Monday, June 15, 2009

Espresso Pots de Creme with Pistachio Biscotti

For those of you following our Coronado Concert in the Park Culinary Challenges, yesterday’s Challenge was “Nuts & Balls”…food containing nuts and/or shaped like balls. I didn't come up with this one, but there were many options. However, with my recent Gyoza "reveal" for The Daring Cooks' June Challenge, I decided to take it easy this week with a fairly simple, but delectable dessert headlining pistachios.

The June gloom burned off by noon, the weather was absolutely beautiful, and Breez’n played a great mix of music. The Nuts & Balls offering included: Two varieties of Cheese Balls rolled in nuts; Chicken Meatballs sprinkled with almonds; Grilled Chicken, Sausage and Vegetable Salad with pinenuts; Floating Melon Balls in vodka aka Ballaritas, Apple and Blueberry Crumble with pecan and granola topping; and...
My Espresso Pots de Crème with Pistachio Biscotti

Espresso Pots de Crème

Egg yolks and strained coffee cream and vanilla before tempering the egg yolks and sugar mixture

I have a set of 12 of these little cups, from Crate & Barrel Outlet, and they are perfect for miniature desserts. I drizzled a little more strong coffee over the tops before baking. They look like baby lattes!

After baking, they look like this - sort of Crème brûlée-ish

Pistachio Biscotti

Make the dough and stir in the pistachios

Divide the dough and form into two logs

Bake the logs, slice diagonally into 1" pieces and bake again briefly on both sides. Here they are plated at the Park

Espresso Pots de Crème with Pistachio Biscotti
Slightly modified from Tyler Florence's Real Kitchen

Espresso Pots de Crème

3 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole black coffee beans
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons brewed espresso coffee, cold

(Notes: I didn't feel there was enough espresso flavor, so I added a tablespoon of instant espresso powder to the saucepan as the cream, vanilla and coffee beans simmered. Crushing the coffee beans slightly would also help enhance the flavor)

Pistachio Biscotti

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup pistachios, toasted


Combine cream, vanilla, coffee beans [and espresso powder if using] into a saucepan and bring to a brief simmer over medium-low heat. Do not let it boil. Remove from heat and strain into medium bowl to remove coffee beans.

In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until egg yolk is light yellow, about 3 minutes. Temper the yolks by gradually adding and whisking the cream mixture into the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Whisk in the the brewed coffee.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Transfer the custard into a glass measuring cup and pour the custard into ramekins (my custard filled 11 small ramekins). Carefully place the ramekins in a large, shallow baking pan and fill with 1/2 inch of hot water (to prevent the ramekins from sliding around, put a thin dish towel on the bottom of the baking pan). Bake about 35 minutes. The center should jiggle slightly. Remove from oven and let cool, with the ramekins still sitting in the water, for 10 minutes. Take the ramekins out of the water and transfer to another holding container and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

For the biscotti, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. With the mixer running, gradually add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla, and mix until creamed. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, mix in the pistachios.

Put dough on lightly floured surface and cut in half. Roll each half into a log, about 12 inches long and 1 inch high. Place logs on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes. Let the logs cool for 5 minutes, transfer carefully to a cutting board, and slice each log diagonally into approximately 12, 1 inch-thick pieces. Put the cookies back on the baking sheet and bake again for 5 minutes; turn the cookies over, and bake for another 5 minutes.

Serve the Espresso Pots de Creme with the Pistachio Biscotti on the side for dipping.

This dessert is so luxurious, light, silky and creamy, and relatively guilt-free in small portions. It also reminds me of another dessert favorite, Thomas Keller's Coffee & Doughnuts!


Chocolate Shavings said...

Those sound delicious, I love the pairing of biscotti with the pot de creme!

Rose said...

YUM this looks delicious! Love those little cups :)

Anonymous said...

how cute are these? So cute!