Ok fellow rebels, today’s post is going to be short, sweet (of course), and to the point because I have the plague (my third sickness in 30 days. I am less than happy about this, and it’s a doozie), and not much energy to write with my usual gusto. It still didn’t stop my massive sweet tooth from dictating what I chose to make for the blog this week, though. It’s all based on the most delicious digestif I had in NOLA over Christmastime. It was called “Almost Famous Yummy Coffee” and it definitely lived up to its name. This drink had Bailey’s Irish Cream, Tia Maria (a delicious liqueur made from Jamaican coffee beans, rum, vanilla, and sugar), and Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) mixed with hot coffee and topped with whipped cream and a cherry.
I can’t remember if I only had one or if I drank two, but I would have been a fool to only drink one because it was such a delicious concoction. And I’ve been pining away for it ever since. So it should be no surprise that I wanted to recreate it. Unfortunately we don’t have Tia Maria on the island (I actually called around trying to find it) so I can’t make the actual drink (yet!), but an opportunity did present itself. Did you know that January 2 was national cream puff day, and that January 3 was national chocolate covered cherry day? Oh yeah! I decided to pounce on those ideas for sure. I recreated my delicious coffee drink as a cream puff.
I started by baking a whole bunch of cream puff shells and filled them with a coffee and Frangelico mousse. This is where my tip of the week comes in: When you’re mixing together two ingredients of different textures (like you do with mousse) and you want the end result to be fluffy, you need to use the rule of thirds to maintain the volume. Start by spooning out ⅓ of the “fluffy stuff” (whipped cream, meringue, etc.) and fold it into the “solid stuff” (pastry cream, macaron base, etc.) to soften up the texture without deflating the entire amount of the fluff. After you fold in the first third (keep in mind that you don’t exactly have to fold it. You can be pretty vigorous with this step.) the textures will be much more similar and therefore easier to blend together without much force. This will preserve “the fluff” of the remaining ⅔ of the fluffy stuff and will keep your end product light and airy.
Now let’s talk about this whipped cream. I wanted to make sure that the coffee flavor really came through in this dessert, so in addition to the coffee pastry cream, I added coffee AND Frangelico (lots and lots of Frangelico) to the whipped cream to enhance the booziness (that’s actually a word!! OMG, I am SO surprised that I didn’t get a red underline on that one!) to keep it true to the original drink flavor. Once I mixed it with the coffee pastry cream it became a very pipable substance and filled the cream puff shells beautifully.
Before I folded it in to make the mousse, I reserved some of the coffee Frangelico whipped cream to use as a topping to hold on the chocolate covered cherries. I also had some chocolate left over from the chocolate covered cherries, so I used it as a drizzle on top, too, just to make it pretty. I wanted to get all artsy about my photography and take a photo of one with a bite taken out of it. I got a little carried away and ate the whole damn cream puff without ever snapping a photo... Whoops. Just believe me when I say that it was a delicious boozy bite of heaven and I can’t wait to tear into the entire pile of puffs I created.
But before I do that, I’m going to crawl back under a blanket with a mug of echinacea tea and my trusty stuffed panda bear to finally beat this nasty cold/plague thing that I have, and then I will happily finish off my boozy coffee cream puff pile.
Happy eating, y’all!
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