Nearly three decades ago when I was old enough to care about what went on in the kitchen of my parent's home, I would seek out this decadent aroma swirling there in the wee hours of the morning. It was the smell of coffee grounds doing their thing, percolating and bubbling their way to a glorious finish in my dad's well loved, tarnished stove-top coffee maker. I decided then that I would belong to the coffee camp all my life, a promise I have stayed true to nearly three decades on. I can't remember the number of years I have had my Nespresso coffee machine for, but I know it is a ritual I love waking up to. Every single day. It is also the one thing I miss most dearly on my camping trips and overseas holidays.
With an amazing array of capsules to choose from, the Ristretto being my absolute favourite; Nespresso often comes up with special limited edition flavours especially around Christmas. See, it IS the most wonderful time of the year! The new flavours always get me super excited because although I am a purist and a staunch Ristretto fan, the flavours are what I use to create delightful after-dinner concoctions and desserts. When Nespresso got in touch with me this year to collaborate on their limited edition Variations series that had Ciocco Ginger, Vanilla Amaretti and Vanilla Cardamom, I knew exactly what I wanted to make. A series of no-fuss, 20 minute desserts that would jazz up your Christmas (or any other!) gathering. I used the Ciocco Ginger for a Gingerbread Tiramisu Ice Cream, the Vanilla Amaretti for a lush Amaretti Mocha Mousse and the Vanilla Cardamom for a Hot Cardamom Cacao so thick, it is like hugging melted chocolate! Yum!
These desserts will become the hallmark of your dinner tables because they are a breeze to make. The ice cream is a winner because it is no-churn and literally tastes like Tiramisu and Gingerbread had a baby and froze it! And the Hot Cacao! Oh the Hot Cacao! Make this with the secret ingredient listed to create a mug of European style, rich, thick hot drink. I promise you will want to make it every single day. Don't forget to share your creations with me using the #cookrepublic
GINGERBREAD TIRAMISU ICE CREAM
- 250 g mascarpone cheese
- 200 g pouring cream
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 40 ml Nespresso Variations Ciocco Ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 3 tablespoons marsala
- 4 savoiardi biscuits, Italian sponge biscuits
- gingerbread men, to serve
- Place mascarpone, cream, vanilla and sugar in a metal bowl. Beat using an electric whisk until light and fluffy.
- Place coffee, ginger and marsala in a small bowl. Break each savoiardi biscuit into 4 pieces and add to the coffee mixture. Mix gently and quickly remove into the mascarpone bowl. Mix gently until just combined.
- Add biscuit mix to the whipped cream and mix well. Cover with a cling wrap and freeze for at least 1 hour or overnight. Alternatively, scoop ice cream mix into a air tight container and freeze for at least an hour before serving.
- Serve with gingerbread men.
AMARETTI MOCHA MOUSSE
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
- 1/3 cup (60 g) golden caster sugar
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) thickened or pure cream
- 40 ml Nespresso Variations Vanilla Amaretti
- fresh raspberries, to serve
- icing sugar, to serve
- Place chocolate in a large microwave safe bowl and melt on half power for about 3-4 minutes. Remove and stir with a silicone spoon until glossy and smooth.
- Place egg yolks, sugar, cream and coffee in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan. Whisk with an electric beater until smooth. Heat on low for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly until sugar has melted and the mixture starts to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Place egg whites in a dry, clean metal bowl. Beat with electric beaters until pale, fluffy and forming stiff peaks.
- Pour egg custard into the melted chocolate and mix with a silicone spoon until glossy and smooth. Fold the egg white slowly into the chocolate mixture. Mix gently until thoroughly combined and smooth.
- Scoop mousse into four, 125ml capacity jars/glasses. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Top with fresh raspberries and a dusting of icing sugar before serving.
THICK HOT CARDAMOM CACAO
- 2 cups (500 ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (60 g) cacao
- 1/4 cup (30 g) raw sugar
- 40 ml Nespresso Variations Vanilla Cardamom
- 1 green cardamom pod, bruised
- 2 tablespoon cornflour, mixed in 1 tablespoon hot water
- marshmallows, to serve
- extra cacao, to dust
- Place milk, cacao, sugar, coffee, cardamom and cornflour mix in a heavy bottomed saucepan on low-medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Discard the cardamom pod.
- Pour equally in 4 mugs. Top with marshmallows and dust with caco.
note - This post is sponsored by Nespresso. All opinions are my own.