Tag Archives: espresso

Espresso and Cardamom Cake with Pistachios

 

What can I tell you? The combination of coffee and cardamom is a blessed one -utterly sublime. The sponge for this cake also manages to combine being unbelievably light with gorgeously luscious; and then there’s the topping, which is nothing short of luxurious. There’s a warm, very, very gentle spice to this cake which adds a touch of something richly exotic but ultimately…..it’s a great cake and dead easy to make!

What you need…

1 large baking sheet

1 x 20cm round baking tin, lightly buttered and lined on the bottom with Bake O Glide or parchment paper

50g shelled unsalted pistachios

Seeds from 10 green cardamom pods, ground to a fine powder (see tip)

115g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

115g butter, room temperature

2 large eggs

115g golden caster sugar

1 espresso coffee, cooled

for the syrup

1 espresso coffee, freshly made and still hot

Seeds from 10 green cardamom pods, ground to a fine powder

1 tablespoon Demerara sugar

for the topping

250g mascarpone

1 espresso coffee, cooled

1 tablespoon golden caster sugar

1 tablespoon milk

50g shelled pistachios

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 170°c / 325°f / gas 3.

Lay out all the pistachios onto your baking sheet and pop into the oven for 8 minutes to roast. Remove and divide into 2 halves of 50g each. Chop 50g finely. Leave the other half of nuts whole to decorate the top of the cake.

Into your food processor tip the flour and baking powder. Whizz to mix together. Add the butter, eggs, caster sugar, espresso and seeds from 10 cardamom pods. Whizz until smooth and creamy.

Fold in the 50g chopped nuts and when evenly incorporated, tip the mixture into your baking tin. Pop into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. To test if the sponge is cooked, press the centre lightly with your little finger – it should spring back.

Whilst the cake is cooking, make the syrup by putting all the ingredients into a jug and use a balloon whisk to beat until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.

To make the topping, put all the ingredients except the nuts, into a bowl and use a handheld electric whisk to beat together until a fluffy consistency that will be easy to spread. Cover with cling film and keep in the fridge until needed.

Once the cake is out of the oven, prick all over with a skewer and then sprinkle the syrup evenly over the top. Leave in the tin to cool completely.

When you’re ready to serve, transfer the cake from the baking tin onto a pretty serving plate. Pile on the topping spread evenly. Take a palette knife around the edge if you want a neat finish. Sprinkle the pistachios over the top. Voila! It’s done. Serve with a freshly made espresso and perhaps a little coffee liqueur on the side. Absolutely delightful and delectably different from your usual sponge cake!

Tip…

To extract the seeds from cardamom pods, bash them a bit using a pestle in a mortar (or in a small zip-lock bag and a rolling pin). Open up the pods and push out the seeds with a teaspoon.

Inspired by…

Delia Smith

How easy…

Really easy – just the way I like ‘em!

 

 

 

Espresso Panna Cotta

It’s OMG time again! Made this on a bit of a whim this morning, mainly to see how hard it would be to extract from the mould and also whether my allocation of gelatine was sufficient to maintain the ‘w’ factor (wobble) whilst being set. Both tests worked and then obviously, we had to test the finished product. OMG AGAIN! This espresso panna cotta is light and silky smooth but the combination of vanilla and coffee produce a simply exquisite flavour. The only problem is that they are so light, we felt obliged to try another one! Try it – it’s easy, quick and simply sensational.

Serves 4 – 6 depending on the size of your moulds

What you need…

6 dariole moulds or ramekin dishes

285ml double cream

210ml full fat milk

1 vanilla pod, split in half (but retained) and seeds scraped out

4 gelatine leaves

150g caster sugar

4 teaspoons good quality instant coffee granules (I used Lavazza)

What to do…

Fill your moulds up with cold water. (I have always done this in the belief that it helps in the ultimate extraction of jellies, mousses etc. I can’t find any actual authentication of this – it may be an old wives’ tale – but I’m not taking the chance just to see – it’s always worked for me!)

Tip the cream and milk into a heavy-based saucepan and, over a moderate heat, bring to a simmer. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add the vanilla seeds and the pod, then remove from the heat. Set aside for 5 minutes, allowing the mixture’s flavours to infuse.

Meanwhile, soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 3 – 4 minutes. Then, squeeze out the extra water and add the gelatine to the warm cream/milk mixture. Stir until dissolved.

Add in the coffee granules and stir until they are dissolved. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug, discarding the vanilla pods and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

Empty the moulds of their water. Don’t wipe them out but simply fill the moulds up with your panna cotta mixture. Pop in the fridge and leave to set for at least 3 hours.

When you have your spoon poised and you’re ready to indulge, dip each mould into a small bowl of hot water (poured from the kettle) for just 10 – 15 seconds – you will see the edge of the panna cotta coming away from the mould – leave it not a second longer but quickly invert it onto your serving plate. It will come out beautifully glossy and speckled with the vanilla seeds. And the taste is all rich, smooth, cool coffee – simply sensational! I’m going to have to make some more really soon!

Serving suggestion…

You could serve this with a chocolate sauce or perhaps a couple of Amaretti biscuits but to be honest, I think any accompaniments would detract from this little pud’s natural loveliness. It needs nothing – enjoy!

Inspired by…

Paul Merrett, www.bbc.co.uk

How easy…

Very, very easy and really quick and next to no mess and….there isn’t a single reason why not to try it!

 

 

Espresso Martini

Discovered by my son when we went out to dinner to celebrate exam results, the wonderful Espresso Martini presents itself in all innocence but it is, in reality, deliciously naughty and has the potential to knock your socks off!

Serves 2

What you need…

100ml vodka

70ml Kalhua/coffee liqueur

2 shots espresso coffee

Ice

Cocktail shaker

Two Martini glasses

What to do…

Pop the Martini glasses in the freezer whilst you make the cocktail.

Tip all the ingredients into the cocktail shaker and shake, shake, shake, smashing up the ice in the process and making this cocktail fabulously chilled.

Pour into your Martini glasses and watch as the cocktail separates to top the dark lushness with a creamy espresso top. Pass one glass to your drinking companion, sip and indulge. Delicious and soooooo naughty. A rich, sweet ice-cold coffee with a tangible kick. The only problem is that it’s quite difficult to put the glass down – just one more sip…

One, however, is probably enough!

Inspired by…

Jamie Oliver has published the recipe together with a lovely anecdote as to its creation but we first tried it at the Windsor Grill.

http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/how-to-make-espresso-martini/#5PRtRiJY4pj2CjL6.97

http://www.windsorgrill.co.uk

How Easy…

Ridiculously!