Baking and Cooking with Espresso

Espresso isn’t just a morning pick-me-up, but the popular beverage also has a place in the world of cooking and baking. Hot water forced through finely ground coffee at high pressure is how the darkly colored drink espresso is made. Originating in Italy, the coffee is typically served in small glasses or in “shots” measuring about one ounce. For instance, making the average latte or cappuccino calls for two shots of espresso.

Starbucks is not the only place that you can enjoy a hot cup of rich, dark espresso. Coffee lovers can make their own at home with an espresso maker, which differs from the regular coffeemaker.  Outside of the beverage world, espresso can provide a distinct taste to dishes and desserts.

A few ideas for baking and cooking with espresso include:

Baking with Espresso

Adding a small amount of espresso to your typical dessert recipes can provide a different experience for your taste buds. A few ways to incorporate a coffee flavor for your next sweet treat include:

Espresso Biscotti: When making your favorite biscotti recipe, experiment with instant espresso powder. Start off by adding 1 teaspoon to your typical ingredients list and adjust according to your taste.

Espresso Brownies: Coffee lovers can add 2 tablespoons of espresso powder to any boxed brownie mix to enhance the taste of their next batch. If you like glazing your brownies with a powdered sugar coating, add 2 teaspoons of espresso powder to your recipe.

Espresso Sugar Cream Pie: After brushing the inside of an unbaked pie crust with melted butter, whisk together 2 cups heavy cream, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder until well blended. Pour the ingredients into the prepared pie crust. Bake in a 350-degree preheated oven until pie has set – about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool on a rack. Add one cup of chocolate whipped cream as piping for the edge of the pie.

Chocolate Espresso Cookies: Deliver an extra kick to your cookies with about 2 ¼ teaspoons of finely ground espresso beans added to your favorite chocolate cookie recipe.

Cooking with Espresso

There are also a variety of creative ways to incorporate espresso into some of your favorite meat-related dishes. For example, when you’re looking to shake things up for your next BBQ, consider serving Espresso Rubbed Barbecued Burgers, which are sprinkled with a mixture of espresso powder and freshly ground black pepper on both sides of the patties before grilling.

You could also make an Espresso-Bourbon Sauce to coat grilled meats, such as beef steaks. Combine 1/4 cup bourbon, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, and 2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder in a small saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil and then reduce the heat. Simmer the sauce uncovered for 8 minutes or until the sauce thickens and is reduced to about half. Occasionally stir and then add in 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Keep warm until grilled meat is ready for eating.

For a non-bake treat, consider Espresso Bark. First, combine 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon margarine in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at 30-second stretches of time until the ingredients have melted and show a smooth consistency. Stir between each round of heating. Mix in 3/4 cup whole coffee beans. Pour the chocolate mix onto the waxed paper and create an even layer. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped white chocolate pieces onto the top of the chocolate. Lightly press the bark and place in freezer until set – around 5 minutes. Break the bark into pieces and store in an airtight container.