Tag Archives: coffee

Profiteroles with coffee cream and drizzled with coffee-chocolate sauce

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It is my daughter’s birthday today. She is a smart, sweet and very caring  girl. She also has very diverse and sophisticated palette. So when I asked her what kind of cake she wants for her birthday, she said,” Mom, can I have profiteroles instead of a cake this year?”.

This is what prompted me to make the profiteroles today. I had watched Anne Burrell make these on one of her shows and had scratched  down her recipe, this is my take on her recipe. The ingredients are very simple, yet the result is a fancy pastry.

Profiteroles is a french pastry made with a french pastry dough, Choux Pastry

Choux pastry is an easy to make versitile dough. You can make many things like eclairs, cream puffs using this dough. It is light and airy and is perfect for filling it up with whipped cream or ice cream.

Profiteroles

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Equipment needed:

Food processor, a pot, wooden spoon, whisk, pastry bag with a large tip

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk

1 stick of unsalted butter

1 cup flour

1 pinch of salt

4 eggs

 

For the filling:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

4 tbsp powdered sugar

1 1/2 shot of espresso

 

For the chocolate sauce:

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 shot of espresso

Method:

Take a sauce pan. Heat milk and butter till the butter is melted. While the mixture is heating, get the food processor ready and the eggs cracked in a bowl/cup. As soon as the butter is completely melted, add flour all at once and cook on low flame for about 2 mins. When the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, take it off the heat.

Transfer the hot mixture to the food processor and start it on a low speed. Add one egg at a time to the hot mixture and keep processing till a nice homogenous mixture. The dough will be sticky but don’t worry.

Preheat the oven to 425 F

Fit a pastry bag with a large tip, I have used a large star tip but round works just as well.

Fill the mixture in a pastry bag.

Take a baking tray lined with parchment paper. If you get pointy tips, with wet finger you can just gently tap it down.

Pipe some mounds on the parchment paper. The first time I made these I made them too flat, I would recommend making them taller so you can fill it up with a scoop of ice cream easily.

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Now bake these in the oven for 20 mins. Once the baking is done, let them sit in the hot oven for another 7-10 mins. Take them out and let them cool.

I have seen some recipes where you bake them in a high heat oven like 425 for a few minutes, which helps form the crust and then bake in lower temp like 375 for 12-15 mins for it to cook through from inside. 

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Once these are cooled,you can cut a slit and  they are ready to be filled with some yummy cream or ice cream.

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For the filling:

Take a little bit of cream and make sure that all the sugar and the espresso are dissolved well in it. Now add the remaining chilled whipping cream and whip till you get a nice and firm cream.

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In the meantime, in a microwavable glass bowl take the chocolate chips. Melt them according to the package instructions, mine asked me to heat it at 50% power for a min and then in the increments of 15 secs there on, stirring each time. Alternatively, you can also use a double boiler to melt the chocolate.

Once the chocolate is melted, add the espresso and cream to make a smooth chocolate sauce.

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Now comes the fun part…

Take a puffed pastry and fill it up with the coffee whipped cream.

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Drizzle with chocolate sauce and dust with some powdered sugar.

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Yummy profiteroles are ready to be gobbled up.

Note:

If you are using a whipped cream for the filling, instead of making a cut in the pastry,  you can just poke a hole and fill up the cream.

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Coffee-Almond biscotti

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This year is supposed to be a El Niño year, which means a lot of rain is expected. We have been hoping that it rains a lot and gives a relief from the drought situation in California. It has rained but not too much, so when this weekend it poured, everyone was super happy.

Rain always makes us think of Pakodas( fried lentil fritters), a cup of ginger tea. Rain makes everything look so pretty. Spring is in the air, flowers everywhere. The wisteria in our garden is looking gorgeous, vibrant with purple chandeliers.

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It was a very relaxing weekend, we had an amazing lunch at our favorite ethiopian place. They make such incredible food, especially their chicken is cooked so well. We ended that meal with a ethiopian coffee, which is always accompanied with a fragrant herb, ‘rue’. You let the herb seep in it’s flavors in the coffee before you drink it.

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Talking about coffee, recently my family has been obsessed with coffee. My son has been taking very scientific approach to coffee making. Weighing the coffee beans, freshly ground with handheld steel coffee grinder, water temperature measured by thermometer, even the pour has to be perfect. He looks like Alton Brown every time he makes coffee. He made me a macchiato with a little heart a few weekends ago, so perfectly made.

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On my recent trip to Guatemala, I visited this coffee shop which not only serves amazing coffee but also sells beans from the neighbouring areas. I picked a few pounds from there and we also replicated the same set up at home. It made such an amazing cup of coffee.

IMG_4349I love coffee in many forms whether it is coffee ice cream or Tiramisu or even Tiramisu french toast for breakfast, I love it all. So when we were talking about some cookie to go with the coffee, I decided to make this Biscotti. I love making biscotti for many reasons, you can make it ahead of time, you can make so many variations and they are not fragile so they transport well.

Since I love the coffee flavor, I decided to add it to the biscotti as well.

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Ingredients

2 3/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 stick of unsalted butter softened

1 cup of sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3 eggs at room temperature

1 pinch of salt

3 tsp instant granulated coffee

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1/2 cup of almonds roughly chopped

Chocolate dip

5 oz of dark chocolate chips

crushed almonds or sliced almonds

Method

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt together.

Cream the softened butter with sugar.

Add coffee granules and vanilla mix a little more.

Add one egg at a time while the mixer is running.

Scrape down the liquid ingredients.

Add the flour mixture a little at a time. The dough will be sticky at this point. Keep the dough in the fridge so it will firm up and will be easier to handle.

Take the dough out and divide in two parts.

Form two logs of about 2 inch by 8 inch. Remember this will spread as they bake so dont make them wider than 2 inches.

Place the logs on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Bake for 25-30 mins.

Take it out of the oven and cool for 30 mins.

Biscotti means baked twice. So as the name suggests, we will be baking these twice.

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut in 1 inch slices.

Arrange these slices cut side down on a cookie sheet and bake again for 15-20 mins. Remember that these will harden as they cool so be careful to not overcook these.

After baking it the second time, let them cook on a rack.

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Chocolate sauce

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, heating in the 30 sec intervals, stirring in between.

Dip one end of the cooled biscotti in the melted chocolate and sprinkle with crushed almonds. Layer them back on the parchment paper till the chocolate is solid again.

These store very well in a airtight container.

Serve with your favorite cup of coffee.

 

Variation:

You can skip the coffee granules in the batter, and add 1/4 cup of cocoa instead.

You can also make these with no chocolate or cocoa or almonds in the batter, and add 1 tsp of Anise seeds, 1/2 cup of cranberries & 1/2 cup of pistachio instead.

 

 

 

 

 

Tiramisu…need I say anything more?

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I grew up in India and came to the United States after my marriage. I knew no cooking so I eagerly looked forward to eating at restaurants. The first restaurant I went to after coming to the US was ‘Florentines’, an Italian restaurant. Until then, I had never eaten Italian food but I loved all the new dishes I tried. However my most favorite dish, which often is true for me…was the dessert. I tried Tiramisu…and I fell in love with it.

Tiramisu which translates to ‘pick me up’ in Italian is my favorite. I love the coffee flavor and the lightness of this dessert. It looks elegant, tastes great and can be made ahead, what more can you ask for? In fact, if you make it a day or two ahead, I feel it tastes better.

I experimented with many recipes and then settled on this one which combines the best parts of various recipes.

Two important ingredients to make good tiramisu are a good quality mascarpone cheese and a good cup of espresso. The traditional recipe also calls for raw eggs, but I have included a workaround if you want to avoid eating uncooked eggs.

My kids love Tiramisu, this is by far their most favorite dessert. They think that I make the best tiramisu and that is quite a compliment since we have been to many nice italian restaurants. 🙂

 

Tiramisu

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Ingredients

2 packets of lady fingers

2 packs of mascarpone cheese( about  400 g) at room temp

5 egg yolks ( at room temp)

1/3 cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

6 shots of espresso ( about 1 1/2 cup) cooled

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Method:

Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Keep aside in a bowl.

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Mix the egg yolks and sugar till pale yellow in color.

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Add the mascarpone cheese and mix till everything is blended well. When blended well, add 1/4 cup of espresso and mix well. This time I used ‪#‎CafeUbuntu‬‪#‎sharedfate‬ from Whole Foods, I must say it is a good cup of coffee for a great cause.

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Take the whipped cream and fold into the mascarpone cheese mixture.

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Arrange the lady fingers in a tray.

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Soak them with generous amount of coffee.

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Spread with the cream mixture. Alternate till you have the top layer of cream.

Sprinkle some dark cocoa and chill in the refrigerator.  Ideally you should make it at least a day ahead, I feel that it lets the flavor mingle and marry.

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Notes:

1. If you dont have access to espresso, make strong instant coffee and use that instead

2. You can use lightly sweetened pound cake in place of lady fingers if you can not find lady fingers.

3. If you are trying to make a no egg version, just leave the eggs out. Add 1/2 cup of whipping cream. I have also heard people using custard powder. I have not tried that myself.