Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Beanies Coffee Easter Baking Challenge ~ Coffee Baked Alaska

Beanies Coffee set bloggers an Easter baking challenge - use Beanies coffee in your recipe and showcase the different flavours available, and what can be done with them.

It was actually really hard to choose because the range is massive, but I decided on Vanilla Coffee, Cinnamon and Hazelnut Coffee and Death By Chocolate Coffee, and I've chosen to use these to make a classic that always entertains, but is considered outdated and rarely seen these days...

 Baked Alaska With An Easter Twist


Baked Alaska has several steps and that can make it seem really complicated, but it's not really. You just need sponge, ice cream and meringue put together in the right way. 

Mine is an adult recipe, it has coffee and 2 units of alcohol. It's not suitable for young children without adaptation. As my young children don't like the smell of coffee anyway, it's not a problem and they can have their own version.

Vanilla Coffee Ice Cream

 

I wanted to cheat and make a really simple ice cream using whipped cream, and I'll be honest, I've had 3 attempts and haven't quite got it right. The taste is gorgeous and I've removed any 'grainyness' but I'm not entirely happy with the texture as it's a little brittle. However it works really well in Baked Alaska (you actually couldn't tell at all).

Ingredients

200ml Full Fat Milk
3 Heaped Teaspoons Beanies Ground Vanilla Coffee
5 Heaped Teaspoons Sugar (50g)
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons (45ml) 40% proof alcohol e.g. Vodka
600ml Double Cream


Method

Heat the milk and 3 heaped teaspoons Beanies Ground Vanilla Coffee to almost boiling for a couple of minutes, stirring in the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat, cover lightly and leave in a cool place to steep for at least an hour.

Whip 600ml of double cream.

Add your alcohol to the coffee mixture and then sieve to remove coffee granules before adding it to the double cream. Whip it in gently until evenly mixed. Your mixture should now be fairly runny, but thick. Unsurprisingly just like melted ice cream.

Place in a suitable lidded container and freeze. Stirring shouldn't be necessary, but if you do stir it after 30,60 and 90 minutes you should remove any possibility of some of the coffee settling to the bottom.

Excuse the spoon!
The alcohol is to help prevent your ice cream setting to a solid lump and having crystals of ice throughout. When I didn't add it my ice cream tasted slightly grainy.

Death By Chocolate Coffee Sponge


I'm using a square 9inch cake tin and a 2 egg cake mix.

Ingredients

125ml Milk
3 Heaped Teaspoons Beanies Ground Death By Chocolate Coffee
120g Caster Sugar
120g Butter
2 Eggs
120g Self Raising Flour



Method

As with the ice cream this is made using an infusion, but of 125ml milk and 3 heaped teaspoons of ground coffee. Prepare that in advance as before by heating and leaving to steep.

Preheat the oven to 160c/320f/Gas Mark 3. Grease your cake tin and line.

Cream together the Butter and Sugar. Add the Eggs bit by bit, mixing in between. Add the Flour. Add the cooled Milk and Coffee mixture.

Bake for around 20-25 minutes until the cake springs back when you lightly press the top. Leave to cool.

 

Cinnamon & Hazelnut Coffee Italian Meringue

 

This was really a trial, but what we ended up with worked really well. I'm first using an Italian Meringue as that is made using beaten egg whites and sugar syrup, so it makes adding brewed coffee really easy. The recipe I'm using is freely available online including on BBC Food. HOWEVER, because you add coffee rather than clear water it actually doesn't whip up and hold shape as it should and will separate and lose volume, which is why you have 2 mixtures that you add together.

Meringue part 1

Ingredients

150g Caster sugar
50ml Strong brewed Beanies Ground Cinnamon & Hazelnut Coffee
2 Free-range eggs, whites only

Method

Prepare an infusion of coffee using 2 heaped teaspoons of ground coffee and 50ml water. Heat until near boiling for a good 5 minutes, leave to cool for at least an hour before you sieve to remove grounds. 

Whisk the egg whites until stiff and peaks form when the whisk is removed.

Heat the sugar and brewed coffee in a saucepan. Use a spatula to make sure no sugar is on the side of the pan as it'll be grainy in the meringue, and stir well throughout to prevent sticking and burning. As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 121C/250F (after around 3-4 minutes of boiling if you don't have a thermometer) remove the pan from the heat.

Immediately pour the sugar syrup in a steady stream into the egg whites whilst whisking very gently. Don't let the stream of syrup touch the beaters or splash on you in any other way as it's vicious and takes no prisoners. It'll stick to your skin and burn you badly. Continue beating the mixture for about 5 minutes until it's tepid, smooth and shiny.

Italian Meringue With Coffee mixture after 24 hours
This mixture should be left until cold before use, and will thicken on cooling before separating slightly. It can be covered and stored in the fridge for up to around 24 hours until needed.

Meringue part 2

Because the coffee meringue won't retain shape I found this was necessary. Do this step only when you're ready to assemble the Baked Alaska.

Ingredients

2 Eggs, whites only

Method

Whip the egg whites until really stiff - good enough to turn the bowl over. Add to the cooled coffee meringue mixture by folding together, don't whip it furiously as you'll lose stability.


Assembly of Baked Alaska.


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6


Place the cake on an ovenproof dish or tray. Pile the ice cream on top leaving a gap around the edges. I just dropped mine out of the flimsy plastic container it was in, it's more normal to remove it with a spoon.


Cover with the meringue, making sure it completely covers all of the ice cream and reaches the cake all around. I didn't risk a piping bag, so mine's a messy nest. Ensure you have a plateau on the top to add Easteryness afterwards.


Bake for 8-10 minutes until just golden brown.


Add Easter treats....and serve immediately.

Everyone liked this. The meringue carried the flavour really well, the ice cream was still well frozen as it should be and the coffee tastes were quite light, but distinct. The different flavours of coffee made for an interesting variety of smells. I'd have made my own job a lot easier by using instant coffee, which would have been easier to adjust for strength too, but the ground coffee is a really nice treat for us to enjoy as a drink, and I prefer a fairly subtle coffee taste to let all the flavours of the other ingredients come through.

I do think it looks more like a dinosaur nest than a bird's nest though.... but it's still Easter eggs!

Link up your recipe of the week

Romanian Mum

Casa Costello

I was sent my Beanies Coffees in order to take part in this Easter Baking Challenge. My teenagers taking their GCSE's are especially grateful.

25 comments:

  1. They look so yummy! U cook for me when u see me please!

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    1. Awww Eileen, of course I will. I'll make you a Birthday Cake for last Monday - and you can make me a steamed cake for last November :D

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  2. I have never tried to make baked Alaska, but it is lovely. Shape I don't like coffee or I would give this a try! Looks good though and something a bit different as a Easter celebration pud!

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    1. That is a shame - although I cannot stand any sort of tea and I don't feel Im' missing out, so I imagine you're the same. You can make Baked Alaska, just follow the instructions and leave out the coffee :)

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  3. Yum! You make such original deserts, I've never had this!

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    1. Really!! That's it then. You, me and Eileen for dinner. You can do curry for main, then Eileen's steamed buns, then my Baked Alaska. Sorted :D

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    2. Can I come too? I clearly have nothing to contribute but I'm sure I could sort something?

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    3. :D Sure you can - it wouldn't be the same without you!

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  4. baked alaska is a dessert i really want to make one day as i remember my mum making it once - just once - when i was a child and i LOVED it and yet I have never had it again!
    you have put so much effort into this baking challenge - well done you x

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    1. :D Aww, thank you! Make it, it's really not so hard. Because you make the sponge in advance and would normally buy the ice cream, you just need to make the meringue and put it all together, and it's not as scary as you might think - the ice cream stays frozen for about 20 minutes after it comes out of the oven! :)

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  5. I've never tried Baked Alaska before. It looks yummy and very different with the coffee flavourings in it.

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    1. It is yummy. I can't believe you've never had it! The mix of warmth and frozen ice cream is great :D

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  6. Oh wow, Baked Alaska, not had that in years, and your version sounds yummy!

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    1. Thanks Mary! It really hasn't been popular for a good few years now :D

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  7. Never ever had baked Alaska! sounds interesting though.

    thank you for linking up with #FridayFoodie x

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    1. It's nice, the mix of warm and freezing cold is really interesting in your mouth. Thank you for hosting the linky :)

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  8. That looks amazing. Can you make me Baked Alaska please? Good luck in the competition

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    1. Thanks Pippa - and yes, totally I'll make you a baked Alaska :)

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  9. Cor! This looks amazing. Surely a winner? I have never made Baked Alaska - I know, call myself a baker? I'm very tempted to try this recipe though. Thanks for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek

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    1. You're welcome, thank you for hosting and thank you for your lovely comments!
      I think Baked Alaska is overdue for a comeback :D

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  10. Replies
    1. Thanks Laura - you are lovely. It was delicious! :)

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  11. Oooh I love baked alaska and this one looks and sounds so yummy! x #BakeoftheWeek #RecipeoftheWeek

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    1. Thank you Kirsty! Nice to see someone else who enjoys it - I can't believe how many people have never tried it :D

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  12. This sounds so delicious!! I think I'll have to try this :)

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