By now, you probably know that I like the flavor combination of chocolate and espresso. I’ve done everything from chocolate espresso cookies to chocolate covered espresso beans. So, what could I do that is completely adventurous and incorporates these flavors? Chocolate Pasta with Espresso Chocolate Sauce, of course!
- 1/4 cup espresso (I used Velton’s Twilight Blend)
- 2 tablespoons Nutella
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Chocolate Pasta (I used Pappardelle’s Dark Chocolate Linguine)
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine espresso and Nutella
- When Nutella has melted and is combined with the espresso, add in sugar and cook until dissolved
- Add in vanilla and butter, cooking until butter is melted and completely incorporated
- Cook pasta according to directions
- Place pasta on a plate and drizzle with sauce
I should point out that, while this is quite good, you need to have a certain adventurous spirit to enjoy it. After all, it’s not everyday one comes across dessert pasta!
- 1/2 cup espresso (I used Caffe Umbria’s Terra Sana Blend)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups ice
- Place all ingredients in a blender
- Blend until smooth and frothy
- Fill popsicle molds and place in freezer
- Wait four or more hours to allow popsicles to fully freeze
- Dip the popsicle mold in hot water for a few seconds and remove
Trust me on that last step! On my first try, I removed the popsicle stick but, sadly, the popsicle remained in the mold. The hot water will help the popsicle contents pull away from the mold, allowing it to be easily removed.
The popsicles were pretty yummy and they looked nice, too. Not bad for a quick little recipe. As for eating it inside on a dreary day? Call me crazy but, being a Seattle gal, I think I actually prefer it this way!
This week’s recipe has a simplistic name that called out to me: Coffee Lover’s Dessert. Now really, with a name like that, how could I not try it?
- 10 large marshmallows or 100 miniature marshmallows
- 1/2 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee (I used Caffe Umbria’s Terra Sana Blend)
- 1/2 cup whipped cream
- In a saucepan, combine marshmallows and coffee over low heat
- Melt, stirring frequently
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature
- Fold in whipped cream
- Spoon into dishes and chill before serving
Short and sweet, right? I made the original and two variations: chocolate chip and coconut*. All of them were rich, sweet and had a firm mousse-like texture.
The original is like a dessert version of taking your coffee with (a lot of) sugar and cream, while the coconut version was like a sweet latte drink. As for the chocolate chip? Well, the alternating textures just didn’t work well in this recipe.
If you have a massive sweet tooth, this one’s for you!
* To make the variations, add Monin coconut syrup before removing the marshmallow and coffee mixture from heat or fold in chocolate chips with the whipped cream.
I’ve always wanted to make chocolate covered espresso beans. They’re delicious and bite sized and oh-so-pretty! However, every time I’ve tried, I’ve ended up with sparsely coated beans or something more akin to espresso bean chocolate bark.
So, when I was in the craft store browsing at all the lovely baking and candy making supplies and happened upon a chocolate mold that I thought might make my chocolate covered espresso bean dream a reality, I was sold. Sure, it’s a square mold that makes candy bar shaped chocolate pieces, but it would do the trick.
- Espresso beans (I used Velton’s Twilight Blend)
- Chocolate mold
- Chocolate coating wafers
- Any desired mix-ins (optional)
- Place an espresso bean and any mix-ins in each piece of the mold
- Melt chocolate in microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between intervals
- Pour chocolate into each piece of the mold, completely filling
- Place mold in freezer for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is completely set
- Remove chocolate from the mold
I made four varieties: dark chocolate covered, milk chocolate covered with walnuts, milk chocolate covered with coconut and milk chocolate covered with marshmallow. All of them were delicious, though I did hear quite a few murmurs that coconut was the best!
The flavors from Velton’s Twilight worked amazingly well with all the variations. The dark chocolate covered espresso beans had a deep and robust flavor while the milk chocolate varieties were sweeter, which was nicely accentuated by the dark roast.
My only regret? That I didn’t have a sweet chocolate mold that would make the chocolate covered beans look like coffee beans! Oh man, that would have been the icing on the cake. Maybe next time…
Okay, so I know these Irish Coffee Blondies are a week late. To be fair, though, you can eat booze infused treats anytime, right? That’s what I thought, too!
Also, the purist in you may cringe when you see what I used in place of Irish whiskey (hey, my liquor cabinet isn’t that well stocked!), but I guarantee that they were still delicious.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons freshly ground coffee (I used Caffe Umbria’s Terra Sana Blend)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons Irish whiskey (or, in my case, scotch!)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray a 9”x13” pan with the nonstick cooking spray
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and baking soda
- Melt the butter and pour into a bowl with the brown sugar, ground coffee and salt
- Stir to combine, then stir in eggs and vanilla
- Stir in flour mixture until combined
- Pour into pan and bake 25-30 minutes
- Remove from oven when toothpick inserted comes out clean and let cool in pan
- When blondies are cool, make glaze by combining butter, whiskey and sugar (*Note: The glaze should be thick but pourable, so you may not need all the sugar that is called for)
- Drizzle glaze over blondies and let dry for 1 hour
Now, I wouldn’t recommend eating them right away. The whiskey taste lingers strongly for several hours, which some may not enjoy. However, if you store them overnight, the whiskey taste dissipates, leaving a deliciously sweet and slightly smoky flavor behind.
This week, I decided to take a departure from my usual chocolate and espresso combo. Well, sort of. You see, I made these really yummy candied espresso walnuts. They were good as is, they really were! But for the next batch I added some chocolate, just to up the ante. The results? Still really delicious candied espresso walnuts.
The moral of that story is twofold: 1) I am clearly obsessed with chocolate and can’t handle a week without it, and 2) With or without chocolate, you really need to try these!
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely ground espresso beans (yep, I used Velton’s Twilight Blend again – it is that good!)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg white
- 4 cups walnut halves
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Spray baking sheet with vegetable oil
- Combine sugar, espresso, cinnamon and kosher salt in a bowl
- In another bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy
- Dip walnuts in egg mixture, then toss to coat in sugar mixture
- Spread coated walnuts on cookie sheet in a single layer
- Bake 5 minutes
- Stir walnuts, loosening from cookie sheet and rearranging back into a single layer
- Bake another 5 minutes, or until walnuts are dry to the touch
- Remove walnuts from oven, loosen with spatula and let cool on baking sheet
I can say that these were super easy to make (probably the easiest recipe I’ve made so far) and should probably become a staple in your recipe box. I mean, everyone has a recipe box, right?
If there is one thing I have learned over the last few weeks, it is that coffee and chocolate were meant for each other. I should have known. After all, who doesn’t love a good mocha? And chocolate covered coffee beans? Delicious!
So, when Brandi came to me with a recipe idea that would add a twist to this classic combo, I couldn’t resist!
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 2 shots of espresso vodka
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 6 tablespoons whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shot of espresso vodka
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Place the 3 ounces of chocolate in a large mixing bowl
- In a smaller mixing bowl, melt butter in the microwave
- Pour butter over chocolate and let sit 30 seconds before stirring until all chocolate is melted
- Sift in sugar and cocoa, mixing until incorporated
- Using a wooden spoon, mix in mascarpone, eggs, vanilla and espresso vodka until smooth
- Mix in flour and salt
- Pour batter into a greased pan (use an 8×8 pan for thicker brownies or an 11×7 pan for thinner brownies)
- Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (*Note: If you use a larger pan for thinner brownies, it may only take around 30 minutes for them to finish baking, so keep a close eye on them!)
- Place pan on wire cooling rack
While the brownies are cooling, we’ll make our ganache!
- Place chocolate in a mixing bowl
- In a small saucepan, bring cream and butter to just below boiling over medium heat
- Pour over the chocolate and add the espresso vodka
- Let sit 30 seconds, then stir until smooth
- Pour the ganache over brownies, using a spatula to evenly distribute
- Let sit, uncovered, until completely cooled or place in refrigerator to speed up the process
- Once ganache is firm, cut brownies and store as you normally would
1. Mascarpone can be hard to find and kind of expensive. You can always use this mascarpone substitute recipe, which is what I did. Halve the recipe and you’ll get just enough for the 1/2 cup!
2. You can buy espresso vodka, but who would want to do that when you can make it? If you can hold out a couple of days, check in on Thursday to get Brandi’s espresso vodka recipe. Trust me, it’s totally worth it!
With all of that out of the way, I can finally tell you that these are very good. A little dense, definitely rich and well worth the extra effort this recipe requires!
There’s something you should know about me. Ready for it? I love community recipe sites. Seriously. I can spend a whole weekend browsing through them and bookmarking 100+ recipes that I want to make. Sure, I usually only cook one or two before I completely forget about them and start the process over again, but I still get an odd sense of accomplishment out of it.
That being said, I recently found a recipe for Chocolate Espresso Cookies and bookmarked it. Then I started doing these weekly blog posts and I finally had a reason to make them. I knew all that bookmarking would pay off …
- 3 (1-ounce) squares of unsweetened chocolate
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided in half
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons finely ground espresso beans (I used Velton’s Twilight Blend)
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- Melt together unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chip and butter. Stir occasionally until melted. You can do this in a double boiler or in the microwave (in small time increments and keeping a close eye on it).
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes
- Mix in the ground espresso
- Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix well
- Sift together the flour and baking powder, then stir into the egg mixture
- Stir in the remaining chocolate chips and walnuts
- Drop dough by the tablespoon onto cookie sheets, leaving room for expansion during baking
- Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookie tops have a crackled appearance
- Cool on baking sheets
These really were amazing. Cookie on the outside and brownie on the inside, all with just enough espresso to make your taste buds happy! The Seattle Coffee Gear team gobbled them up in no time and Gail even had one with each of her two morning coffees. Yeah, they were that good.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go get your bake on!
After last week’s recipe, where I semi-deliberately didn’t follow instructions and ended up with slightly less than perfect Espresso Meringues, I decided that I needed to take a step back and make something super easy.
The result? Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes, courtesy of a boxed cake mix. Like I said, super easy!
- Chocolate cake mix
- 3/4 cup brewed espresso (I used Caffe Umbria’s Terra Sana Blend)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
- Beat cake mix, espresso, water, oil and eggs on low speed with mixer for 30 seconds
- Kick the mixer up to medium for about 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl occasionally
- Spoon mix into cupcake wrappers, filling about 2/3 full
- Bake in oven 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
- Let cool on a wire rack before frosting
This time, I used 60% espresso and, while it was definitely noticeable in the batter, it seemed to lose a lot of its taste after baking. Next time I make it, I’ll use only espresso (‘Look ma, no water!’) and see what happens. I’m thinking deliciousness!
The cupcakes turned out yummy and, if I do say so myself, quite pretty! To top it off, they were frosted with Hazelnut Cream Cheese Frosting. I know you want the recipe, so check in on Thursday to see Brandi whip some up!
So, the first recipe I wanted to tackle was Espresso Infused Meringue Cookies from the Happy Good Times Blog. I think now would be the appropriate time to point out that these meringues didn’t turn out how I think they were supposed to. They were still good (seriously!), but I think I lack the necessary skills to create this lovechild of baked goods and candy. Also, I may or may not follow directions well…
- 3 large egg whites at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon finely ground espresso or coffee beans (we used Velton’s Twilight Blend)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (I used powdered, but I don’t think that’s necessary)
- Allow whites to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes)
- Clean and dry your mixing bowl
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper
- Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees F
- Stir together sugar, espresso grounds and vanilla – set aside
- Using a mixer, beat whites on low speed until foamy
- Sprinkle cream of tartar and salt over foamy whites
- Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until medium peaks form
- Increase mixer speed to high, and add sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time
- When stiff, glossy peak form, spoon meringue onto your prepared baking sheet
- Bake for 60-70 minutes in the top third of your oven
- Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet
- Store in an air-tight container for about 3 days.
After reading through that, and seeing my pictures, you may have a couple of questions. Questions like: ‘Kaylie, did you use bottled egg whites instead of fresh ones?’ or ‘That sounds like a lot of meringue mixture; did you double the recipe?’ The answer to both of those questions is yes, that is exactly what I did! Remember what I said about not following directions? Well, it’s not that I don’t follow them so much as I try to take shortcuts. Shortcuts which may or may not ruin the finished product.
How so? Well, the meringues were very delicate on the outside and soft on the inside. Not fluffy soft, more like ‘too heavy to rise so it sunk to the bottom’ soft. The result? Something like hollow egg shells that were nearly impossible to keep intact while removing them from the baking sheet.
The crew here at Seattle Coffee Gear still ate them, cutting the sweetness with an iced latte (courtesy of Brandi). I just wish they had turned out pretty and delicious. If there are any readers with mad meringue-making skills, please let me know what I did wrong! I’d love to try these again and have them turn out. In the meantime, I will just need to redeem myself with next week’s recipe … Wish me luck.