View Full Version : A Bevy Of Italian Espresso Deserts

09-05-2011, 07:39 PM
Italian Espresso Brownies
The best brownies you will ever taste--by far!

For the brownie layer:
8 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons instant Italian espresso powder dissolved
in 1 tablespoon boiling water
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped
For the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon

For the glaze:
6 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon boiling water

Make the brownie layer:
In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt the chocolate with the butter and the espresso mixture, stirring until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat, let the mixture cool to lukewarm, and stir in the sugar and the vanilla. Stir in the eggs, 1 at a time, stirring well after each addition, stir in the flour and the salt, stirring until the mixture is just combined, and stir in the walnuts. Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 13- by 9-inch baking pan, smooth the top, and bake the brownie layer in the middle of a preheated 350F. oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out with crumbs adhering to it. Let the brownie layer cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Make the cream cheese frosting:
In a bowl with an electric mixer cream together the cream cheese and the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy, add the confectioners' sugar, sifted, the vanilla, and the cinnamon, and beat the frosting until it is combined well.
Spread the frosting evenly over the brownie layer and chill the brownies for 1 hour, or until the frosting is firm.
Make the glaze:
In a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water melt the chocolate with the butter, the cream, and the espresso mixture, stirring until the glaze is smooth, remove the bowl from the heat, and let the glaze cool to room temperature. The brownies keep, covered and chilled, for 3 days.

Makes about 24 brownies
Chocolate Espresso CheeseCake #1

For the Crust:
1 9-ounce package chocolate wafer cookies
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 tablespoon water
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled
1 tablespoon finely ground coffee
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup whipping cream
For the crust:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400F. Grind cookies in processor. Add butter and process using on/off turns until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil.

For the filling:
In small bowl, dissolve instant espresso in 1 tablespoon water. Using electric mix, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar and continue beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in espresso mixture, butter and ground coffee beans.
Combine chocolate and cream in heavy small saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate melts. Pour half of cheese filling (about 2 1/2 cups) into prepared crust. Drop 5 tablespoons melted chocolate mixture by tablespoons around edge of filling, spacing evenly. Use small sharp knife to swirl chocolate into filling. Carefully pour remaining cheese filling over. Drop remaining chocolate mixture by tablespoons into center 6 inches of filling, spacing evenly. Swirl mixtures together using tip of knife.
Bake cheesecake until edges are puffed and beginning to crack and top is golden brown, about 40 minutes (center will not be set). Cool on rack. Chill overnight. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead.)
Run small sharp knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Release pan sides. Let stand at roomtemperature 30 minutes. Transfer to platter and serve.
Chocolate Espresso CheeseCake #2

4 doz. chocolate wafers
1/4 lb butter, melted
2 tablespoons gelatin
4 Tbl cold water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup strong espresso coffee
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp fine ground instant espesso coffee
1 tablespoon toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan.
Using a rolling pin crush chocolate wafers to fine crumbs. Set aside 1/2 cup of crumbs and transfer
remaining crumbs to a bowl; stir in melted butter. Press crumb mixture on bottom and halfway up
sides of springform pan. Bake 5 minutes; cool completely.

In a small bowl sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let soften. In a large bowl combine hot espresso
with sugar and gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve. Let cool slightly. Add ricotta cheese and beat until
smooth. Stir in vanilla. In a chilled bowl whip 1/2 cup of the cream to stiff peaks; fold into coffee
mixture. Pour half of coffee mixture into crust, top with reserved cookie crumbs and cover with
remaining coffee mixture. Smooth top. Chill overnight.

To serve, run a knife around edge of pan to loosen and carefully remove springform rim. Whip
remaining 1/4 cup heavy cream flavored with instant espresso to stiff peaks, transfer to a pastry tube
and pipe decorative rosettes on cake. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

Yield: 10 servings
Peaches and Marscapone cheese really taste good together!

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup ground hazlenuts
1/4 cup (2 ounces) melted butter
2 pounds softened cream cheese
1 cup yogurt cheese
1 1/2 cups Mascarpone cheese
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Marsala wine
1 tablespoon orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the sides of a 9-inch springform pan with butter. In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, hazelnuts, and melted butter until well blended and press into the bottom of the springform pan.

In another bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Beat in the yogurt cheese, mascarpone, eggs, sugar, and continue beating until the mixture is very smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla, Marsala and orange juice and beat until incorporated, 1 minute.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust, and bake until brown and springy-firm, about 1 1/2 hours.
Allow to cool for 4 hours.
Serve with peach coulis.

4 cups sliced fresh peaches
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all in a small saucepan and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, allowing it to form its own syrup.
Cool and place in a blender until well blended. Top either the whole cheesecake or individual slices with this topping.
4 peach slices 4 mint sprigs Powdered sugar
Garnish with fresh peach slices, mint and powdered sugar.

Serves 12