Coffee is almost intrinsically addictive that you believe it to trigger something innately programmed when deficient. It’s not. Coffee is addictive, yes, but unfortunately it’s also socially predominant. People love to say “let’s meet for a coffee”; they love it so much that that simple request is a habit to unlearn. So then what happens when you couple the beast that is coffee with the smooth talking chocolate? It’s the paradise of stimulant and comfort, that’s what.
This takes us to the creation of the Mocha, the epic Macaccino, a drink for the sweet hearted, only faintly addicted- or a ploy? And I’ll admit I do not drink coffee; heck! Even my green tea is decaf! But the thought of chocolate flavoured coffee has my knees buckling. So what’s a non-coffee addict to do? You cook with it, and it becomes the sole inexplicable exception. Coffee flavoured desserts are sublime, and bound to chocolate- It’s a wonderful thing indeed.
So this here is my take on one of the most loved, hated and needed drugs of many humans, a combination of the sharp, the sweet and the French. The ever versatile choux pastry filled tightly with mocha cream and topped with intensely dark chocolate ganache.
Recipe + Method
For the choux pastry
70g butter, cubed
115g plain flour + pinch of salt, sifted
3 eggs, beaten
For the mocha cream
200g white chocolate
8g instant coffee granules
460ml double cream, 260ml whipped to soft peaks
For the chocolate ganache
170g dark chocolate
70ml double cream
10g dark chocolate, finely grated
Start by making the choux pastry, combine the butter and 200ml water in a pan until the butter has melted and the water begins to boil- take off the heat and add the flour and salt, stir rapidly until it forms a soft smooth ball. Once cooled slightly, about 3-5 minutes, add half the beaten eggs and stir until it comes together, then add the remaining, ( it’s a judgement call) until the dough is glossy and holds its shape. Pipe 12cm ovals onto a baking paper and leave a 5cm gap between them, they should be no wider than 3cm. Bake them for 10 minutes on 180C (fan assisted) then increase the heat to 200C and bake for 15 minutes until nicely firm, risen and golden. Leave them be for a few minutes, then place them on a baking tray to cool completely, and slice horizontally.
For the mocha cream, warm 200ml of the double cream until just boiling and then pour this into a bowl with the coffee granules and whisk together until combined, leave to cool. Melt the white chocolate and leave to cool. The remaining cream should be whisked to soft peaks. Then whisk the chocolate into the coffee cream until smooth; add the whipped cream until just combined. Refrigerate until needed.
For the ganache heat the chocolate and cream over a pan of simmering water until the chocolate has melted and it is fully combined. Refrigerate until it is at coating consistency- this won’t take too long, keep checking on it.
To assemble, start by dipping one half of an oval in the chocolate ganache and then leaving it to set. Then pipe the mocha cream onto the second half of the oval (I used a round tipped nozzle, but it’s pretty versatile). Place the chocolate ganache covered oval over the mocha cream oval once set and dust in chocolate.