From DIY truffles to pots de crème with chocolate, chile and espresso, these genius recipes make the most of coffee.
Food & Wine
December 19, 2012
1 of 19
Three-Ingredient Prime Rib Roast
Coffee and prime rib seem like unlikely partners, but Ryan Farr's recipe reveals they both have an earthy quality that makes them a natural match. Just be sure to scrape off any excess coffee rub from the meat before serving.
Many Bundt cakes are heavy and buttery, but this one is surprisingly light and incredibly moist under its silky chocolate glaze. Strong-brewed coffee in the batter intensifies the chocolate flavor while cutting the sweetness.
Flo Braker flavors her ethereally light shortbread with finely ground espresso beans. The best part is the golden, gooey butterscotch glaze, which becomes deliciously fudgy as the bars sit in the cookie jar.
At Sona restaurant in Los Angeles and its one-year-old offshoot, Boule pâtisserie, pastry chef Michelle Myers presents exotic desserts that combine her training in graphic design with her fascination for Asian and Latin flavors (wasabi, rose water, habanero). Here, she makes a more traditional but still visually surprising cookie—the crispiest, crunchiest, most chocolaty biscotti studded with bright green pistachios.
Dry-Rubbed Salmon Tacos with Tomatillo-Avocado Slaw
For maximum flavor in minimal time, chef Jeff Smith opts for spice rubs over marinades. After experimenting with spice blends for heartier fish, he discovered that a big pinch of ground coffee lends earthiness to the rub.
Massimiliano Alajmo is fascinated with powders. He sometimes uses them in risotto, a specialty at his Michelin three-starred restaurant, Le Calandre. His trick for risotto is to stir in a little reserved hot stock at the end, a technique that keeps the rice from getting too gummy. Here, Alajmo infuses the stock with espresso beans, then garnishes the risotto with pungent capers. Then he sprinkles the dish with ground espresso beans to intensify the coffee flavor, though they add a slight graininess.
Every morning in Nha Trang, Marcia Kiesel topped yogurt with these bananas steeped in warm, bittersweet coffee syrup; they're also delicious over vanilla ice cream for dessert. Make sure the bananas you choose for this recipe are ripe but still firm, so they don't get mushy.
Sam German created the mild, dark baking chocolate called Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate in 1852; in the late 1950s, a Dallas newspaper published a recipe for German's Chocolate Cake. The dessert took the South by storm and has been a staple ever since.
If you have a grill with a lid and a bag of hickory chips you can smoke a turkey. Braising the bird first in a mix of coffee, apple cider vinegar and cane syrup or brown sugar results in marvelously complex flavors—sweet, bitter and herbaceous.
Vietnamese Coffee Sundaes with Crushed Peanut Brittle
The Vietnamese love drinking superstrong iced coffee combined with copious amounts of sweetened condensed milk. Joanne Chang created this simple ice cream sundae as a way to enjoy the same flavors. Shards of peanut brittle made with a generous pinch of cinnamon add great flavor and crunch.
"This is the most fabulous chocolate cake that I've ever made," says Ina Garten, host of Food Network's Barefoot Contessa. "It's so easy and so moist and light. There's buttermilk and a cup of coffee in the batter! The frosting is just buttercream and a little coffee."
Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Coffee Mascarpone Cream
The winning Italian combination of chocolate, mascarpone and coffee in tiramisù inspired this silky tart from French-born François Payard of Manhattan's Payard Patisserie & Bistro. An Italian pastry chef taught Payard that mascarpone can be whipped like cream. Another revelation: "The Italians use mascarpone the way the French use butter." Here, Payard pays homage to Italian ingredients, but with his ever-present French technique.
With its layers of tender chocolate cake and chocolaty sour cream frosting, this dessert on its own is completely spectacular. But Patti Dellamonica-Bauler, the pastry chef at One Market in San Francisco, takes it one step further by covering it in toasted almonds and crushed toffee candy.
This pudding is one component of a seven-part dessert at Café Gray in New York City, where executive pastry chef Chris Broberg serves it in a chocolate-coffee tuile alongside figs in port and candied orange peel, among other sweets.
Some chefs will do anything to get customers to try something they believe in. Alison Barshak, from Alison at Blue Bell, in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, will send out her chocolate pot de crème to any diner who doubts that the combination of spicy dried chiles and chocolate is incredibly delicious. When the customers come back, invariably they need no encouragement to order the dish.