Whether you prefer an automatic drip coffee maker or the meditation of a perfect...
At your next dinner party, skip the coffee and end the meal with one of these amazing desserts made with coffee. Keep in mind when choosing the coffee to use as an ingredient that the flavor of the coffee will affect the flavor of your dessert. For amazingly good desserts, start with amazingly good coffee, and take the time to taste test several varieties of coffee to find the one that pleases your palate the best.
Remember, the more important the role coffee plays in a dessert, the more important it is to use the best coffee as an ingredient. For example, in coffee gelato and frozen coffee desserts, where the only thing adulterating the flavor of the coffee is sugar, the true flavor of the coffee will shine through. For those recipes where coffee is the primary ingredient, choose a coffee that makes a singular impression — try a Costa Rican peaberry Tarrazu with hints of spice and nuts or a smooth, smoky Indonesian coffee.
In desserts where coffee is a flavoring rather than the main attraction, play with your favorite coffee blends until you find one that perfectly accents the other flavors in the dessert. No matter what coffee you choose, a little imagination and a spirit of experimentation can lift your desserts from ho hum to oh wow!
Frosted Coffee Dessert Granita
1 cup freshly brewed single origin coffee
1/3 cup superfine white sugar
1/3 cup granulated light brown sugar
Dissolve the two types of sugar in the hot coffee and let it cool to room temperature. Pour the cooled coffee into a metal tray or bowl , cover with plastic wrap and freeze it until it is almost hard. Pull it out of the freezer and beat it at medium speed with an electric mixer for about three minutes or until it is fluffy. Cover it again and return it to the freezer until ready to serve.
To serve, scoop the coffee granita into 4 custard bowls or sherbet glasses and top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Frozen Cinnamon Coffee Dessert
Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans
1 stick cinnamon, about 1 inch long
1 cup water
1/4 cup superfine white sugar
1/4 granulated light brown sugar
Grind enough coffee beans with the cinnamon stick to make one strong cup of espresso coffee. Dissolve both sugars in hot coffee and allow the coffee to cool. Freeze the cooled coffee in a metal tray or bowl covered with plastic wrap. When it is almost frozen, beat the coffee mixture well and return it to the freezer until it is frozen to the consistency of sherbet. Serve in liqueur or aperitif glasses, topped with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Mocha Coffee Dessert Soda
1 cup of freshly brewed hot coffee — try Ethiopian Sidamo to accent the chocolate flavor
1/4 cup Nutella, heated briefly in the microwave to liquefy
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 cup cold coffee
Blend the hot coffee and Nutella in a blender until the mixture is smooth. Let it cool to room temperature, then pour it into a medium glass or metal bowl. Add the softened vanilla ice cream and cold coffee. Beat on low speed or with a rotary beater until smooth. Serve in tall glasses, such as Pilsener glasses, topped with a spoonful of whipped cream and a cherry if desired.