Coffee Dessert Recipes

 

WHERE AND HOW DO I ENTER?

To enter online at the OC Fair Competition site;

1. Go to: http://www.ocfair.com/competitions/How_to_submit.aspx2.
2. Click on Culinary/Beer/Wine
3. Down load PDF of the online Culinary Arts Guide
4. Read all the Guidelines on page 2 and 3.
5. Entry information on the Blog Post Recipe Contest is on page 13.
6. When you enter, provide link to the post in the description line of the online entry form.
7. You may enter 1 entry in each category.

WHERE IS THE CHURRO RECIPE?

churro

The contest is new, but the churros are from an old post I did last year on the opening day at the fair. To get the recipe and read more about the Orange County Fair, click here.

My Favorite Coffee Recipes

ground coffeeCoffee has been gaining popularity in the past years. From speciality coffee stores on every corner to our favorite coffee subscription out of New Mexico, it’s no wonder that it has become a popular flavor for other foods. Coffee also has a ton of health benefits that include the most known benefit of increased energy and focus. Drinking coffee can also help burn fat, fight depression, and prevent certain types of cancers. It has also been said that coffee can help prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as diabetes. For those of us who swear by a strong cup of joe to get us going in the morning, it goes without saying that coffee is a big part of our morning routine and has a permanent spot there- but what if it can be part of our evening routine, as well? Here are 3 delicious coffee-infused desserts to make your mouth water.

Espresso Brownies

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
6 cups espresso coffee

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Prepare an 8 inch square cake pan by covering the bottom with parchment paper and then buttering the sides.

3. Mix cocoa, flour and salt together.

4. Melt chocolate and butter together, and add sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition until they are completely incorporated.

5. Fold dry ingredients into chocolate mixture with a wooden spoon.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until outside is crunchy, but inside is still moist and soft.

7. Let cool in cake tin for 4 hours, and remove. Garnish with espresso.

Tip: Espresso can also be mixed right into the batter. Simply add it to the dry ingredients and follow the next steps.

Coffee Walnut Shortbread Bars

1 1/2 cups butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup cornstarch
2 cups flour
2 tbsp ground coffee
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 vanilla beans, no seeds
1 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

1. Combine butter, icing sugar, corn starch, sea salt and vanilla.

2. Add flour and coffee slowly.

3. Add the walnuts.

4. Mix and bake in an 8-inch square cake pan.

5. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until edges are golden brown and firm to the touch.

Chocolate Espresso Pot de Creme

1 cup and 2 tbsp dark chocolate, chopped small or slivered
1 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp Kahlua liqueur
1/4 cup prepared espresso coffee
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp butter
8-10 espresso cups
Crushed raspberries

1. Place chocolate in a large bowl

2. Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a medium sized sauce pan, and then add Kahlua and espresso. Allow mixture to be heated thoroughly and then pour over chocolate in bowl.

3. Let mixture sit for 1 minute and then stir it together gently. Add the egg yolks. Add butter one table spoon at a time until it is all mixed into the batter.

5. Place raspberries into bottoms of empty espresso cups.

4. Pour chocolate mixture into espresso cups and chill for 2 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

Tip: Fresh out of espresso cups? No problem. Small dessert wine glasses or shot glasses are good substitutes.

Nothing is better than coffee in the morning- except for coffee in your dessert, of course.

So preheat that oven, get cooking, and enjoy!

Fall Fest: Roasted Apple and Squash Soup

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Do you ask yourself, what’s in season?
Do you know the difference between availability and seasonality?
Have you been to the farmer’s market lately?

Answering these simple questions can change your direction as a cook and you might even find your food tastes better, much better. Here in Southern California, because of our Mediterranean climate, the transition from summer to fall is a little slower than most other places where the weather has already changed dramatically. There are farmer’s still selling strawberries and pushing out the last crop of heirloom tomatoes and peaches. Of course it is nothing compared to the bounty of summer, but like a street vendor trying to sell you a knock off Gucci purse, they are nonetheless, trying to convince you that their fruit is delicious and you have to take it home. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to eat peaches in October any more than I want to see Santa Claus on the 4th of July! I’m ready for fall food and have no appetite for spring asparagus or summer berries.

Remember- just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Apples are a perfect example of availability vs. seasonality. There is never a shortage of apples, an apple picker’s strike, or ever a fear they might run out. You can pretty much find apples everywhere from the grocery store to a Mc Donald’s Happy Meal – apples are available twelve months out of the year. Right now is apple season and there is no comparison to the flavor of an in season apple. If you have ever bit into a crisp, perfectly sweet, tart, juicy, apple that drips down your chin- then you know what I’m talking about. These are just a few of my favorites; Braeburn, Jonathan, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, Cameo, and Jazz.

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This apple squash soup is a staple on my fall menu, both my clients and family adore it. I’ve tried many different ways over the years to perfect the combining of these simple ingredients- simmering, sweating, thickening, pureeing… The method I ended up with that produced the best flavor? …roasting. I roast the onions, squash and apples to caramelize the natural sugars, and then puree everything with a bit of broth, season … and it’s done. It’s a warm and comforting balance of sweet and savory flavors with just a slight earthiness from the herbs. It’s wonderful with a basket of crusty bread for lunch or paired up with some spicy bratwurst or chicken apple sausages for dinner.

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Roasted Apple and Squash Soup
serves 6 dinner size portions

3 pound butternut squash- peeled, seeded and cut into large dice pieces
4 sweet/tart apples- peeled, cored, and cut into large dice pieces
1 cup yellow or white onion- cut into large pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sage

4 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Adjust rack to the upper third of the oven
Place squash, apples, and onions onto a lined baking sheet
Toss with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and sage
Place into the oven and roast for approximately 15-20 minutes or until fork tender and slightly golden brown
Remove from the oven and place half of the roasted, onions apples and squash in a blender
Carefully puree in batches with chicken broth and pour into a large soup pot
Simmer soup over low heat and season with nutmeg, thyme leaves and adjust seasoning with the last teaspoon of salt
If soup is too thick it can be adjusted with additional chicken broth or water
Serve warm

Churros with Cinnamon Orange Dipping Sauce

pie eatingCaramel apples, cotton candy, deep fried frog legs, giant turkey legs, deep fried Klondike bars, funnel cakes, zucchini wienies, and last but not least…cinnamon sugar kissed- Churros. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m talking about “fair food”. As many of you know I work as a private chef which allows me the freedom to explore a variety of different opportunities. Most recently I was asked if I might be interested in working at the Orange County Fair here in Southern California. With naivety and childish anticipation I agreed. The fair opened last Friday, and I’m not sure I’ve caught my breath. In a nutshell this has turned out to be, by far, the largest catering event I’ve ever been a part of.
pie eating - 2Weeks before the fair actually opens the fairgrounds begin to buzz and day by day from the ground up the fair becomes a city of it’s own. Busy streets, lights, music, racing golf carts, cranes and trailers. Until all hours of the night, each branch of the fair is hustling to create something magical. I’ve experienced more in the last 4 weeks than I can even begin to wrap my mind around. We transformed our 22,000 square foot empty airplane hangar into a culinary arena, including a kitchen stage, ice museum, and a replica of Julia Childs’ kitchen. As soon as we had finished this monumental transformation, our attention shifted to a 6:30AM shift of receiving jams, pickles, jellies, brownies, cookies, and cakes for the contests. I have to admit that judging day was my favorite. I learned from women who had been cooking for 50-60 years how to taste a pickle and how to know if a strawberry was fresh when it was made into preserves.

I’ve also learned that people LOVE pie eating contests and winning a first place blue ribbon for your peach jelly is priceless. I have a new found respect and genuine adoration- let’s call it… a love a “fair” that I never would have imagined. The fair is so much more than rides, music, art, and food…It’s a gathering of the community, it’s tradition. I am proud to say that I am the 1st “Orange County Fair Chef” 2010. Yup that’s me, Louise Mellor – chef – carny- fair folk. It was only fitting that my first demonstration on stage would pay tribute to the fair, so I did – Churros with Cinnamon Orange Dipping Sauce.

Churros
1 cup water
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
canola oil

1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a medium sauce pot bring water, butter, salt and sugar to a low boil
Add in flour and stir until mixture comes together and begins to roll into a ball and becomes shiny
Turn off heat and continue to cook, stirring for an additional 2 minutes
Remove from heat and allow to cool
Once cooled but still warm stir in eggs and vanilla one at a time until incorporated ( you may use a mixer or stir by hand)
Place dough into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip
Heat 2-3 inches of canola oil to 375 degrees in large heavy bottom pot or a shallow saute pan with high sides
Carefully squeeze 3 inches of pastry dough into the hot oil, cutting off each churros by swiping off at the tip with your finger or a knife.
Oil will bubble around the churros vigorously- when bubbles begin to die down and churros are golden- flip over and repeat, about 1 minute on each side.
Place cooked churros onto paper towel to drain off excess oil and toss in sugar and cinnamon
Serve warm

Chocolate Sauce
8 oz of semisweet chocolate
8 oz heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of 1 orange

In a small sauce pot warm cream with cinnamon stick and zest- for about 5-10 minutes
Place chocolate into a bowl and pour strained cream over the chocolate- allow to sit for 5 minutes
Whisk smooth and serve warm