Posts tagged coffee

Coffee Drizzle Cake with Hazelnut Mascarpone


f you are, like me, an appreciator of all things coffee in flavour then this cake is certainly one to test out on a cold Sunday afternoon for a crowd that need pleasing. And more specifically a mother! (Happy Mother’s Day!) I’ll admit I’m no coffee nerd but even those that can pour a perfect patterned topped latte will love you for this moist sponge cake. I think many people these days are intimidated by baking with a preconcieved idea that it is difficult due to the eleborate disguise of the 21st century decoration, intricate piping and macaroon topped bakes. However like most cakes, the baking bit is extremely easy! Mix and combine. How you choose to refine your decoration is up to you. I don’t seem to have a natural knack for it sadly and my piping skills are far from successful on most attempts so this weekend I abandoned the fancy piping bag in place of the palate knife and went for a more welcomed rustic and homemade visual. It won’t win any show stopper rounds thats for sure but its all about the taste and texture…

This cake is based on a Delia classic. The sponge and syrup recipe have been taken from her ‘How to Cook – Book One’ with just a few adaptations in the ‘forage in the pantry’ style.

Sponge and Icing

  • 1 1/2 tbsp coffee dissolved in 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 75g walnuts
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 175g softened butter
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 8 tbsp sieved icing sugar
  • Handful of chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • Optional – 1 tbsp Frangelico/Amaretto
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder


  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 55ml boiling water
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease and line two cake tins (18cm/20cm wide. No bigger than 20cm)
  2. Toast the walnuts in a dry pan or hot oven for a few minutes until fragrant then set aside. Once cool, chop roughly.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor.
  4. Add the butter, sugar and eggs and mix until smooth and shiny. Add the coffee and combine well.
  5. Finally fold in the chopped walnuts then divide the mixture into the two tins, spreadably evenly and flattening out the tops.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Meanwhile make the syrup. Combine the sugar and coffee in a jug before adding the boiling water. Stir continuously and thoroughly until he sugar has dissolved fully. Set aside until needed.
  8. Next make the icing. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl before beating in the mascarpone cheese. Add the liquor of choice if using and beat until smooth. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts, leaving some for scattering over the top. Taste and add more icing sugar if you like it a little sweeter.
  9. Once the cakes are cooked remove from the oven and prick all over with a cocktail stick or similar.
  10. Pour the syrup over both cakes until evenly absorbed. I find this is best done a spoonful at a time to avoid overflow.
  11. Leave to cool completely.
  12. When cool, remove from the tins and turn out onto a wire rack. For the base you’ll need the most even and flat looking cake. You may need to slice off the rounded top in order to get this but this little syrupy slice is an ideal tester!
  13. Place this onto a plate or cake stand and spoon over half the mascarpone smoothing out with a palate knife.
  14. Top with the second cake and the rest of the mascarpone.
  15. Scatter with any remaining nuts and a sprinkling of cocoa powder

Jess - Coffee Cake3


Jess - Affogato Small 2


ts a brand New Year. Without sounding cynical and old before my time I’ve always hated the pressure that comes with this shiny promising New Year and the new ‘you’ that will suddenly look and feel better and hopefully get a pay rise? Whilst its a great starting point for change and ambition January 1st is just another day and sadly your problems will follow you here and continue to exist in 2016 so its time to tackle and importantly embrace these!

But it is the perfect time to write down those ambitions, resolutions, plans or even bad habits with a permeant pen and a piece of real paper. I stress this because for me 2015 was filled with Macs, iPhones, technology, contactless payment, more technology, digital memories and even more technology. However with such reliance on this new digital age to hold our memories what happened to the good old paper ones that will no doubt last a lifetime, don’t need an expensive external hard drive for back up, cannot be deleted at the click of a button (I’m talking about you resolutions) and are more personal than ‘Times New Roman’. So one of my resolutions this year is to get back to using the pen and paper for recipe ideas, food styling, menus, ideas and thoughts.

Being a New Year, many use this time to kick start their diets. Whatever the diet purpose i’m sure we’ve all learnt from 2015 that the diet will probably involve less refined sugar? Which can only be a good thing? I personally don’t have a sweet tooth so you’ll rarely catch me gorging on a cake however this hasn’t always been the case. When younger I could devour bowl upon bowl of cereal, manufactured cheesecake or sweet sugary chocolate. It wasn’t until overdosing on chocolate one Christmas that I kicked off Easter lent without it. And in an unprecedented turns of events I didn’t touch the stuff for 7 years (rest assured I do now). But the point I’m getting at is that even 40 days with no sugary chocolate and very little sugar, my body began to crave it less and less to a point where I no longer needed or wanted it at all. Sugar addicts out there are probably rolling their eyes at this well used cliche but you only have to persevere to realise the truth here.

However, this be said, if you are a sugar addict and have planned on changing your diet you may not want to cut sugar out completely if you are that way inclined. Try reducing your intake bit by bit until you no longer feel the need to take sugary tea or to go back for that double helping of dessert. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about moderation within a diet. They should include sweet special delights and rewards but special they should be and for that you need an element of rarity. So in an attempt to help inspire, this little recipe will satisfy any post-dinner sugar cravings. Bitter, warm, earthy black espresso coffee poured lovingly over ice cold velvetly cinnamon ice cream. It is a perfect cleansing low sugar finish to a filling meal providing a satisfying hot and cold feel and to hit the sweet spot kindly and the stomach gently.

Jess - Affogato 1Jess - Affogato 2Jess - Affogato 4


‘ll admit this hardly calls for a recipe and is more an assembly but use it here for inspiration. Ice cream flavour is obviously open to taste. I have used my left over Christmas Cinnamon Ice Cream (found here). You’ll be pleased to know a sweeter ice cream works well here to balance the bitterness of the coffee.

With an ambition for 2016 to buy those ingredients I’ve ‘always wanted to try’ or try that new technique I aim to make my own match latte (authentic green tea for those unaware). Being partial to a matcha latte takeaway treat I am salivating now just thinking of the perfect combination of warm velvety, bitter and creamy green tea poured lovingly over some sweet white chocolate ice cream!

  • Ice cream of choice (I have a modest list of homemade (cheat and non-cheat) ice cream recipes in the archive
  • Hot dark coffee (espresso is traditional)
  1. Ball the ice cream into deep bowls
  2. Pour over a shot of your hot dark freshly brewed coffee

Jess - Affogato Spoon


Coffee and Walnut Brownies

Leftover Easter eggs. Still you cry! Yes, as a dark chocolate lover you don’t need much hence why I have a vat of the stuff still sitting patiently in the pantry. Brownies anyone?

Without doubt the best, most trusty brownie recipe and one I’ve always gone back to time after time. My only concern each time I make it is the sugar content. But we are talking about brownies here which come with a certain set of health flaws anyway. Courtesy of Green & Blacks but highly adapted here to reflect one of my favourite cakes, walnuts for crunch and coffee beans for surprise.

Makes about 20

  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 100g dark chocolate (70%) Green & Blacks
  • 350g dark brown soft sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • Pinch salt
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 2 tbsp coffee beans, ground into chunks in a pestle and mortar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 28cm x 18cm brownie tin with parchment (or a similar size)
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted and combined. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
  3. Stir in the sugar and instant coffee granules until combined.
  4. Whisk the eggs and vanilla well in a bowl and then whisk these continuously into the chocolate mixture until well combined and glossy.
  5. Gently fold in the flour and salt.
  6. Finely, stir in the chopped nuts and crushed coffee beans.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crispy on top but still soft inside. The edges may cook quicker leaving the middle pieces gooey and dense.
  8. Leave to cool completely (yes I know…amuse yourself here) until cold. Then cut into enormous pieces. Serve with some cool creamy ice cream.

Gingerbread Latte Ice Cream, Salted Pistachio Brittle


Its Easter, a foodie occasion so I cannot forgo a dessert menu without this icey sweet delight. Coffee is such a crowd pleasing and moresih dessert flavour (if you’re a caffeine lover) as it naturally tops off a dinner and satisfies those bitter fans and the sweet toothed. From tiramisu to coffee cake I love it. But in ice cream….well need I say more. With the subtleyly of the ginger and cinnamon it makes for a ironically warming flavour in this cooling ice cream. Acoompanied with a warm lava centred chocolate fondant it was the perfect finale to Easter lunch.

Ice Cream (Serves 6 modestly)

  • 300ml single cream
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp coffee granules
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  1. Heat the cream until just coming up to the boil. Add the coffee and spices and whisk until all combined off the heat.
  2. Leave to cool.
  3. Whisk in the condensed milk until thoroughly combined and transfer to a container or tupperware to store int he freezer.
  4. Freeze until set! You can remove it from the freezer about 5 minutes before serving to make it easier to serve.

Salted Pistachio Brittle

Very general measurements and method here! If in doubt use a sugar thermometer.

  • 200g caster sugar
  • 160g roughly of golden syrup
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 60g pisatchios, crushed
  • 1 tsp malden salt
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  1. Line a baking tray with non stick parchment (grease with oil if you want)
  2. Crush the nuts and mix with the salt and set aside.
  3. Mix the sugar, syrup and water in a pan. Heat on a medium high heat but do not be tempted to stir. Allow it to melt and begin to caramelise and bubble. Leave for 5-10 minutes or so bubbling away until the syrup beings to turn golden. Watch very closely here as you don’t want it to catch and burn or turn too dark. When a golden brown colour add the butter and remove from the heat and quickly pour onto the baking tray.
  4. Immediately scatter over the salty nuts evenly and leave to set. It will harden quickly, within 10 minutes! Once poured out and still soft though you can move the tray around to make it thinner if required by tilting.
  5. Once set, peel from the parchment and break carefully into shards for each guest

Coffee and Date Drizzle Cake






This cake is moreish, moist and had me (who has the most pathetic of sweet tooth) eyeing up my second piece as I licked the crumbs clean from my greedy fingers after my first piece. Its not as ‘coffee-ey’ as a traditional coffee and walnut sponge but the use of this Percol fine powdered espresso coffee works wonderfully to create a deep coffee background hum. Super fine and smooth and a good way to get your coffee cake hating friends to relish the joys of this treat.

Feel free to experiment a little here with the icing flavour or dried fruit. Figs or prunes would be effective for example instead of dates. Try soaking them in brandy, cognac or even rum first! Try flavourng your icing with cinnamon or cocoa for a mocha effect. However, I feel the icing needs to be coffee flavoured to really bring out the flavour in this cake!

1 small Cake

  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 220g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 small eggs
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 100g self raising flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 12g cocoa powder
  • 160ml strong coffee (I used Percol espresso powder), cooled slightly
  • 65ml buttermilk
  • 80g dates, sliced (reserve a few for decoration)


  • 250g mascarpone
  • 80g sieved icing sugar
  • 1 tsp coffee mixed with a splash of boiling water.
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Line and grease 2 cake tins. I used 2 small 6inch tins so the sponges were fairly thick. Make up the coffee and soak the dates in the hot liquid briefly if you like.
  2. Cream the butter and caster sugar together until fluffy. Whisk the eggs and vanilla and add, a bit at a time, until combined with the buttercream.
  3. Sieve together the bicarbonate, flour, almonds and cocoa and fold in to the egg mixture.
  4. Mix in the cooled coffee and the buttermilk to form a smooth batter and divide equally between the tins.
  5. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 180C°. Bake for a further 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large bowl beat the mascarpone with the icing sugar and add the coffee. Chill until needed.
  7. Make the syrup by mixing together about 1 tbsp of coffee with 50ml hot water and a tbsp of caster sugar.
  8. Once the cakes have cooked, remove from the oven and leave in their tins to cool for 10 minutes or so. Prick the cakes and spoon over the syrup and leave to cool completely.
  9. Once cooled, they are ready to ice. I could have got away with cutting each of my sponges in half horizontally to make a 4 tiered cake but do as you please. Divide the icing over the sponges.
  10. Decorate with some slices of dates and some crushed cocoa nibs if you like!





Coffee and Olive Oil Truffles



Oh boy, these are dangerous. My mum’s friend recently provided me with a small, harmless and innocent looking bottle of ‘Coffee Extra Virgin Olive Oil’ (strange I know) with the challenge of making something with it!? On smelling it, my mind went to truffles. After a recent visit to William Curley’s chocolate sanctuary in Belgravia I felt inspired to use some of his sensational ingredient combinations. After trying his rosemary and olive oil chocolates I attempted my own version. With a packet of espresso flavoured Green & Blacks sitting on the shelf too, I thought this would add that extra kick of coffee flavour.

The oil in these, as opposed to the traditional cream, really does make  the truffles feel so much smoother without coating and cloying your mouth….they simply melt away.

Makes about 26

  • 80ml coffee olive oil OR plain Extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g Green & Blacks Espresso Chocolate, chopped
  • 125g Green & Blacks dark chocolate, chopped
  • 60g butter, cubed
  • Pinch salt
  • Cocoa for dusting/ chopped hazelnuts or mixed nuts/desiccated coconut
  1. Place the chopped chocolate, butter, oil and a pinch of salt into a heat proof bowl.
  2. Suspend over a pan of barely simmering water (do not let it touch) and heat gently until melted, stirring often.
  3. Once smooth and emulsified, pour into a clean bowl, cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove from the fridge. Use a spoon or a melon baller to mould out your truffles. Coat them in cocoa powder, chopped nuts or coconut or whatever else you like. Keep somewhere chilled but cover tightly if you are keeping them in the fridge as chocolate absorbs fridge smells….the last thing you want is a cheesy truffle?


Mocha Macaroons



After my frequent delicious sessions of ice cream making I always find myself making macaroons with the surplus of egg whites that sit patiently in the fridge, aging unnecessarily but making them (apparently) all the better for creating the perfect macaroon. I’d hate to see them be turned into a batch of brittle powdery meringues which are one of my foodie hates. So before they could be whisked up into a stiff peaked meringue hell I stole them for some macaroon experimenting. Results….a cheeky invented edible ‘mocha macaroon’ which was much more satisfying than an expedition to Costa! (I would just like to add that although I hate meringues, my mum’s version are great if there are ever to be any knocking around and would categorically NOT be powdery or brittle). Now with my back covered……..

  • 60g egg whites (about 2)
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 110g icing sugar (minus 2 tbsp)
  • 12g Green & Blacks cocoa powder


  • 75g unsalted softened butter
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water, cooled
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a baking tray with parchment
  2. Blend the ground almonds, icing sugar and cocoa together in a food processor until fine and then sieve.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then add the caster sugar a spoon at a time until glossy stiff peaks form.
  4. fold in 1/3 of the almond mixture to loosen it. Then fold in the rest, being gentle not to knock the air out.
  5. Spoon into a pipping bag with a round ended nozzle and pipe consistent circles of mixture evenly. Give the tray a sharp slap on the surface to level them and leave for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes. They are ready when they come away easily from the tray. Leave to cool.image
  7. Make the buttercream filling by combining the ingredients in a processor and then spooning into a smaller piping bag.
  8. When cool, pipe small amounts onto macaroon halves and sandwich together!


Coffee Ice Cream



A perfect Easter lunch dessert to keep everyone awake in front of the roaring fire………although this year the cold weather seems to be doing that for us brrrrrrr! If you’re a coffee fan then this ice cream is an instant (see what I did there) and satisfying winner!

(Serves 8)

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 300ml single cream
  • 2 heaped tbsp instant coffee
  1. Warm the cream in a pan over a medium heat. When it looks like it is just beginning to simmer, remove from the heat and whisk in the coffee until it had dissolved.
  2. Pour the condensed milk into the cream and stir to combine
  3. Chill and then put into a container and freeze overnight…no churning needed! Although if you want an instant ice cream, churn for about 30 minutes and eat!


I served mine with a mini version of my hazelnut frangipane tartlet (see here) drizzled with dark chocolate, half a lightly poached vanilla pear and some teeth shattering hazelnut praline. For the vanilla pear, lightly poach half a cored and peeled pear in sugared water for about 20 minutes with a splash of vanilla extract or a halved and de-seeded vanilla pod, until soft.


Hazelnut Praline

  • 60g caster sugar
  • 40g hazelnuts
  1. Toast the hazelnut in a hot oven for about 6 minutes. Then remove, wrap in a towel and rub the skins off
  2. Lightly bash in a pestle and mortar or in a plastic bag with the back of a rolling pin to coarse crumbs. Sprinkle sparsely over a piece of greaseproof paper
  3. Heat the caster sugar in a dry frying pan over a high heat and leave to melt, stirring every so often until the sugar turns liquid and golden brown. Watch it as it will easily burn.
  4. As soon as it is a pale golden brown and the sugar has all dissolved, remove from the heat and quickly pour over the hazelnuts in a thin layer. It will set fast so work quickly (it will be EXTREMELY hot though so make sure you don’t touch it)
  5. Leave to cool in a cool place or place the caramel on a hard marble surface to speed it along. When cool, break in shards and mind your teeth.