In the past few weeks I’ve been playing around with home roasting coffee, and boy is it a great learning experience. For any coffee lover this is an inexpensive and exciting way to broaden your knowledge on the topic.
It is as simple as buying an old-fashioned popcorn popper and unroasted beans from the net. I’ve bought all my beans from www.discountcoffee.ie where you can get 1kg bags of good quality coffee for as little as €10. There are great tutorials online but believe me its not to hard to do. It’s quite of like making popcorn in a pot; place the popcorn popper on full heat, wait until it gets smoking hot, pop the beans in, and continuously churn until you hear the first few pops.
It can take as long as 20 minutes for it to colour, and all the coffee beans to have popped. The coffee should be a dark chocolate colour, and the aromas will fill the house. Once all popped, remove the husk of the bean by shaking in a colander. Once cooled grind them in a coffee grinder. They will keep in an airtight container for up to a month before losing any of its flavour.
From your home brewed coffee here’s a great recipe for a show stopping yet simple dessert: Coffee Panna Cotta with Hazelnut and Orange Biscotti. If you’re not up for the whole coffee roasting business you can always just use a good shot of espresso.
Makes 5 pancottas and 10 biscotti biscuits
Coffee Panna Cotta
– 280ml double cream
– 210ml full fat milk
– 1 vanilla pod
– 4 gelatine leafs
– 150g caster sugar
– 50ml strong brew plunge coffee, or espresso
– 5 drops of orange bitters (optional)
Milk Gel Layer
– 150g full fat milk
– 1 1/2 gelatine sheets
1. Boil milk, cream, vanilla and caster sugar until boiling, then add in your coffee.
2. While coming to the boil bloom your gelatine, once the liquids have boiled add gelatine and put in glasses. I’ve used cocktail glasses here, but any glasses or moulds will work.
3. Set it in the fridge for 4 hours to set.
4. For the milk gel layer, bloom the gelatine and boil milk. Dissolve in the milk and pour 1cm on top of the set panacotta. This will give you a milk layer on top of the panacotta adding another dimension`.
Hazelnut & Orange Angostura Biscotti
– 175g plain flour
– ½ tsp baking powder
– 175g caster sugar
– 2 medium eggs
– 150 chopped hazelnuts
– Zest of one orange
– 6 drops of Angostura orange bitters
– 150g 70% chocolate
– Zest of one orange
1. Preheat oven to 170c. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
2. Make a well in the centre, Add the eggs and with your hands begin to work the ingredients into a dough , this can take up to five minutes to form an smooth and tight dough . Kneed the dough for a further two minutes on a floured surface
3. Roll into a large sausage shape and chill for 15 minutes.
4. Once chilled place in the preheated oven and back for 25 minutes
5. Once it has had its first bake take it out and cut into figures about 2cm in depth
6. Place on a backing sheet and back into the oven for a further 5 minutes. Once golden allow to cool.
7. Once cool melt the chocolate and dip the biscotti in the chocolate and add a sprinkle of orange zest.
8. Once your panna cotta and chocolate has set your ready to go. I’ve added some broken chocolate and an orange twill to dress it up.
Emma Spain is a pastry chef with a background in photography and journalism. She currently works in Two Cooks Restaurant, Sallins, and has previously worked in restaurants such as Locks Brassiere, The Brown Bear Restaurant in Naas, and Restaurant Story in London.