly over the sponge and then carefully place the second layer on top. Brush this with coffee too, again making sure that it is well moistened but not drenched. Don’t worry, you won’t need all of the coffee mixture. Cover this with the remaining cream mixture and smooth off the surface. Put the tiramisu in the fridge to firm up for a couple of hours.
Dust the top of the tiramisu with some grated dark chocolate (I like to be fairly liberal with it) and run a palate knife around the edge of the tin before releasing the catch and removing the sides of the tin. Carefully transfer the tiramisu to a serving plate. Enjoy!

gingerbread tiramisu

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THAI ICED COFFEE ICE CREAM

Thai coffee ice cream

I have to admit that despite having been to Thailand a couple of times I’d never actually heard of Thai iced coffee until I moved out here. I suspect that this is because the only things I’ve ever drunk in Thailand have been water, beer and once (regrettably) an excess of Sangsom and red bull.
I actually find the flavour of this a little bit reminiscent of the Camp coffee that there always seemed to be a bottle of in my Grandmas kitchen cupboard, this might be why I love it so much. I’ve been a fan of coffee and cardamom together since I made some little chocolate pots flavoured with the same combination. (https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2013/08/26/coffee-and-cardomon-chocolate-pots/) This ice cream is sweet, creamy and fragrant with just a hint of bitterness from the coffee. Utterly delicious.
It’s a no-churn recipe too which means that you can have a batch in the freezer in double-quick time.

Thai coffee ice cream

Ingredients

175g condensed milk
300ml double cream
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp hot water

Thai coffee ice cream

Combine the spices with the coffee and mix this with the hot water, vanilla and almond extract. Leave this to cool.
Beat together the cream and condensed milk in a large bowl using an electric mixer until it is thick and fluffy. Add the cooled coffee mixture and beat again for a further 30 seconds to a minute, until you have a uniform pale coffee colour.
Transfer the ice cream mixture to a freezable container and freeze until firm.

Thai coffee ice cream

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TINY TIRAMISU

tiny tiramisu

Mr Colonial Cravings loves tiramisu. It’s one of his favourites. I should probably make it for him more often than I do.
These are a very cute dessert to serve when you’ve perhaps over-achieved on the main course. I always feel that it’s nice to round off your meal with a little something sweet.
Sometimes I can’t quite motivate myself to go the whole hog and make the zabaglione base for proper tiramisu. This by-passes that stage by simply using cream and mascarpone. Much quicker and easier, and whilst it’s not very authentic, it still tastes great.

Ingredients
serves 4

2tbsp dark rum
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp water
4-8 amaretti (depending on size)
60ml double cream
75g mascarpone
1 tsp vanilla paste

cocoa powder/chocolate to decorate

tiny tiramisu

Combine the rum, water, coffee and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small pan and simmer until it reduces a little and becomes slightly syrupy. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the cream until it is thick and fluffy. Using a separate bowl, beat together the mascarpone, vanilla and the other teaspoon of sugar then whisk this into the prepared cream.
Spoon a dollop of the cream mixture into the bottom the espresso cup. Add the amaretti and pour over a spoonful of the coffee syrup, so that it soaks into the biscuits. Top with more of the cream mixture and pop the cups in the fridge to chill. for at least one hour (they’ll be fine for around 24 hours if you need to make them in advance). Sprinkle with a little cocoa powder and decorate with chocolate adornments before serving.

tiny tiramisu

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GINGERBREAD LATTE CUPCAKES

ingerbread latte cupcakes

A great alternative to traditional Christmas cake, especially for parties, these offer a more subtle take on festive flavours.

I’ve based these on the classic Starbucks holiday drink (in spite of the fact that I am very anti-Starbucks. I’d rather support smaller businesses) and they do taste surprisingly similar to it.
I haven’t used any black treacle or molasses in the sponge because I wanted them to be lighter than traditional gingerbread or parkin so they have more of a golden colour too. Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your own taste, you could even get away with adding a splash of spiced rum and if you’re a real coffee fiend then the frosting will easily take a little extra coffee in it.

ingerbread latte cupcakes

Ingredients
makes about 18

Sponge

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp hot water
100g butter
125g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
175g golden syrup
100ml warm milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
275g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground allspice

Frosting
175g butter
350g icing sugar
50ml cream/milk
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

ingerbread latte cupcakes

Begin by preheating the oven to 180°c and lining your cupcake tins with suitably festive wrappers. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the hot water and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy before beating in the eggs and then the syrup.
Stir in the warm milk, vanilla paste and the bicarbonate of soda mixture. Sift all of the dry ingredients into this wet mixture and stir it all together. Beat it for a few minutes with an electric mixer to make it as light as possible.
Spoon the sponge batter into the cupcake wrappers, so that they are about 1/2-3/4 full. Bake for around 20 minutes, until they are well risen, golden on top and your kitchen smells like Christmas.

Gingerbread latte cupcakes
Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack whilst you make the frosting.
Warm the milk or cream a little and dissolve the coffee powder in it. Set aside to cool a bit. Beat the butter until soft and then stir the icing sugar into it along with the vanilla paste and the coffee-cream. Continue to beat until you have a light fluffy frosting. Pipe onto the cooled gingerbread sponges and decorate with a little dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon or festive sprinkles.

ingerbread latte cupcakes

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NO-CHURN SALTED CARAMEL MOCHA ICE CREAM

We recently took advantage of a rare sunny weekend and drove to Chincoteague Island. Coming from Cornwall, nothing lifts my spirits like a trip to see the sea!

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Whilst we were there, in a brief gap between stuffing our faces with seafood, I visited the Island Creamery ice cream parlour, which is great by the way (their waffle cones are amazing). I’m not normally one for coffee ice cream but I was intrigued by their Iced Nirvana flavour, espresso ice cream swirled with chocolate fudge sauce and chocolate chunks. One taste and I was hooked – it was glorious, not too sweet with just enough bitterness from the dark chocolate and coffee.
170 miles is just that bit too far to go every time I want to satisfy the craving so I set about making my own version. It’s not quite the same, I’ve gone for salted caramel sauce rather than chocolate fudge but it’s still pretty yummy.

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Ingredients

300ml double cream
175g condensed milk
2-3 tbsp strongly brewed cold espresso (to suit your own taste)
70g dark chocolate
2 tbsp pre-made caramel sauce or dulce de leche
1/4 tsp sea salt

Start by melting the chocolate and then spreading it out very thinly on a piece of grease-proof paper. Put this in the fridge to harden.
Place the cream, condensed milk and coffee in a large bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until it becomes thick and fluffy.
Break up the (now set) thin sheet of chocolate and fold this through the ice cream mixture. Mix together the salt and caramel and delicately swirl this through the mix too. You don’t want to over-mix this, you want the sauce to be swirled through it, not blended in.
Tip this into a freezable container and put it in the freezer to set.

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IRISH COFFEE CUPCAKES

Irish coffee cupcakes

I’m not generally much of one for St Patrick’s Day. I love a pint of Guinness but I tend to enjoy it far more when I’m not squashed into the pub with everyone who, as Mr Colonial Cravings puts it “has so much as been sneezed on by an Irish person.” But having posted recipes for St David’s day and St Piran’s day I felt I should make a bit of an effort for Patrick’s day too.
I couldn’t quite bring myself to make something dyed a lurid green though, as seems to be the trend here if my local supermarkets (and the Chicago River) are anything to go by.

Irish coffee cupcakes

This is my slightly more restrained Irish offering. I always use the basic sponge recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery for cupcakes as it requires so little butter and always gives wonderfully light fluffy results. I did make a couple of minor changes however. I used self-raising flour rather than plain flour and baking powder (I had run out of plain flour). I also don’t have instant coffee so I just added half a shot of strong espresso to the warmed milk.

Ingredients
makes 6

Sponge
120ml milk
2 tsp instant espresso powder
40g butter
140g sugar
120g self raising flour
1 egg
pinch salt

Frosting
70g butter (softened)
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp whiskey
2 tbsp double cream

Preheat your oven to 190°c and line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers.
Warm up the milk a little, not too much, just so that it’s tepid, and add the coffee to it.
Soften the butter and cream it together with the sugar and salt. Next add in the flour and mix it all together until you have a grainy, sandy mixture.
Crack the egg into the milk and lightly beat it together. Add half of this liquid to the dry mixture and use an electric mixer to beat it together. Once it’s incorporated add half the remaining liquid and mix again. Finally add the last of the liquid and give it one final mix.

Irish coffee cupcakes

Spoon this batter (it will be quite runny) evenly into the paper cases and bake for around 20 minutes. The cakes should be nicely risen, lightly browned and springy to the touch.
Remove them from the tin and leave them to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting simply soften the butter and then beat together all of the ingredients until they are creamy and fluffy. Pipe or spread onto the cooled cakes however you like. Maybe enjoy along with a real Irish coffee…

Irish coffee cupcakes

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COFFEE AND CARDOMON CHOCOLATE POTS

Why have I only just discovered the wonder that is the combination of coffee, cardamom and chocolate? I tried some 70% cocoa chocolate the other day that was flavoured with these two and it was sublime. I have had chocolate with both cardamom and coffee separately but never combined and having finally tasted all three together I’m a bit annoyed with my own brain for not suggesting it sooner.

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These rich little pots of gooey-ness are so incredibly simple to make the only excuses that I’ll accept for you not giving them a go must come in the form of a Doctors note. When I was young my Grandma bought me cookbook full of chocolate recipes and I immediately made ‘Pot au Chocolat’ because it looked so easy.

When I say that they are rich I am not exaggerating – the recipe is essentially just ganache so it’s incredibly indulgent. Make sure you use really good quality chocolate for them with a high cocoa solids content.

I like to serve them in espresso cups (partly because it justifies my collection of them.) Ramekins are also fine but I think even the most hardened chocoholic would struggle to make it through anything more generous.

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Ingredients

serves 6-8

300ml double cream

180g dark chocolate

6 cardamom pods

2 tsp (rounded) ground coffee

Crack the cardamom pods to release the seeds a little and add these, the coffee and the cream to a small saucepan. Slowly heat this over a low light until the cream is starting to think about simmering.

Chop the chocolate into small chunks and place in a large mixing bowl.

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Strain the hot cream through a fine mesh sieve over the chocolate. Discard the remaining coffee grounds and cardamom.

Stir the cream and chocolate together using a spatula or spoon, ensuring that they are really well blended. Any chocolate that isn’t mixed into the cream will mean that the resulting ganache isn’t velvety smooth.

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Pour into your chosen serving pots and chill for a couple of hours to set.

Decorate however you like (I piped little puffs of steam out of white chocolate) and enjoy the smug feeling when people tell you how impressed they are!

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