My mother had a very large vegetable garden behind our family home in Amana, Iowa. Tending to this garden demanded much of my mother's time during the growing season. But, oddly enough, I have vague memories of my mother in her garden. Instead, my memories are of baskets (beautiful handmade Amana "bushel" baskets) full of produce set by the kitchen door... and the production that was always underway in my mother's kitchen.
The reason I remember the fruits and vegetables more than my mother actually working the garden is because she was usually finished with her weeding, watering, and harvesting before I even woke up... and I woke up early! My mother did her chores before the sun was high and summer's heat made tending a garden unbearable.
And after a good amount of work had been completed by my mother, there was always a mid-morning coffee break. Everything stopped, coffee was made, and some sort of sweet treat was served. Now when I bake brioche, cookies, tarts, etc., I wish my mother were here to enjoy it all with a cup of coffee, and me.
I've been stacking several of these Almond & Blood Orange Cookies on my husband's coffee cup saucer in the mornings. This is one of the best cookies I've made (and eaten) in a long time. And there's another bonus in addition to the wonderful taste -- the citrusy, almond-laced aroma in the kitchen after you bake these cookies.
My mother told me that when she was a little girl, she would receive a fresh orange in her Christmas stocking. We now take fruits like oranges for granted, having access to them year-round in our grocery stores. But in the early 1900's, that wasn't the norm by any means. It was very special, indeed, to be able to eat an orange in the winter. And I wonder what my mother would think of the
crimson-fleshed Blood Oranges. Their color and taste can't be beat. But be warned -- the Blood Orange growing season is short. Buy them now!
Coffee break with an Espresso Con Panna (a double shot of hot espresso with cold, softly-whipped, heavy cream on top).
recipe from Carrie Vasios | Serious Eats: sweets
+ Italian Almond & Blood Orange Cookies are served with Espresso Con Panna
NOTE: To toast the almonds, preheat oven to 325˚F. Spread the almonds onto a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, or until golden.
• 1/2 cup sliced, blanched almonds, toasted and cooled (see note above)
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg yolk (white reserved)
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 packed teaspoon blood orange zest (from 1 blood orange)
• 1 egg white (reserved from egg above)
• 1 1/2 cups sliced, blanched almonds
• Confectioners' sugar (for dusting)
1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the toasted almonds until the consistency of cornmeal. Transfer almonds to a mixing bowl; add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine and set aside.
2. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and blood orange zest; beat mixture to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the moist and beat until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and on a sheets of plastic wrap, roll each half into a log, 1 1/4-inch in diameter. Wrap each log in the plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Position oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place the reserved egg white in a medium-size shallow bowl (I added about 1/2 teaspoon water to the white; stir to combine). Fill another medium-size shallow bowl with the blanched almonds. Remove the cookie dough logs from the refrigerator. Using a sharp paring knife, slice each log into 1/4-inch pieces. Take a slice and dip one side in egg white (leave slice in egg white for about 10 seconds helps the almonds to adhere), then dip in the sliced almonds, pressing firmly into the almonds; place on baking sheets. Repeat with remaining cookie slices.
4. Place a cookie sheet on each shelf of the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden, switching position of the sheets half way through baking. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a cooling rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar.
TAKE a LOOK:
A gray, rainy day... perfect for baking. I LOVE IT! I feel as though it's been weeks (and it probably has) since I've had a day by myself, in my kitchen.
And doesn't chocolate always sound good on a cold, gray, rainy day? I made an espresso and chocolate batter, then filled muffin cups and financier molds. And to make them just a bit more decadent, I drizzled the little baked cakes with a bittersweet ganache.
And served them with hot chocolate + homemade marshmallows.
adapted from coffee journal | autumn 1996
MAKES 12 MUFFINS
• 3/4 cup milk
• 1/4 cup heavy cream
• 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
• 2 cups flour
• 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1 tablespoon instant espresso
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 egg, room temperature
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup grated bittersweet chocolate
PREHEAT OVEN to 350˚F
1. Position oven rack in lower-third of oven.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cream, and butter over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted. Set aside to cool.
3. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, espresso, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Whisk the egg and vanilla extract into the cooled milk mixture. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in grated bittersweet chocolate.
5. Fill 12 lined muffin cups with the batter (I filled 9 muffin cups and 9 financier molds) and bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Financier molds will take approximately 13 to 15 minutes.
6. If desired, drizzle the cooled cakes will chocolate ganache: Heat 3 ounces heavy cream until hot. Remove from heat. Add 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate and let set for a couple of minutes. Stir mixture until smooth. Spoon chocolate sauce over muffins.
TAKE a LOOK:
During the summer months, I'm rather lukewarm towards chocolate. Desserts made with berries and stone-fruit are what I'm craving. But once the temperatures cool, chocolate works its way back into my baking. I've been slowly rebuilding my chocolate inventory over the past few weeks, so when that chocolate urge hits, I have available what I need. Bittersweet, milk, and white chocolate are purchased in bulk. Natural and Dutch cocoa are picked up by the bagfuls at Penzey's. And semi-sweet chocolate chips, that have endless uses, are stored in a large French canning jar in my cupboard.
And, the chocolate urge just hit big-time. I've had this recipe on file for several months, and today was the perfect day -- cool and drizzly -- to mix up this intense chocolate batter. These are excellent with a glass of ice-cold milk. I know this to be true -- I ended up having two!
adapted recipe by Yvonne Ruperti | via Serious Eats
• 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon espresso powder
• 1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips, divided
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375˚F
1. Line 16 muffin cups with paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the eggs until thick and pale yellow. Mixing slowly, add the canola oil, milk, vanilla, and espresso. Increase speed, and mix just briefly, until well-combined. Add the dry mixture to the liquid at low speed and mix just until combined. Stir in 1 cup of the chocolate chips.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the 16 muffin cups. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips evenly over the batter.
5. Bake on the middle rack of preheated oven for approximately 18-20 minutes, or until done.
TAKE a LOOK:
I have been without my espresso machine twice this summer. The first time it was for two weeks. The machine needed a new solenoid valve which had to be ordered. I was too cheap to have the new valve air-expressed to the repair shop. I will never be too cheap again. I was miserable. I can no longer drink coffee. I attribute that to the high amount of acid that is typically in a drip coffee. During the slow brewing process more of the acidic parts of the coffee bean are released than with an espresso where hot water is quickly forced through a fine grind.
When I bought my Pasquini over four years ago, I was told that it's like an Italian sports car and would need the occasional tune-up. After the repairs earlier this summer, I figured I was good-to-go for at least a couple of years -- not the case. Last week, I again took my Pasquini to the shop. When I turned the machine on, it immediately shut off. After several attempts I gave up, assuming it needed a new switch -- not at all. The repair shop had my machine for over a week, turning it on daily and finding nothing wrong. I brought it back home and hold my breath every morning when I flip the switch. So far all is good, but I have a feeling it's just a matter of time before it's back in the shop.
I made the Peach & Cherry Breakfast Cake to serve this morning alongside my sacred cappuccino!
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, plus more for buttering the cake pan
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
• Slightly less than 1 cup, plus 2 additional tablespoons, granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Fresh peach slices and halved sweet cherries, approximately 2 cups total
1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan. I brushed melted butter over the bottom and sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom and 2-inch sides.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the 6 tablespoons butter with the slightly less than 1 cup of sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until just combined. Gradually pour in the dry ingredients and beat just until the mixture is smooth. Do not over-beat.
3. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and stud the surface with the peach slices and halved cherries. Sprinkle the fruit with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. I used a very coarse strawberry-flavored sugar I purchased in Paris. You can either use granulated sugar, or coarse turbinado sugar.
4. Place the cake on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325˚F, and continue to bake for an additional 50 minutes, or until the top is browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a rack before unmolding.
5. Serve slices of the cake with sweetened whipped* cream and a cherry.
* I added strawberry sugar to my whipping cream. Flavored Monin Sirop would be a good substitution.
TAKE a LOOK:
I have to say, I was thrilled when I woke up to rain. It was the perfect excuse to stay indoors. Our weather this summer has been hot and dry, which means that most of my days have been spent recently, working on outdoor projects. I'm good at projects for a while, but these have gone on far too long -- they have to end! With the luxury of time in my kitchen today, I caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and baked Cornmeal-Walnut Biscotti. The vegetables were for a Pissaladière -- a Provencal "pizza". And the Cornmeal-Walnut Biscotti -- well, I made those for a little treat with espresso in the afternoon, and as a mid-morning snack, but most importantly, to pair with a cappuccino when I first get up in the morning! I'm a big fan of cornmeal and walnuts, so these biscotti are pretty perfect as far as I'm concerned. The recipe is from Field Guide to Cookies by Anita Chu and I found it through David Lebovitz -- David's adapted recipe here.
And after the Cornmeal-Walnut Biscotti came out of the oven, I made an Espresso Con Panna. I've been hooked on these recently... TO MAKE: Pour about 1/4 cup cold, heavy cream into a small bowl. Using a small whisk, beat the cream until it starts to thicken -- you do not want it whipped into peaks, just thickened. Place the bowl of cream in the refrigerator to keep chilled and make a double espresso. Spoon the cream on top. I love the contrast of the hot espresso with the cold, thickened cream floating on top -- delicious! And be sure to serve a cornmeal biscotti alongside.
TAKE a LOOK:
Dinner at our neighbor's. I was asked to bring dessert.
A screened porch is a cherished possession in Minnesota, protecting you from mosquitoes and the elements. Fortunately, the rain and storms had ended by the time we sat down for dinner. It turned out to be a beautiful evening.
A salad with Fraises du bois, tiny alpine strawberries picked by our neighbor at a local strawberry farm.
Limoncello pulled from the freezer and served alongside the Torta Caprese with Espresso that I brought for dessert.
:: Torta Caprese with Espresso ::
and Lemon Mascarpone
a recipe from Arthur Schwartz's book, Naples at Table, and adapted by Rosanne Gold
• 16 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
• 12 ounces almonds
• 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 tablespoon espresso powder
• 6 extra-large eggs, separated
• 1 cup sugar, divided
• 6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
• 8 ounces mascarpone
• 1 large lemon, addition lemons for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F; position an oven rack in the bottom third of your oven. Use one tablespoons of the butter to grease the sides and bottom of a round, 10-inch cake pan with a removable bottom. (I used a 10 1/4-inch springform pan.) Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter the paper; set aside.
2. Melt the remaining 15 tablespoons butter and the semi-sweet chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring often. When the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from the heat. Divide the almonds in half. In the bowl of a food processor, grind both halves, along with 2 tablespoons sugar each, until powdery. Place ground almonds in a large bowl and stir in the espresso powder. Set aside.
3. With a mixer, beat the egg yolks until light in color and very thick. Add 1/2 cup sugar and continue to beat for 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and the almond extract, mixing well. Stir in the ground almonds and mix until fully incorporated.
4. In a medium bowl, beat the reserved egg whites with a pinch of salt until foamy, then add the remaining sugar and beat until stiff. Take half of the beaten egg whites and stir into the chocolate-almond mixture until well-combined. Repeat with the remaining egg whites. Pour into the baking pan and place in the lower third of the oven. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the top of the cake is firm and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Unmold the cake and invert onto a serving plate. Dust with 2 tablespoons of the confectioners' sugar.
5. To make the lemon mascarpone: Beat the mascarpone with the remaining confectioners' sugar. Grate the lemon zest and add to the mixture, along with 2 (or more) teaspoons of lemon juice. Decorate the cake with the lemon mascarpone. NOTE: While beating the mascarpone, I thinned it a little bit with heavy cream -- totally optional.
TAKE a LOOK:
When we moved to St. Paul, Minnesota some 26+ years ago, there was a French bakery in our neighborhood named Napolean's. It was good. Really good. Actually, no...I'd have to say it was exceptional. So exceptional, that even though it's been gone now for some 20 years, I still think about it whenever I pass by its incarnation (of which there have been many). To this day, there has not been a bakery in St. Paul that even comes close to producing the same quality of French pastries.
One winter when my daughter was about 4 years old, we had a huge snow storm. Suffering some cabin fever, I was desperate to get out and decided to go to Napolean's for a cappuccino and a treat, with promises to my daughter of hot chocolate. Of course, with the heavy snows, there was no way I was going to get in a car and drive. The chances of getting stuck were too great. I bundled up my daughter and myself, put her on a sled, and pulled her the approximate mile to Napolean's. After trudging through knee-deep snow with frigid, whipping winds, we arrived, only to find that it was closed -- due to the weather. (It never occurred to me to call first... duh!) The pastries and coffees served at Napolean's were worth risking life and limb (or at least frostbite).
One thing I always purchased on a visit to Napolean's was a cappuccino. But the cappuccino made there didn't consist of just espresso and steamed milk. There also happened to be a big chunk of chocolate at the bottom of the cup; plus... whipped cream on top! A café mocha, actually. And, it was divine!
It's what I've been making recently at home. Not every day, of course. Only when I feel I need a little treat.
• big chunk of chocolate
• double-shot of espresso
• hot steamed milk
• sweetened, whipped heavy cream
Serve with croissant aux amandes if possible
TAKE a LOOK:
"God in a Cup", a book by Michaele Weissman on "The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Coffee" are the words I will use to describe this amazing Espresso Mousse. The recipe by Michel Richard (yes, the equally amazing Yellow Tomato Tart Michel Richard) was created as a "breakfast sweets" item on his dessert menu and can be found in his book, Sweet Magic.
After beating the chilled ingredients, the mousse has a velvety, butterscotch-colored consistency, and is light as air. If you must hold the mousse for several hours, or up to one day, it will start to separate and become darker and more "foamy", but is still delicious. Use the best ingredients you can when making this. For my espresso I use a combination of half Kenya and half Sumatra beans, freshly roasted and freshly ground which result in a strong, slightly sweet brew. Top with a rich, organic, whipped heavy cream.
This Espresso Mousse will most definitely be on my New Year's Day menu!
:: ESPRESSO MOUSSE | recipe by Michel Richard
• 1/2 cup freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee, cooled to room temperature
•1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon dark rum ( I didn't have rum and used Cognac)
• 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
• 6 tablespoons chilled heavy cream
1. Stir together espresso, 1 tablespoon sugar, and rum in a large metal bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over mixture and let stand 1 minute to soften.
2. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and heat espresso mixture, stirring, until sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Set bowl into a larger bowl of ice and cold water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until mixture is pale brown and just holds stiff peaks, 8 to 12 minutes ( mixture will resemble foam). Spoon mousse into 4 glasses or coffee cups and chill at least 15 minutes.
3. Just before serving, beat cream with remaining teaspoon sugar until it just holds soft peaks. Spoon whipped cream over mousse.
:: Mousse can be chilled (loosely covered after 15 minutes) up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving.
TAKE a LOOK:
I was up before 5 a.m. this morning. The papers were being delivered, I started thinking about a cappuccino, and I just plain couldn't sleep any longer. The problem with that... it was Sunday morning! All week I anxiously look forward to Sundays and being a bit lazy, and laziness to me includes sleeping a little longer. By the time it was 10 a.m. I felt the urge to go back to bed, but instead, I made myself a second cappuccino, grabbed a few magazines, and headed outdoors for the patio.
One of the magazines, a 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine titled, PARIS ON A BUDGET, has an article on "Every Parisian's Favorite Cookie". No surprise, the favorite cookie is considered to be a French macaron. Oh yes, a display case full of colorful macarons can take your breath away when you enter a French patisserie; a macaron's taste, plus the texture of the crisp meringue and flavorful, chewy center can again, take your breath away... but my favorite French cookie, or maybe overall favorite cookie, sans French, happens to be this Sablé à l'Orange et Raisins (currants, in this case).
I have been making this orange and raisin cookie for several years, but it did not immediately steal my heart. The cookie can be made two ways -- either with the grated zest of one orange, or, with candied orange peel. It is much easier when making them on the spur-of-the-moment to grab an orange and simply grate the rind. This was what I had always done. Making candied orange peel is not at all difficult, but you do need to plan ahead if you intend to use it when making this cookie. The candied orange peel, however, is what finally won me over. Sablés à l'Orange et Raisins is not an overly sweet cookie (another reason I love it... my tastes have changed), and when you bite into the candied orange peel and get that intense jolt of pure orange flavor... well, for me, there's nothing better.
Sablés à l'Orange et Raisins
adapted from Paris Boulangerie Patisserie by Linda Dannenberg
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
• 1/3 cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 large egg yolk
• 2 tablespoons ground almonds
• 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup raisins or currants (I always use currants)
• 1/4 cup chopped, candied orange peel (recipe follows)
• 1 large egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for glaze
1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until light. Add the egg, egg yolk, and almonds in turn, mixing after each addition until well blended. Sift the flour with the baking powder and add to the butter mixture, mixing just until partially incorporated. Add the currants and orange peel and finish mixing the dough with a large rubber spatula just until blended. Be careful not to overmix. Divide dough in half, and place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll each piece of dough into a log 1-inch in diameter. Wrap entirely in the plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and slice each log in 1/8 to 1/4-inch pieces; place on prepared sheets. Brush the cookies lightly with the egg wash. Bake until light golden, about 13 minutes. Watch carefully so the cookies do not overbake.
3. Cool the pan briefly, then carefully transfer the cookies from the pan to the rack with a spatula. Cool completely. These cookies keep well, stored in an airtight container, up to 2 weeks, or frozen.
• I think the cookies taste better a day after baking, after the orange peel has time to infuse its flavor in the cookie.
Candied Orange Peels
adapted from Four-Star Desserts by Emily Luchetti
• 3 organic navel oranges
• 2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Thinly slice both ends from the oranges, and starting at one end, take a sharp knife and slice the entire length of the orange, taking off a piece that includes some of the white pith (about 1/4-inch thick). Continue, until all of the oranges have been peeled. Lay the pieces on a cutting board and slice them lengthwise into 1/4-inch pieces
2. Fill a medium saucepan with water. Over high heat bring the water to a boil. Add the orange peels and boil for 5 minutes. Strain the peels and discard the water. Fill the saucepan with fresh water and again bring it to a boil. Add the peels and boil for 5 minutes. Strain. Repeat this process of boiling the orange peels 2 more times, each time with fresh water. This will remove the bitter flavor from the peels.
3. In a clean medium saucepan dissolve 2 cups of the sugar in the 1 1/2 cups water and the lemon juice over medium-low heat. Add the orange peels and cook until all the peels are translucent, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Strain the orange peels and place them, so they are not touching, on a wire rack. Let sit overnight to air-dry.
5. Toss the citrus peels in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, coating them thoroughly.
• Store peels in an airtight container at room temperature.
TAKE a LOOK:
am finished, I think, with planning birthday parties and baking birthday cakes -- at least for the month of November. After having my father here for his 90th birthday celebration
early in the month, I just undertook a very big surprise party for my husband's birthday. (Also a big one.) You reach a point where you cannot eat any more buttercream frosting. I am now at that point.
This is, in my mind at least, the best buttercream frosting on the face of the earth -- Mocha Buttercream from Francois Payard's cookbook, Simply Sensational Desserts. It is very difficult for me to keep my fingers out of this buttercream while mixing, and then frosting the cake.
I can't imagine using this buttercream on any type of cake other than chocolate -- and that's not saying you can't do otherwise. I just happen to love
the combination of chocolate and coffee and wouldn't consider serving it any other way. The dark chocolate cake recipe I go to frequently (find it here) is from the September 1996 issue of Gourmet Magazine. I like it because... it's very, very GOOD! and...
it will make three 9-inch round cakes -- great if you're planning a party and are inviting a lot of people. The recipe for the Mocha Buttercream is shown below. Upcoming posts will show how I used the remaining dark chocolate cakes ( I mixed up enough batter to give me six 9-inch rounds to work with!) This 2 layer cake was decorated with copper-colored sugar stars and silver dragées that I brought back from Paris' La Grande Epicerie. Toasted, sliced almonds are also extremely delicious sprinkled on this buttercream.
recipe from Simply Sensational Desserts by Francois Payard
• 5 large eggs
• 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
• 1 1/4 pounds (5 sticks) (567 grams) unsalted butter, softened
• 1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons (4 grams) instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon (15 grams) hot water.
1. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, begin beating the eggs on medium speed.
2. Meanwhile, combine the sugar and 1/3 cup (78 grams) water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Insert a candy thermometer into the pan and cook until the syrup reaches 243˚F. With the mixer running, immediately pour the hot syrup down the side of the bowl into the eggs (avoid pouring the syrup onto the whisk, or it will splatter). Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until the eggs are cool and have doubled in volume, about 7 minutes.
3. Beat in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time (see note). Increase the speed to high and beat until the buttercream is shiny and smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract and the dissolved instant espresso. The buttercream can be used right away or placed in an airtight container and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature and beat with a whisk until smooth before using.
NOTE: Buttercream sometimes has a tendency to curdle. Here is a way to rescue it if the buttercream mixture should appear to separate at any point while you are adding the butter. Stop beating the buttercream and heat 2 tablespoons (29 grams) of heavy cream in a small saucepan. Whisk the hot cream into the buttercream to bring it together, then continue adding the butter.
TAKE a LOOK: