Coffee, chocolate and cardamom-three of my favorite flavors! Strong coffee or espresso is the predominant flavor in the two recipe; the walnut coffee kisses have instant espresso in both the cookie and the chocolate ganache as does the coffee syrup. Cardamom is a common ingredient in Indian cooking and in baking sweet breads such as Julekake in the Nordic countries. In the Middle Eastern countries, cardamom is used in savory and sweet dishes as well as for flavoring coffee.
I had hoped to be able to photograph the walnut coffee kisses and the espresso flavored with the cardamom orange spiced syrup, but the cookies were consumed at record speed! I should have made two batches of the kisses!
Walnut Coffee Kisses
Recipe From Coffee-Discovering, Exploring, Enjoying
For the cookies
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (best to chop with a knife to prevent the nuts from being oily)
1 stick unsalted butter
4-1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 beaten egg
3/4 cup self-rising flour, sifted
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
For the Ganache
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with non-stick parchment paper.
Put the butter and sugar into bowl and beat until creamy. Stir in the beaten egg, the fold in sifted flour. Stir in espresso powder, then the chopped walnuts. Put an even number of tablespoons of the mixture (about 24 for 12 cookies) onto the parchment-lined baking trays. Bake about 10 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes so they can firm up on the tray.
Meanwhile, make the ganache by breaking up the chocolate into pieces and put in a saucepan. Add the butter and the cream; heat without boiling until the butter melts. Beat in the espresso powder. Remove from the heat and stir. The mixture will thicken as it cools. Carefully sandwich the cool, cookies together with the ganache. The cookies are very fragile-take care filling them.
Cardamom Orange Spiced Coffee Syrup
Recipe from book above
10 green cardamom pods
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
Crush the cardamom pods with a knife and extract the seeds. Put the sugar in a heavy saucepan, add 1/4 cup water, and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Using a spoon, draw it across the sugar to expedite the process. When the sugar has dissolved, boil for 2 minutes, then stir in the coffee, orange zest, cinnamon and cardamom. Let cool so the flavors infuse, then strain and store syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To serve, use to sweeten espresso, coffee and ice cream. I put a tablespoon of vodka in the syrup to prolong its life.
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