I have been rather busy lately with my academic coursework. The busyness is over--at least temporarily--because the semester is over! It's time to work on all of the things I have been neglecting, like my Etsy and blog. Below is a dessert I made for my birthday (October 26th). It is now December, far from the time that the dessert was actually made, but I am still sharing it.
From what I remember, it was very rich and crunchy. I also remember having fun doing the feather pattern on the top. You will definitely love this dessert if you love chocolate and coffee, since this treat combines both flavors. Get ready for a mocha explosion!
No Bake Chocolate-Espresso Squares
(Adapted from Family Circle Cookbook 2007)
14 Oreo cookies, finely crushed in a food processor
1/4 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, finely crushed with a skillet
1 teas. instant espresso coffee powder
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 Tabl. instant espresso coffee powder
1 Tabl. milk
2 cups confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 teas. vanilla extract
1/4 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, coarsely chopped
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 oz. white baking chocolate, chopped
Stir together first four crust ingredients in a bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 8x8x2" baking pan, and set aside.
Using an electric mixer, whisk together milk and espresso powder in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter and mix well. Slowly add the confectioners sugar, being careful not to make too much of a mess. Beat in the vanilla, and stir in the espresso beans. Spread this mixture over the crust with a spatula. This part was tricky; you have to be gentle in order for the crust to not move around during the spreading process.
Chill until firm.
FOR GANACHE TOPPING:
Pour chopped semisweet chocolate into a small bowl. Heat cream on a stove top until it just simmers. Pour warm cream over chocolate. The warm cream will slowly melt the chocolate. Once smooth, pour the ganache over the top of the filling. Spread the ganache over the filling so that all of the filling is hidden by the ganache.
In the microwave, heat the white chocolate in a bowl for 45 seconds. While this is heating, prepare a small pastry bag with a writing tip (I used a Ziploc bag with a scissor-snipped corner instead). Microwave the white chocolate for additional 30 second intervals until smooth. Spoon the melted white chocolate into the piping bag, and pipe lines of white chocolate over the ganache topping. The piped lines should be parallel to each other and about 1/2" apart. Run the tip of a sharp knife (or toothpick) across the entire top, alternating directions with each pass to create a feathered pattern.
Chill until firm. Cut into squares and serve cold. Enjoy your labor!