Jatinder Kaur of Ashi’s Bakehouse in Mohali, India contributes to Coffee Universe this week – and, provides us with a delicious biscotti recipe, that is a perfect treat to enjoy with your espresso.
Espresso is a full-flavored, concentrated form of coffee that is served in “shots.” The term Espresso comes from the Latinate root for “Press” or “Under Pressure”
The requirements for making a good espresso are summarized by the 4 “M”s: Macinazione: the correct grinding of coffee blend, Miscela: coffee blend, Macchina: the espresso machine and of course, Mano: barista.
A good Espresso Shot has:
The crema, the top thin layer and sweetest part of an espresso shot. A good crema should be a light golden-brown color.
The body which makes up the middle and “umph” of the shot and should be a caramel-brown color, and
· The heart, the very bottom of an espresso shot and is the bitter balance to the crema’s sweetness. It should be a deep, rich brown color.
The Italians like to drink their espresso with sugar, the Germans and Swiss – with equal parts of hot chocolate, the Mexicans – with cinnamon, the Belgians – with chocolate. Moroccans drink their coffee with peppercorns, the Ethiopians – with a pinch of salt, in the Middle East with cardamom and spices. The Austrians with whipped cream .But the Egyptians are extremely fond of pure and strong coffee, and I like it with a Chocolate Peanut Biscotti. Here is a recipe from my recipe box.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BISCOTTI
- 1stick+2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter,
- 1 1/4 cups dry roasted peanuts
- 1 1/4 cups chopped dark chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper
Melt the butter over medium heat, cook until brown. Cool slightly.
Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl.
Whisk the eggs and sugar in a medium bowl until light and pale yellow, about 2 minutes. I use an electric mixer here as you want the mixture whipped enough so that when you lift the whisk attachment out of it, you are left with a trail of ribbons. Beat in the butter and vanilla until evenly mixed, about 30 seconds more. Add the peanut butter and mix until combined.
Divide the dough evenly into 3 parts, and shape the dough with slightly wet hands into 2”x15” logs, slightly tapering at the ends. Bake until set and brown around the edges, about 25 to 30 minutes. Leave the biscotti on the baking sheets for about 5-10 minutes to harden slightly. Then cut diagonal slants of about ½” thickness along the length into finger like pieces. Return the biscotti to the baking sheets, spacing them slightly apart, and bake at 325F (160C) further for 10 mins until crisp and golden brown.
Cool biscotti on the baking sheets. Serve.
You can also pair your espresso with berries,dried nuts,ricotta cheese,cheddar, Gjetost: Norwegian Cheese, flaky pastries (such as croissants, raisin croissants, pain au chocolat/chocolate croissants, apple turnovers etc),crepes/pancakes with berry/chocolate/cheese fillings.
By the way if you like your espresso sweet, you should use white granulated sugar, which dissolves faster than sugar cubes and does not alter the taste of coffee as with brown sugar or artificial sweetener!
Ashi’s Bakehouse is a bakery located in Mohali, India, which sells homemade cakes,cookies chocolates, breads and other products. They specialize in wholewheat and low calorie baking.