While nothing beats a shot of fresh espresso in the morning, instant espresso powder is the way to go when you are cooking and want to enhance a dish with that unmistakable espresso flavor and Geoffrey Zakarian agrees. The Food Network star and chef/partner of Point Royal and Counter Point at Diplomat Beach Resort shares his tips for espresso, and how to create delicious desserts for the holiday season.
“I’ve had a 45-year-long love of all sorts of coffee, but espresso gets right to the point,” he said. “It details all the qualities and rituals of coffee in one distinct package.”
Instant espresso, not to be confused with instant coffee, is actually dried espresso grounds that have been converted into powder.
Adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of instant espresso can highlight a chocolate recipe wonderfully. If you choose to add more than that when cooking, the coffee flavor will really come through and, in some cases, overpower other ingredients.
Zakarian recommends storing espresso tightly closed in the pantry for up to one year, keeping it away from moisture and to choose an Italian brand for the deepest flavor.
Get baking for the holidays with Zakarian’s Espresso Biscotti, adapted from his cookbook My Perfect Pantry: 150 Easy Recipes from 50 Essential Ingredients.
Makes about 3 dozen biscotti
2½ cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp instant espresso
1 Tbsp natural cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
3 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
½ cup slivered almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, espresso, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the eggs and yolk and sugar on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and mix until dough forms. Add zest and almonds and mix to combine.
2. Halve the dough and form into two 12-inch-long logs, 3 inches apart, on the baking sheet. Bake until puffed and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and move to a cooling rack. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees.
3. Let cool until you can handle the logs (they should still be soft to the touch). With a serrated knife, cut on a slight bias into ½-inch-thick biscotti. Arrange biscotti on baking sheet and bake until firm on the top side, 10 to 12 minutes. Flip and bake until the other side is firm, 10 to 12 minutes more. Cool completely on baking racks.