Saturday, May 18, 2013

Irish Coffee Tortoni

The first time I enjoyed the taste of coffee was sometime in the 1980's.  A recipe called "Coffee Tortoni" made it's way around our family.  I remember both my grandmother and my mother making it. My mom always made it in fancy foil cupcake liners when she made it for company.

And even though, as a kid, coffee had previously tasted horrible to me, I thoroughly enjoyed these frozen, creamy, coffee-flavored desserts.  And thus began my journey to becoming a caffeine-addicted, coffee-guzzling adult.  Thank you, Coffee Tortoni.

As I was recently thinking about pulling out this recipe again, the thought struck me:  why not make this an Irish Coffee Tortoni and add copious amounts of Bailey's?  Brilliant!

Here's the result....

*Note:  The following photos were taken while making a DOUBLE batch.  So the volume of ingredients will not look the same if you make a regular batch according to the recipe.

The Step-By-Step:

Chop the almonds

Get yourself some almonds.

Chop 'em up in little bitty bits.

Mixing Bowl #1 - Egg whites, sugar, coffee, salt

Separate whites and yolks.  I don't care what you do with the yolks.

Mix together the sugar, salt and instant coffee in a small bowl.

Now beat the whites until frothy.

Start gradually adding in the sugar mixture -- a little at a time.

Keep beating. Keep adding the sugar mixture.

Beat until the mixture is nice and glossy and stiff, and all the sugar mixture is in there.

Mixing Bowl #2 - cream, extracts, Irish cream

Start by beating the whipped cream in a chilled mixing bowl (don't forget to completely clean the beaters!).

Beat cream until nice and thick and stiff.

Add vanilla and almond extracts.  Beat in.

Add Bailey's (or Irish Cream liquor of your choice).  Beat again so it's nice and thick.

Combine Mixing Bowls #1 and #2

Now you've got one bowl with coffee-flavored egg whites, and one bowl with Bailey's-flavored cream.  This is starting to sound really good.

Now fold the egg whites and chopped nuts into the whipped cream.

Nice and gently.  It's not really mixing.  It's more like strongly suggesting.

Divide into portions and freeze

Divide this lovely mixture between cupcake liners in muffin tins.

Or, as a nice alternative, scoop it right into cute little 4 oz. mason jars.

Top each serving with a little sprinkle of sliced almonds.  Freeze a couple hours.

Take these out of the freezer only a few minutes before they are served.


The Recipe:

Makes 12 servings

1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream liquor

Put a clean mixing bowl into the freezer to chill.

Finely chop the almonds, set aside.

Mix sugar, coffee and salt in a small bowl.  Beat egg whites in a mixing bowl until frothy.  Gradually add sugar mixture a little at a time and continue beating until stiff and glossy.

In the chilled mixing bowl, beat the cream until stiff.  Add the vanilla and almond extract.  Beat a little more.  Slowly add the irish cream and keep beating until the cream returns to thick consistency with stiff peaks.

Fold the egg whites and nuts into the whipped cream mixture.  Divide mixture between 12 cupcake liners in a muffin tin.  Sprinkle a few sliced almonds on each serving.

Freeze.  Remove from freezer immediately before serving.