Many times one is asked if you are a tea person or a coffee person. My reply is always coffee. Although I like to drink tea and now green tea after every meal, owing to its digestive and slimming properties, I love my coffee. It energises the body and its aroma stimulates the senses. I remember having a teaspoonful of coffee during my exam time in school in order to remain awake late at night to study. I always cursed myself for not being regular in studies during the year.
Tea was discovered much earlier—the earliest records indicate of tea consumption in 10th century BC—while coffee is stated to be discovered in Yemen, although some say that it was discovered in Ethiopia around 15th century. Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from the coffee plant. There are two common varieties—Arabica and Robusta. The coffee plant is cultivated in 70 countries, primarily, in the equatorial regions of America, Africa , south east Asia and India.
Even though coffee was discovered much later, it’s one of the major export commodities. According to some surveys, it’s the second most valuable commodity exported by developing countries.
Not only coffee, but any coffee-flavoured eatables—be it a simple coffee candy, a humble coffee tea cake, coffee cookies or a delightful tiramisu and not to forget coffee-flavoured liquors like Tia Maria (which I use sparingly in my dessert recipes)—are my weakness
Let me share two of my favourite recipes with you in this week’s column. One is a coffee icing liquor cake and the other is an all-time international favourite Tiramisu—a signature Italian dessert.
Coffee icing liquor cake
● Eggs: 3 whole
● Sugar: 1 cup
● Flour: 1 cup
● Baking powder: 2 tsp
● Instant coffee
powder: 4 tbsp
● Butter: 1 cup
● Tia Maria liquor: 3 tbsp
● Walnuts (chopped): 4 tbsp
● Castor sugar: ½ cup
● Butter: 5 tbsp
● Vanilla essence: 1 tsp
● Instant coffee
powder: 2 tbsp
● Blend eggs in a food processor till frothy
● Add sugar and blend again
● Now add butter, coffee powder, liquor, baking powder and mix
● Now add flour slowly and blend till you get a smooth dough
● Pour the dough into a well-greased cake baking dish and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degree Centigrade for about 40 minutes or till the cake is baked. Check by inserting a fork of knife in the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.
● Blend all the ingredients together
● Once cake comes to room temperature gently spread the icing over the cake evenly with the help of an icing knife.
● Refrigerate and serve chilled
● Egg yolks: 4
● Sugar: 1 cup
● Marsala 0r Dessert wine: 1/2 cup
● Mascarpone cheese: 250 gm
● Fresh cream: 1 cup
● Ladyfinger biscuits: 500 gm
● Coffee (strong ): 2 to 3 cups
● In a double boiler, heat the egg yolks and sugar together. Add dessert wine
● Cook till the mixture thickens
● In a bowl, mix the cheese and cream and add in the egg mixture and blend well. Set aside.
● In a serving dish, arrange the ladyfinger biscuits after dipping them in the coffee syrup.
● Once neatly arranged in a layer, pour over enough cheese mixture to cover the biscuits
● Now arrange the second layer of ladyfinger biscuits dipped in coffee syrup and repeat the process with the cheese mixture
● Sprinkle cocoa powder on the top and serve chilled