Although Coffee is something that well all know and love, well most of us anyway. There are different ways you can enjoy coffee and it is not just a drink. It can be used in a variety of ways and is a useful ingredient when making desserts. From ice cream to cake and coffee flavored chocolates, these are all make wonderful after dinner desserts.
Although you can use coffee powder in your recipes, this is not a tip I would recommend, generally because, this has the tendency to turn your dessert into something bitter, therefore I recommend using freshly brewed coffee that has been diluted in water for the best taste.
You should also consider that the finest way to get the best coffee flavor into any recipe is to grind the beans yourself using one of the best coffee machines that are readily available to purchase. Although this is not strictly necessary as freshly ground coffee can be bought in most stores. However if you were to purchase it in this way, then you need to ensure it was used within a week as coffee can lose some of its flavor if left too long. Also forget what people tell you about keeping your fresh coffee in a refrigerator as this is not necessary either. You just need to keep it in a cool dark place and in an air tight container.
Depending on your taste and that of your guests will determine how much you use or how strong your coffee should be. Generally when used in cooking or desserts the flavor should be subtle and not overpowering to make great coffee recipes you will find they are normally sweet dishes and as coffee can taste bitter then only a little should be added or a mild to medium strength coffee. Steer clear of the more robust coffees as they are too strong.
Also you will need to ensure when using in your recipe to make sure that the brewed coffee has cooled or even chilled. Preferably depending on the recipe brew the coffee as normal and then allow it to cool at room temperature before chilling in the fridge for a few hours. This will not impair the flavor in any way as long as you do not leave it too long.
A great addition to sponge recipes and any chocolate dessert it can also be used to flavor ice cream by substituting the liquid milk or cream for a cup of great coffee. If you are using it to flavor ice cream then you can use a stronger cup if you would prefer, because ice cream is so sweet this dessert can take it. However when using in chocolate or cake recipes you should really make sure you stick to the milder flavors of coffee for the best results.