Chocolate and coffee brownie biscuits
Although perfect with a glass of cold milk, these are not really an after-school treat. The coffee and dark chocolate make them more of a grown-up indulgence.
410g dark chocolate (75 per cent cocoa)
45g unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract or paste
3 tbsp instant coffee
200g castor sugar
60g plain flour
100g almond meal
110g white chocolate
1. Put 250 grams of the dark chocolate and the butter in a bowl on top of a saucepan with a few centimetres of barely simmering water in it to melt. Stir the chocolate and butter through and set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. In a stand mixer with a whisk attached, beat the eggs, vanilla, coffee and sugar until thick and creamy, about five minutes.
3. Pour in the cooled chocolate and butter mix and fold till smooth.
4. Fold in the flour and almond meal, then roughly chop the white chocolate and remaining dark chocolate and fold through.
5. Lay out two sheets of foil with a sheet of baking paper on each. Divide the mix in two and place half on each sheet. If the mix is a little loose, you can chill it briefly before doing this. Form each portion into a log about four centimetres thick and roll up, shaping into even rolls as you do. Twist the ends to seal. Place in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up.
6. When you are ready to bake the biscuits, pre-heat the oven to 180C fan-forced or 200C conventional.
7. Unroll the frozen (it won't freeze fully) dough and slice with a sharp knife into discs just over one centimetre thick. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving a little space between each and bake for eight to 10 minutes or until cooked. They will be quite soft straight from the oven, so let them cool fully on the tray before serving.
Tip: Slice off the number of biscuits you require and pop the rest of the mix back in the freezer for next time.
Makes About 30 or 40
Chocolate and coffee mousse
This chocolate mousse has a good hit of coffee and a real melt-in-the-mouth texture. It's a simple, sweet way to finish a meal and makes a great portable dessert, if you're entertaining away from the dining table.
150ml pouring cream
3 large egg yolks
50g castor sugar
75g glucose powder
2 tbsp coffee essence, or 2 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
1 1/2 leaves gold gelatin, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes
175g milk chocolate, chopped
200g white chocolate, blitzed to a powder
300ml cream, whipped
Chocolate biscotti, to serve
1. Place the pouring cream and milk in a small pot, bring to a simmer then take off the heat.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and glucose together in a large bowl, then slowly whisk in the hot milk and coffee essence. Return to a clean pot and cook over a low heat, while stirring, until slightly thickened. Take off the heat.
3. Remove the gelatin from the water, squeezing any excess liquid out with your hands, and drop into the pot, stir until incorporated.
4. Tip all the chocolate into the liquid and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature then fold through the whipped cream - this doesn't need to be totally incorporated, a swirling pattern adds a nice effect when served. Chill until set.
5. When ready to serve, crush your biscotti and place some crumbs in the bottom of glasses or small bowls. Quenelle the mousse and serve on top of the crushed biscuits with more crumbs sprinkled over the top - a sprinkling of crushed instant coffee will also boost the flavour and help balance the sweetness.
Drink Pedro Ximenez sherry
Bresaola with celeriac, watercress and espresso mayonnaise
This may sound a little unusual but the coffee mayonnaise is an excellent match for the cured beef, with the deep, earthy flavours knitting together beautifully. Add the fresh watercress, celeriac and lemon and it adds up to a surprisingly complex set of flavours.
1 small celeriac, finely julienned
Extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 tbsp plain yoghurt
1 tsp chilli sauce (such as sriracha)
2 large egg yolks
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
220ml grapeseed oil, or another neutral oil
20 slices bresaola
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 handful watercress
1. Dress the celeriac in a little oil and salt and a pinch of sugar, toss through and set aside.
2. In a food processor, add the coffee, garlic, yoghurt, chilli sauce, egg yolks, vinegar and a pinch of salt and blitz. Slowly add the grapeseed oil while processing to form an emulsion - you may need a little more or less oil depending on your eggs.
3. Lay the bresaola on a serving plate, dollop on some of the espresso mayo and top with the celeriac, spring onions and watercress. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil, squeeze over some lemon and serve.
Note: This will make more mayo than you will need but it will store for five or so days covered in the fridge if you want to revisit the dish. You could also halve the quantities but might need to whisk by hand if the amount is too little to process properly.