As is true of chocolate and vanilla, espresso is one of those flavors it’s nearly impossible not to get excited about. The list of its greatest-hits recipes spans from sweet to savory, from chocolate espresso bars to tiramisù. And hey, we’ll admit that something about our new coffee capsules has us obsessed with the caffeinated stuff in every incarnation. We’re daydreaming about silky affogato, espresso-spiked brownies, truffles, and even savory dishes like short ribs and brisket. Keep reading for ideas of how to insert more of a kick into all sorts of new dishes thanks to espresso.
If you’ve never tried an affogato, Italian for “drowned,” let today be the day you give it a shot, so to speak. It’s as simple as pouring your favorite espresso over vanilla ice cream. The espresso cools slightly, mingling with the vanilla sauce, and you can either drink or spoon up the results. (We’ve definitely drunk from the whole little cup before!) Top with whipped cream for extra credit.
Another heavy hitter from the Old World, tiramisù mingles a number of foods you might have forgotten you adore together: mascarpone, rum, ladyfinger cookies, cocoa powder, sugar, and heavy cream. Best of all, it’s ready in less than an hour, but guests will think you spent all afternoon on it.
Whether you’re making a frappe (rhymes with “thwap!”) out of milk, ice cream and sugar, as shown here, or with vanilla ice cream, it’s that much tastier when espresso is involved. Coffee and espresso milkshakes have an inimitable charm, and making them at home is as easy as turning on a blender.
Pro tip: Espresso (like coffee) is the marinade ingredient dreams are made of. Consider it for your next short rib marinade, or let it pinch-hit when you see coffee called for in a recipe. It adds a sort of lightly bitter depth to a marinade for pork or beef, particularly when cocoa or other sweet-savory players are involved.
Coffee and brisket are a dream team together, and this recipe from Philadelphia chef Michael Solomonov is no exception. If you’re playing around with the combination of ingredients at home, consider espresso for an even more intense hit of flavor. Generally speaking, espresso is a marvelous foil for meats such as pork, beef and even lamb.
“Walnut espresso torte with burnt orange caramel” is a recipe name to get excited about. Not only is this a gorgeous and impressive dessert to serve to guests, it combines completely unexpected flavors to delightful effect. You might have tried chocolate and orange together, but espresso and orange is just as tasty, if not more so. This torte has an espresso-walnut base that bakes up surprisingly elegant and rich. Serve with espresso on the side, of course.