Coffee Viennese Whirls

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Whilst I’ve been off work recovering from last Friday’s knee surgery for the last couple of days, boredom is taking its’ toll. I can’t stand for long periods.  I can’t drive, and can only walk very short distances. What I can do, though, is browse the internet for ideas from inspirational people.  My friend Lynn over on Ink Sugar Spice, shared a delicious recipe recently for Pistachio and Mascarpone Cream Viennese Sandwiches. I have no pistachio paste, but I do have (and love) Nielsen Massey Coffee Extract, and as well all love coffee in this house, it was a done deal!

Digging out my old trusty Be-Ro recipe book that my mum bought me many, many years ago (it was my first ever cook book). I know that this recipe works as I’ve used it lots in the past.  Just a tweak and a little twist was all it needed to produce these deliciously crumbly and delicately tasting biscuits.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Biscuits:

Filling:

  1. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Beat the butter and the icing sugar together for 3-4 minutes until light and airy.
  3. Grind the vanilla powder and coffee together until very fine.
  4. Add to the butter and icing sugar mix along with the flour.
  5. Stir until very well combined. This should produce a fairly stiff paste.
  6. Place a large star nozzle in a piping bag and place the biscuit mixture into the piping bag.
  7. Pipe an even number of circles of the biscuit mixture onto the parchment paper and place into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 160℃ (fan), 180℃ conventional.
  9. Place the baking tray into the oven for 15 minutes until the biscuits are pale in colour.
  10. Remove from the oven, but leave the biscuits on the trays to cool for 5 minutes.
  11. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack and leave until cold. (These biscuits are very ‘short’ and therefore quite delicate, so handle them gently).
  12. Beat the Philadelphia cheese, butter, icing sugar and coffee extract together until smooth.
  13. Transfer the filing mixture to a piping bag and pipe a circle on to half of the biscuits.  Sandwich the other half of the biscuits together.
  14. These will keep for a couple of days in the fridge (store them there, due to the butter and Philadelphia), but allow them to come back to room temperature to improve the flavour and smooth texture of the filling.

Coffee Viennese Whirls
Thanks to Lynn for giving me the inspiration to play with this old recipe and to give it a different little twist.

Tiramisu Coffee Cake

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It’s my husband’s birthday today and his requested treat was for a tiramisu, however I’ve made (& we’ve eaten) one over the Christmas / New Year period already, and birthdays are all about a cake, after all, aren’t they?  So, with this in mind, I dug out my recipe notebook and went to find a recipe that I came up with a couple of years ago and made him a tiramisu inspired coffee cake instead; therefore we both win – he gets his tiramisu, and I get to make a cake!  Here’s how:

280g Butter

280g Caster Sugar

280g Self Raising Flour

5 Eggs

5ml Baking Powder

15ml Camp coffee essence

2.5ml Nielsen Massey Coffee extract

To drizzle the cake with:

10ml Instant coffee

10ml Hot water

20ml Amaretto

Frosting:

250g Mascarpone cheesse

150ml Double cream

60ml Amaretto

5 Tbs icing sugar

To decorate:

Cocoa powder

Tiramisu coffee cake

1. Preheat the oven to 180℃.

2. Grease & line two 20cm/8″ round cake tins.

3. Using the all in one method, to a large bowl, add the butter, caster sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, Camp coffee and coffee extract.  Using the all in one method, beat together until well combined (about 4-5 minutes).

4. Divide equally between your two cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked.

5. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove from the tins onto a wire cooling rack until cold.

Tiramisu coffee cake

6. Mix together the instant coffee and water, stir until dissolved.  Add the amaretto and leave to cool.

7. For the frosting, beat together the mascarpone cheese, cream, amaretto and icing sugar.

8. Place half of the cake onto a serving plate and drizzle with half of the coffee and amaretto.

9. Spread the cake half with about a third of the mascarpone cheese frosting.

10. Top with the other half of the cake and drizzle this with the remaining half of the coffee and amaretto mixture.

11. Spread the cake with the remaining mascarpone cheese frosting and dust the cake with the cocoa.

Tiramisu coffee cake

12. Serve without guilt or attention to calorific value.  Just enjoy!

Tiramisu coffee cake

Maple, Coffee & Seed Traybake

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I was recently been sent some delicious Canadian Maple Syrup samples to try from We Love Maple. Quebec in Canada produces 90% of the country’s production, with Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia producing the remaining 10%.  Canada as a whole currently produces 71% of worldwide supply.

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Maple syrup has a lower GI than both corn syrup and honey and comes in at 50 cals/15ml. It’s 100% natural and is high in both antioxidants and minerals.  It generally comes on four main varieties:

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* Extra Light – which is extracted at the beginning of the season. Has a light colour and a sweet, delicate flavour.

* Light – is the second batch to be harvested, has a slightly darker appearance and has a pure and delicate taste. Perfect for use in both vinaigrettes and dressings.

* Medium – comes from the third harvesting and is the most commonly available.  It has a pronounced maple flavour and is ideal in cooking, for use in desserts and sauces.

* Amber – comes from the final harvest of the season, is darker in colour and has a rich, intense flavour.  This final harvest is perfect for use in sauces and glazes.

Using the samples I was sent, I came up with a variation on a coffee and walnut cake, adding both flavour and sweetness from the maple syrup as well as added nutrition, crunch and goodness from a mix of both pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

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To make it easier and quicker to make, I used the ‘all in one’ method and a disposable foil tray to bake it in. Ingredients and method to make the traybake are as follows:

Cake:

225g Butter

225g Light Muscovado sugar

275g Self raising flour

10g Baking powder

4 Large Eggs

45ml Canadian maple syrup

15ml Camp coffee essence

35g Pumpkin seeds

40g Sunflower seeds

Icing:

75g Butter

225g Icing sugar

15ml Canadian maple syrup

5ml Camp coffee essence

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan).

2. Add all the cake ingredients, apart from your seeds, into a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat them together for 4-5 minutes until light and very well mixed.

3. Stir in the seeds.

4. Pour the cake mix into the foil tray container and roughly level out.

5. Cook for 35-40 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned on top.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the foil dish.

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7. For the icing, bring your butter to room temperature and beat thoroughly with the icing sugar, maple syrup and Camp coffee essence until light and fluffy.

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8. Spread the icing over the cooled cake and sprinkle with lightly toasted sesame seeds to decorate.

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I was sent four 45ml sized bottles free of charge to review from the PR company. I was under no obligation to write a positive review or to devise a recipe using the product.

Russell Hobbs Allure Espresso Machine Review

As a coffee lover, I was excited to be sent an Allure Espresso Machine to review from Russell Hobbs.  The brushed stainless steel and black finish is elegant as well as easy to keep looking clean & stylish.
This compact machine packs a whopping 15 bar pressure through its’ pump and comes with a measuring spoon/coffee grounds tamper as well as both a single and a double espresso coffee grounds holder.
They’ve thought of everything a coffee maker needs, so you can find a cup holder/warmer on top of the machine.
The machine incorporates a 1.5 litre on board water tank which you can either fill in situ, or remove and fill from the tap.  It’s capable of making espresso, latte or cappuccino coffees as well as being used as a hot water facility or just a milk frother for your hot chocolate drink.
 
Using the machine couldn’t be easier either.  Simply select whether you’re going to make one or two cups of espresso, and place the relevant holder into the handle.  Scoop one/two spoons of your coffee into the holder and gently tamp it down, making sure to clean off any stray coffee grounds from around the edges of the holder, to ensure a good seal to the machine.  It’s also able to work with the ESS coffee pods that you can buy. In this case, just ensure that you do not leave any of the paper frill outside the holder that would prevent the seal being made to the machine.
Lining up the handle with the left hand corner of the machine, insert the handle into the base of the coffee machine so the lugs slot into place.
Turn the handle to the right until it’s at right angles to the front of the machine.
Switch on the machine using the bottom rocker switch.  You will hear a noise initially as the 15 bar compressor starts up. 
Place your cup(s) on the drip tray underneath the nozzles. Turn the top rocker switch to the ‘two drip’ (water) setting and rotate the large centre switch to the right towards the image of the cup & saucer.
Fill your cups to approx 1/3 full.  Rotate the centre switch back to the left to the ‘X’ to stop the flow of water.  Your machine will continue to purge the water held in the system.
Rock the top switch to the left towards the steam icon.  Place a tall jug of milk under the frother arm & rotate the centre switch to the left towards the two drip/steam icon.
Making sure you keep the frother nozzle under the surface of the milk, allow the steam to go through it, which both heats and froths it.
From my finished cappuccino below, I’m sure you can understand why the barristers of this world are in no way worried about their job being stolen by me when you can see my attempt at ‘coffee art’!
To clean the machine couldn’t be easier either.  Pull off the black milk frother attachment.  Be aware that this may still be hot, depending on how long it’s been since you made your coffee.  Wipe the stainless steel frother tube to remove any milk residue.
Pull the drip tray forwards.
Lift the drip tray grill.
Remove the insert at the back of the drip tray, pulling it forwards and then upwards.
Wipe over the base with a damp cloth.
I was recommended to try Lavazzo coffee by an Italian friend of mine & I’m glad that I did.  It’s a rich coffee which produces a lovely smooth crema on your espresso and works perfectly with the Russell Hobbs Allure Espresso machine.
The machine is simple to use but I found that I needed to hold my coffee cup in position when making it as the powerful compressor has a habit of vibrating the cup away from underneath the outlets.  It’s not a silent machine either due to the power, but then again, I didn’t expect it to be; it’s not overly noisy or offensive sounding and certainly wouldn’t deter me from using it.  It’s simple to clean and doesn’t take long to get it ready for your next drink.
Would I be disappointed with this machine if I’d bought it?  No, I wouldn’t.
Would I recommmend it to fellow coffee lovers? Yes, indeed I would.
The machine was kindly sent to me by the PR company of Russell Hobbs.  I have not been paid for this review and the views expressed are a reflection of how I found the machine during operation.