Espresso is a concentrated coffee brew that is stronger, thicker and higher in caffeine than a typical coffee. However, since espresso is served in very small cups, it tends to have less caffeine per serving than other coffee beverages.
The word espresso comes from the Italian verb “esprimere,” which means “to express.” Espresso is made by forcing hot water through tightly packed coffee grounds, resulting in a strong, concentrated coffee.
While many argue that espresso should only be enjoyed black in small shots, others like to add milk or even sugar to their brews. One thing that may not be contested is that espresso can be enjoyed with a small bite on the side. Biscotti, the “twice baked” cookie treat also from Italy, can be a perfect pairing to espresso. Enjoy this recipe for Chef John Ash’s “Almond-Orange Biscotti” (www.chefjohnash.com).
3 large eggs, separated
11⁄2 cups sugar
1⁄3 cup melted butter, cooled
1 cup lightly toasted, coarsely chopped almonds
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier or other orange flavored liqueur
1⁄8 cup chopped, candied orange peel or 3 tablespoons finely grated orange zest
31⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
11⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Beat the egg yolks with 3⁄4 cup sugar until light and sugar is dissolved. Stir in the melted butter, nuts, Grand Marnier, and candied orange. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they just begin to form peaks, and gradually beat in remaining 3⁄4 cup sugar until whites form stiff peaks.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together and alternately fold 1⁄3 of flour and egg white mixtures into yolks until well combined. Dough will be firm and slightly sticky. If dough is too soft, add more flour. With floured hands, divide dough into two logs approximately 11⁄2 inches in diameter. Arrange logs on a buttered or parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 325 F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until logs are lightly brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let logs cool on baking pan on a rack for 10 minutes.
3. On a cutting board, cut logs crosswise on the diagonal into 1⁄2-inch widths. Arrange biscotti cut side down on baking pan and bake for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until biscotti are very lightly browned and crisp. Cool on racks and store airtight.