Yield: one 9-inch tart
“Back to Baking”, pp. 119
So many months have gone by without me baking from the cookbook, or almost nothing at all for that matter. My boyfriend was on a no-sugar diet (self-imposed!) and thus I had much left motivation to bake something just for myself. However, I recently rewatched Julie & Julia and felt inspired to go Back to Baking (hehe…), which was how this blog started in the first place. As my boyfriend is now eating sugar again, thank the dessert gods, I asked him what he would like me to bake for him and he was keen on trying the mocha latte mousse tart. I do not like coffee at all, but I did it anyways because love.
This tart is very pretty-looking and quite fun to make. I enjoyed making the different components of the tart and the mousse was particularly enjoyable to whip up. The different textures (crunchy shell, soft ganache and airy mousse) also make it a pleasure to eat. I chose to not add cinnamon because I thought that it wasn’t necessary and honestly at the end I forgot about it because we just wanted to try a piece. A point to note is that I found that the ganache layer was a bit thin relative to the crust and the mousse. You could probably multiply the ingredients for the ganache layer by 1.5x or even double it if you would like a thicker ganache layer. Perhaps I am biased due to my preference of chocolate over coffee! Even though I don’t like coffee, I still liked this tart. I wouldn’t have too many pieces of it because the flavour is quite pronounced, but I enjoyed it anyways. My coffee-loving partner simply adored it and did a lot of damage to the tart in a matter of days. A must-try if you know anyone that enjoys coffee and/or dessert!
Ingredients for ganache layer:
Ingredients for latte mousse:
- 2 tablespoons hot, strong coffee
- 1 ½ tablespoons instant coffee granules
- 2 teaspoons gelatin powder
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- Ground cinnamon, for garnish (optional)
- For the ganache layer, place the chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small pot to just below a simmer, then pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then gently stir the mixture until the chocolate has melted.
- Pour the ganache into the cooled crust and spread it evenly across the bottom. Chill while preparing the latte mousse.
- For the latte mousse, stir the hot coffee with the instant coffee in a large bowl until it is melted.
- In a small bowl, stir the gelatin powder and cold water and let sit for 1 minute.
- Add the gelatin mixture to the hot coffee and stir until dissolved. If it does not dissolve completely, re-heat the coffee over low heat.
- Stir in the condensed milk and vanilla extract, and cool to room temperature.
- Using a hand or stand mixer, whip the cream to a soft peak and fold this into the cooled coffee mixture.
- Note: The mousse will be very fluid. This is normal.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and chill in the pan for at least 3 hours. Sprinkle the top of the tart with cinnamon, if desired, before removing the outer ring of the pan and serving. Enjoy!
Yield: about 16 squares
“Back to Baking”, pp. 54
Brownies are probably one of the most universally loved desserts. Understandably. They mostly consist of chocolate, butter and, often, nuts. The simplicity of this type of dessert is what makes it so well loved. The twist in Anna’s recipe includes whole wheat (to make us feel a little less guilty of eating these delicious brownies), coffee and a cream cheese frosting. I really enjoyed making and eating these brownies. They were moist, delicious but, alas, very rich due to the cream cheese frosting. A couple of bites quickly fill you up (which means they last longer, no problem there)!
Ingredients for brownies:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 4 oz (120 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 3 oz (90 g) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted
Ingredients for frosting:
- 3 oz (90 g) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 1/2 package (4 oz or 125 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, making sure that the paper goes up the sides of the pan.
- In a saucepot over low heat, melt together the butter, chocolates and instant coffee, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the sugar, vanilla extract and the eggs one at a time, making sure to stir after each addition.
- Add the flour, baking soda and salt into the chocolate mixture. MIx well until homogeneously combined.
- Stir in the walnut pieces.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 35 minutes, just until the top of the brownies have a dull finish to them. Cool the brownies completely in the pan before frosting.
- For the frosting, melt the chocolate, butter and instant coffee in a metal glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir until melted.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer to soften and then add the chocolate mixture. Beat until blended.
- Add the icing sugar and mix to combine.
- Remove the brownies from the pan and ice the top. Let the frosting set for at least one hour before slicing.
Notes from Anna:
- To toast the walnuts, spread the nuts on an ungreased baking tray and bake them at 350°F for about 10 minutes, until they are golden brown.
Yield: 4 individual servings
“Back to Baking”, pp. 316
For New Year’s Eve I was receiving my best friends for dinner. For this special occasion marking the end of an eventful year, I was looking for a special dessert that would be liked and appreciated by my friends. Since I knew that the dinner itself would be quite filling, I was looking for a light dessert – not too rich nor too heavy. After flipping through the pages a couple of times, I came across a lifesaver recipe that is a traditional dessert loved my most: pudding! This creamy mocha pudding was simple to make, light and very tasty. In addition, it has the benefit of being egg-free, gluten-free and it is low-fat and low in sugar! The coffee taste was a bit too present for a non-coffee drinker like myself, but the pudding was delicious nonetheless (I think the coffee granules that I used also had a strong taste by themselves). I personally doubled the recipe to have larger portions and garnished it with blueberries. This dessert was a nice ending to a wonderful meal amongst friends!
- 2 cups 1 % milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
- 1/4 cup brewed coffee, at room temperature
- 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cocoa powder, for garnish (optional)
- In a small saucepot over medium heat, bring the milk, sugar, chopped chocolate and coffee powder to a simmer, whisking occasionally until the chocolate has melted and the coffee powder has dissolved into the milk.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cool coffee, the cornstarch and vanilla extract.
- Gradually whisk the cornstarch mixture into the hot milk. Whisk this over medium heat until it returns to a simmer and thickens, about 4-6 minutes.
- Pour the pudding into 4 small serving dishes and place plastic wrap over each dish, making sure that it touches the pudding directly. This is to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the pudding until chilled, at least 3 hours. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and garnish, if desired, with cocoa powder or small fruits.
Notes from Anna:
- Adding coffee to chocolate is an efficient way to provide a richer taste to the chocolate without using too much sugar or fat.