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Coffee Cream



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1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. superfine sugar
1 tsp. coffee extract (or instant espresso powder)
4 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. powdered gelatin (see note below)
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  1. 1
    In a mixing bowl, combine the cream, sugar and espresso powder, if using. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes (chill the mixer’s beaters alongside the bowl).
  2. 2
    In a 1-cup heatproof glass measure, place the water and gelatin. Allow the mixture to soften for 5 minutes. Set the measure in a pan of simmering water and stir occasionally until the gelatin is dissolved. This can also be done in a microwave on high power, stirring once or twice.
  3. 3
    Remove the cup from the water and cool the mixture to room temperature, about 7 minutes (it can be held longer, but should be covered to prevent evaporation). The gelatin must be liquid, but not warm when added to the cream.
  4. 4
    Whip the cream mixture, starting on low speed, gradually raising the speed to medium-high as it thickens, just until traces of the beater marks begin to show distinctly. Add the gelatin mixture in a steady stream, whipping constantly. Add the vanilla and coffee extract, if not using the espresso powder, and whip just until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised. To avoid the risk of overwhipping, when almost stiff enough, remove the beaters and use them, or a whisk, to finish whipping by hand.
  5. 5
    Immediately swirl the cream into the depression on top of the cake or scrape it into a bowl to pass on the side. The cake can be presented upside down or topside up. The completed cake can be refrigerated overnight and will keep at room temperature for several hours.


Rose Levy Beranbaum

If filling it with the coffee cream several hours ahead, it is especially important to add the gelatin to keep it from watering out.

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