Monday, 3 September 2012


Crema di Formaggio Fresco Battuto al Espresso & Menta
Whipped Espresso & Mint Cream Cheese

Just a little "sweet nothing" as an after-dinner treat here! After any Italian meal- or most others for that matter, a nice cup of strong espresso is a nice way to finish it. And that 1970's favorite, the "after dinner mint" is also good, to leave you with a fresh palate and with more pleasant breath of course. All good stuff generally speaking. So why not roll both of these things into one, have them for dessert- and have some fun with it all?!?!!

I made this dessert from cheese curds- you have heard me mention this many times over, as this is a very common and well-loved ingredient over here in Germany. Sweetened with Stevia and in the 20% fat variety, this makes a healthy and creamy treat, so you can indulge without the guilt! And that is something that sounds pretty darned good to me!

I am aware that it may be difficult for you to find cheese curds in the USA, so you could substitute a light, whipped Philadelphia cheese or even the 0% fat version of Greek yogurt- as they have a similar consistency. The method remains the same though- and is equally easy either way!

The special ingredient in this dessert is mint-flavored Stevia or sugar. I made it by simply taking a couple of tablespoons of either Stevia or sugar, adding a handful of fresh mint and grinding them together with my mortar and pestle, until the leaves were mashed down considerably and the juices had seeped into powder. I then added this to a small jar full of plain sugar or Stevia and mixed it in well, then let it sit for a week or so to become infused with the fresh mint flavor.... mmmmm!

I whipped the cheese curds for 3-4 minutes at the highest setting and sweetened them with  the minted Stevia- for this small sized glass 1 teaspoon was enough for me- but just taste it and adjust yours until you find it sweet enough- trial and error is the only way to do it- unless of course you simply opt for sugar!

I split the cream into 2 equal parts. In one part, I added 2 tablespoons of dark cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of ground espresso beans. I whipped this up again and filled it into my glass, gently banging it down a little to get it nice and level.

Next, I split the remaining cream in to 2 equal parts again. I added a shot of espresso liquor  to one part and then spooned this into the glass. Using a small whisk, I lightly whipped this around until the 2 layers began to mix gently and I got another, lighter brown layer. I then added a little milk a a hint of vanilla essence to the remaining cream and whipped it up till it was lighter and fluffier still, then spooned it on top and chilled it for a couple of hours... easy!

I served it up with a few bitter coffee beans which I love to chew on and a little fresh mint as a garnish. What a simple and delicious treat! And one that I sure hope you will enjoy too!

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