A tiramisu is a popular Italian dessert made with ladyfingers soaked in espresso and layered together with rich cream. It’s known as a “pick me up” because of all the coffee that is used in the recipe, though it never hurts to get a little bit more coffee into the picture. I recently picked up a container of Breyer’s Tiramisu Gelato, which is new flavor from the ice cream maker. It definitely captures that coffee and cream tiramisu flavor, but it also has pieces of ladyfingers in it to give it a little texture and to really tie it in with traditional tiramisu. I decided that this gelato was a great candidate for one of my favorite coffee desserts, the affogato.
I simply placed a scoop of the gelato into a small dish, dusted it with cocoa powder and poured a shot of hot espresso over the top. I added the cocoa powder because tiramisus are traditionally finished with a dusting of cocoa powder, and you’ll get a nice chocolate aroma when you pour the espresso over it. When I took a taste, I still got the cream flavor from the ice cream, but the coffee stood out even more. Those pieces of ladyfingers also kept their texture while soaking up espresso and melted ice cream, for a dessert that tasted rich and like it took a lot more time to make than it really did!
You can get a similar effect by using half a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato and half a scoop of coffee if you don’t have or can’t find the tiramisu gelato, though that is the way to go if you have it in your local market. I highly recommend picking up some ladyfingers to serve alongside your affogato, since extra ladyfingers are perfect for soaking up the affogato as it melts.
There really is no such thing as a leftover chocolate truffle, because those indulgent chocolate treats are just too delicious to turn down. But there are times when you might find that you have more truffles than you can eat (in one sitting, anyway) on hand, such as after Valentine’s Day or after a big candy sale at your favorite store. Those excess chocolate truffles are the perfect base to use for a delicious Leftover Chocolate Truffle Mocha. The chocolate in the truffles easily melts with hot coffee, adding a lot of chocolate flavor and a little bit of sweetness to a decadent coffee drink that can be enjoyed with or without truffles on the side.
You can use either chocolate covered chocolate truffles or the cocoa-dusted variety to make this drink. The most important thing is that they should be high quality truffles – the kind have a velvety smooth melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more – because a great chocolate truffle is going to make for a great coffee drink. If you are using the chocolate covered truffles, you may need to give them a little extra time in the coffee so that they can melt completely before stirring them in. As always, adjust this recipe to your own tastes by using more truffles (for a thicker, “drinking chocolate” feel) or by adding a little extra sugar to sweeten it up if your truffles are an intense, dark chocolate to start out with. There is no wrong way to make it because it will always taste so right when you drink it.
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Maple syrup is always a staple ingredient in my kitchen. I use it to top pancakes and waffles, but I also use it for other things, like making Maple Lattes. Maple syrup is a great sweetener for coffee drinks because it is very easy to incorporate into both hot and cold drinks, and the caramel notes that you get in maple syrup are also often found in coffee. This maple latte starts with espresso and maple syrup, is topped with hot milk and finished with a maple-kissed whipped cream that is good enough to eat on its own. If you don’t have espresso, you can use strong coffee and simply increase the ratio of coffee to milk to balance out the flavors a bit.
Different grades of maple syrup have different maple flavors. Lighter colored syrups, typically called Grade A or Light Amber, have a milder maple flavor than darker colored syrups, called Grade B or Medium/Dark Amber. You can use any type of maple syrup to make this drink, but you’ll get the best maple flavor with a darker colored syrup. I used Grade B for both the whipped cream and the latte. After adding your syrup, taste the coffee to ensure that it is as sweet as you want it to be, and if it needs a little extra maple flavor, just add in a little extra maple syrup.
Vanilla and cinnamon area wonderful combination in just about any dish, from cakes to cookies. They both also go extremely well with coffee, though most coffee places only offer cinnamon as a topping that you can add to scent your latte instead of as a flavor that you can incorporate into it. A Homemade Vanilla Cinnamon Latte is a great change of pace from the usual vanilla latte because it has just the right amount of spice to keep things interesting.
My latte is made with equal parts strong coffee and milk, though you can use espresso if you have an espresso machine for a more authentic latte (but I can assure you that the coffee version is excellent). I use homemade vanilla syrup and a small pinch of ground cinnamon to infuse the drink with sugar, vanilla and spice. Combine the cinnamon and vanilla syrup with very hot coffee and allow it to steep for a minute or so to really release the aroma of the cinnamon.
The vanilla syrup is easy to make, but you can also make this with sugar, cinnamon and a few drops of vanilla extract. I recommend alcohol free vanilla, since you can add more of it to your drink than you can with regular vanilla to get a much more pronounved vanilla flavor without getting any unpleasant alcohol notes in your coffee.