Just for kicks: Bill Granger's coffee treats
A cup of coffee might make for a morning custom - but later in the day, caffeine-infused desserts and sweets offer a more sophisticated treat, says our chef
Sunday 29 September 2013
My rule is to limit my intake of coffee to two cups a day. It's one of those health-based decisions that I like to believe I can stick to quite easily.
What helps is that we don't drink coffee at home. I just find it doesn't taste as good when you prepare it yourself. Maybe it's because I don't have one of those nifty coffee machines that make rich velvety coffees at the press of a button, but mostly it's because I'd miss the ceremony of going out for a cappuccino first thing. That morning stroll into Granger & Co, the relaxed banter with customers and staff – for me, a coffee is probably more about that than the caffeine kick you get from it.
So, by late morning, in theory at least, I've usually had my self-imposed coffee quota for the day. Having said that, when I'm feeling rebellious I might sneak in a dessert made with coffee, or the odd espresso after dinner. It's one of my top guilty pleasures and one I know will keep me awake at night. The caffeine rush that is, not the guilt.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 75 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
Candied espresso walnuts
A couple of these with an espresso and I'm in heaven. With the coffee and chocolate truffles I describe overleaf, they make great gifts to take when you're visiting friends, rather than the more usual bottle of wine.
300g walnut halves
1 egg white, lightly whisked
110g/3¾oz granulated sugar
½ tsp sea salt
1 tbsp finely ground espresso coffee
Preheat the oven to 160C/352F/ Gas3. Lightly oil a baking tray. Toss the nuts in a bowl with the egg. Combine the sugar, salt and coffee in a separate bowl and stir in the nuts. Spread the nuts out in an even layer on the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool before breaking up to serve.
Comforting and old-fashioned: Coffee sponge with cardamom cream (Kristin Perers)
Coffee sponge with cardamom cream
A comforting, old-fashioned cake.
1 tbsp instant-coffee granules
2 tbsp milk, slightly heated
200g/7oz unsalted butter, softened
250g/8oz golden caster sugar
4 medium eggs
250g/8oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
250ml/8fl oz double cream, whipped
1 tbsp icing sugar
3 cardamom pods, seeds only
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Stir the coffee granules into a cup with the milk and set aside. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Add the flour and baking powder and fold through with a metal spoon. Pour in the coffee mixture and fold until combined.
Pour the batter into a greased and lined 20cm spring-form cake tin. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.
Pour the cream into a large bowl. Sift in the icing sugar and whip with a whisk until the cream just holds its shape. Bash the cardamom seeds using a pestle and mortar to make a powder and fold though the cream. Cut the cake in half and use the cream to fill. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Bill's coffee and chocolate truffles are inspired by the amazing chocolate truffles at London's River Café (Kristin Perers)
Coffee and chocolate truffles
Inspired by the amazing chocolate truffles at London's River Café – nothing compares in terms of deep chocolatiness.
2 tbsp instant-coffee granules
150ml/¼ pint double cream
200g/7oz plain chocolate, chopped
20g/¾oz unsalted butter
100g/3½oz cocoa powder
Gently heat the coffee and cream in a small pan until the cream just comes to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and butter and stir until melted. Chill for 30 minutes in the fridge in a shallow bowl, till set but still soft.
Place the cocoa powder on a plate. To shape the truffles, run a metal teaspoon over the truffle mixture, to make rough ovals. Roll the truffles in the cocoa, then transfer to a tray and chill. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving.
Vietnamese coffee mousse is a truly addictive combination of coffee and condensed milk (Kristin Perers)
Vietnamese coffee mousse
A truly addictive combination of coffee and condensed milk.
2 egg yolks
2½ tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp instant-coffee granules
4 tbsp condensed milk
250ml/8fl oz double cream
Handful coffee beans, crushed
Place the egg yolks, caster sugar, coffee and 1 tbsp of water in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and stir until the mixture has thickened into a custard. Stir in the condensed milk and set aside to cool.
Lightly whisk the cream in a large bowl until it holds its shape. Using a large metal spoon, fold the cream into the cooled coffee custard. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Spoon into serving bowls, sprinkle with crushed coffee beans and serve.
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