Coffee-Caramel Crème Mini-Puffs

The lazy afternoon stretched forever. I didn’t feel like putting down my book and pulling the curtains apart to let in the sun. But the room had become cold…it had been raining all morning. I had been craving creme puffs since an early breakfast, but had somehow resisted rushing off to the kitchen. Instead, I went through all the cookbooks looking up all the cream puff recipes. And I made these mini-puffs with a coffee creme filling and icing, for tea.

For the puffs I like using David Lebovitz’s recipe for pâte à choux, or Pierre Hermé’s choux recipe for his Chocolate Éclairs.

I added an extra tablespoon of confectioner’s sugar to make the mini-puffs sweeter.

Coffee Caramel Crème:

– Half cup heavy cream

– 3 tablespoons of brown sugar

– Half a teaspoon of freshly ground coffee (or espresso powder)

– 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

– 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

– Half a teaspoon ground cinnamon

Bring the cream to a boil. Add the coffee, butter, vanilla essence and cinnamon and stir well. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for five minutes. Meanwhile, melt the sugar in a bain-marie until it becomes toffee-like (I’m a certified expert in burning caramel at this point, but I’m sure you’ll be more careful!).

Add the caramel to the cream mixture and stir well. I like to keep the icing (or if you use it as a filling) a little swirly, but that depends on you really. Smother the mini-puffs in the creme and chill in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.

Sugar-Kissed Goodness

I am currently completely hooked on to Cafe Coffee Day’s Cookies. They have a range of Chocolate Chip, Honey & Oatmeal, and “Completely Eggless!” ones in pretty brown and yellow tins. Super fattening and not cheap.

My kind of food, ye-ah!

Anyway, my brother and I managed to polish off the last of the cookies yesterday and two hours later I was already craving for more. So…I watched some television, got some butter and eggs home-delivered and…made cookies! The generous amount of cinnamon in these warms up your throat and the raisins add chewyness.

These cookies remind me of college, when we’d try out sugar-cookie recipes at Adi’s place with a microwave (they used to turn out super-soggy) and make spinach & feta dim sums (a watery lot) with the help of an old idli steamer.

Cookie batter:

– 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

– 1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder

– 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder

– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– 2 teaspoons cornstarch

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

– 2/3 cup granulated sugar

– 1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon

– 3 teaspoons finely chopped raisins

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 2 eggs

– 2 teaspoons honey

Mix the butter and sugar well till the mixture turns almost white…almost. Add the eggs and beat well.

Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add the butter-egg mixture in. Add honey and stir hard. I like my cookies to be lumpy, but for a smoother batter you could pop it into the processor. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.

Spoon out dollops of batter on a greased baking tin, leaving enough space between each dollop to allow them to spread. Bake for 15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350° C. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle generously with icing sugar.