A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Puro Coffee to see if I would like to review some of their Fairtrade coffee products and try them out in my baking.
Being somewhat of a coffee fiend I jumped at the chance – I drink at least 4 cups a day, virtually all of the cakes and bakes you’ve seen on here have been eaten accompanied by a cup of coffee, and I am also a big fan of coffee flavoured cakes and desserts – this coffee and walnut cake is one of the best I’ve made a while and coffee ice cream is one of my favourite indulgences.
I loved how my hamper of goodies arrived – carefully packaged in a hessian sack, tied with a lovely flower, with handwritten labels describing each coffee. Included were three packs of coffee – Puro Organic, Puro Noble and Puro Fuerte – some sachets of hot chocolate and sugar, a set of cappuccino and espresso cups and saucers and even a Puro bookmark – I can finally stop using random shopping receipts to keep my place, excellent!
When Puro first contacted me they gave me a bit of background info about the company – founded in 2005, they source Fairtrade and organic coffee, and work with the World Land Trust to protect areas of rainforest in Equador, Columbia and Brazil, and sell coffee both directly to consumers and through a number of cafes and restaurants.
I know not everyone reading this will be interested in the Fairtrade side of things, but if you would like to find out more about Puro’s story you can watch a video, here.
It took me a little while to sample everything but now I have I can safely say that all of the coffees are as delicious as they are environmentally and socially conscious. My favourite was the Puro Fuerte, a dark roast which is exactly the kind of kick you need first thing in the morning! The hot chocolate I wasn’t so keen on, as it seemed a little overly sweet for my liking, but then I think you’re always better off making your own blend anyway.
When it came to using the coffee in baking, the first thing that came to mind was tiramisu. It’s something that has been on my to-bake list forever, and what better motivation to make it than a sack full of coffee?!
There seem to be a huge amount of variations on what is essentially a very simple recipe, but in the end I settled on The Purple Foodie’s recipe, which seemed fairly traditional and uncomplicated.
I scaled down the savoiardi biscuits by two thirds and the marscapone filling by a half, and used pure coffee with no alcohol – apparently this is the true Italian way, although if I made it again I think I would add something just to give it a little extra punch.
I made on large bowl, and one cappuccino cup – if you were doing it all in individual cups I think it would make 4-6, depending on size.
Overall I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, but sadly it wasn’t a patch on the one I ate in Rome on my birthday two years ago – I think it’s just one of those desserts best left to the professionals!
Tiramisu (adapted from The Purple Foodie)
For the savoiardi (lady finger) biscuits:
- 1 egg, separated
- 30g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 20g plain flour
- icing sugar to dust
For the marscapone filling:
- 250g marscapone
- 2 eggs, separated
- 45g caster sugar
- 200ml very strong coffee
- cocoa powder to dust
For the biscuits, beat the egg yolk and half of the sugar until light and aerated, then add in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and remaining sugar until stiff peaks form. Sift the flour into the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently, then fold in the egg whites, a third at a time. You can pipe the mixture into fingers, but I just used a spoon which worked out fine – just spread lines onto a greased an lined baking tray, the dust with the icing sugar before baking at 200 degrees for about 12 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
To make the filling, whisk the egg yolks and half the sugar in one bowl and the egg whites and remaining sugar in another bowl, as before. beat the marscapone in a third bowl to soften, then add the egg yolks, followed by the egg whites.
To assemble, dip the savoiardi biscuits into the coffee – just quickly, so they don’t go soggy. Add a layer of coffee soaked biscuits to the cup or serving dish, then top with a layer of marscapone. Repeat the layering two or three times, ending with a layer of marscapone, then dust with cocoa powder and chill until serving.