To me, one of the most enjoyable past-times is drinking a great cup of coffee. I am extremely partial to the coffee produced by Coffees of Hawaii, and in particular their Ka'u. I didn't really become a coffee drinker until about ten years ago. Growing up, tea was the drink of choice in my family, and if we did have coffee it was always instant. That is probably why I didn't like coffee back then. My taste has definitely changed now and our coffee is always freshly ground before we brew it, and then it is timed to perfection.
Of course I love coffee desserts too - tiramisu, affogato, Kahlua brownies, coffee ice cream are all favorites. I really wanted to create some type of bar cookie and I thought the flavors of espresso and cream would be perfect. I did a quick search but didn't find exactly what I was looking for so I used components from a few different recipes to come up with my bars. I used the base from a berry tart that I recently made, the cheesecake filling is from Bakerella, and the ganache topping is from the LA Times. The combination was delicious.
Once all of the steps were complete I put the tart in the refrigerator overnight so that the ganache could harden. After a few photos I cut it into bars. I have already put it into containers so that my girls can take it to school tomorrow and share with their friends. Having these in the house is just too dangerous for me - before I knew it I would have eaten way too many.
Espresso and Cream Bars(Printer Friendly Recipe)
- 1 cup (2 sticks), melted and cooled
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoons flour
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder
- 2 teaspoons hot water
Ganache Topping -
- 10 ounces premium-quality white chocolate, finely chopped
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 5 teaspoons hot water
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Grease a square tart tin that has a removable base.
- Stir together the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the flour and salt and stir to make a soft dough.
- Press dough evenly into base and side of square tart tin with fingertips.
- Put the tin on a baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes, until pastry is slightly puffy.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy.
- On medium low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition.
- Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.
- Mix espresso powder and hot water to dissolve, then add to cheesecake mixture, mixing well.
- Pour on prepared crust and bake for about 40 minutes.
- Remove and cool.
Ganache Topping -
- Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
- Bring the heavy cream to a boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Working with a whisk or spatula, gently stir the chocolate and cream together.
- When the ganache is smooth, stir in the butter.
- Cool the ganache slightly and then pour over the top of the tart.
- Place in the refrigerator to harden.
- Place sifted powdered sugar in a bowl.
- Place espresso powder in a small cup and add hot water, stirring to dissolve.
- Add espresso liquid to powdered sugar and stir until completely smooth. Add more hot water if needed. Do not make icing too thin.
- Place icing mixture into a piping bag and pipe lines across the top of the tart.
- Take a skewer or a toothpick and drag it from one end of the pan to the other. Then go to the other end of the pan and drag back the other way. Continue doing this until you have completed the design.
Recipe inspired by Bill Granger, Bakerella, and the LA Times.