Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cappuccino Steamer Debackle

While perusing the King Arthur Flour catalog the other night, I came across something called cappuccino steamers. The concept was new to me, but I found it quite intriguing. You place 2-3 of these fudge-like candies on a stick and swirl them into a mug of hot milk. Or just eat them right as they are. There is also a version for hot chocolate, but since I made the powdered mix, I went for the cappuccino flavored ones.

This is actually the second time this week I have made this recipe. The first was this past Sunday. And I totally messed them up!!!! I was trying to make a few different things at once and did something completely and utterly stupid. I didn't have espresso powder, so I figured that I could use coffee instead. My intent was good, but I was in such a rush I grabbed the wrong coffee...the real ground coffee, not the instant coffee. I was wondering why the coffee didn't dissolve in the sugar mixture, but didn't think it through at the time.

Then on Monday, I pulled the blocks out of the fridge and it hit me what I had done. As much as I hate throwing anything away, I knew there was no salvaging this one. What was I thinking?!? I wasted all that time and the ingredients, but I try not to beat myself up about it. There are always mishaps in the kitchen and I just need to move on from them. On the plus side, I can guarantee that I won't make that mistake again!!!!

Cappuccino Blocks
* 1 cup heavy cream, divided
* 1 tablespoon espresso powder
* 2 tablespoons corn syrup
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) vanilla bean crush or vanilla extract
* 2 cups chopped white chocolate
* 1 tablespoon cocoa, natural or Dutch-process
* 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder
* wooden sticks or stir sticks


1) Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and spray lightly with non-stick baking spray.
2) Place 1/2 cup cream in a medium saucepan. Add the espresso powder, corn syrup, salt, and sugar. Stir over medium heat until the espresso powder and sugar are dissolved and the mixture begins to boil.
3) Cover the pan and let boil for 3 minutes. Uncover the pan, and check the temperature; it should be 235°F to 240°F (soft ball stage). If it is, remove from the heat; otherwise let it boil for a minute or two more.
4) Once the mixture reaches 235°F to 240°F, add the vanilla. Be careful; it will splash and splutter when it hits the hot liquid. Set the mixture aside for about 10 minutes to cool.
5) Meanwhile, place the remaining 1/2 cup cream into a saucepan. Heat until it?s just beginning to steam.
6) Remove from the heat, and add the white chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes to melt. Then whisk vigorously until the mixture is shiny and smooth.
7) Add the sugar mixture to the chocolate mixture; stir to combine.
8) Combine the cocoa and ½ teaspoon espresso, and sprinkle the chocolate with some of the mixture.
9) Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, to set.
10) Turn the chocolate out of the pan and flip it over; sprinkle with the remaining cocoa/espresso powder blend.
11) Cut into 1" cubes. Stack two or three on a wooden stick. Roll in cocoa, or whatever you sprinkled on the top and bottom. Wrap in waxed paper, parchment or plastic wrap to store.

Yield about 64 blocks, 21 servings.

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