The course was led by Francine Segan, food historian and Lavazza's US ambassador. She guided us along as we sampled a variety of blends, learned about the history of coffee, how to cook with coffee and create a variety of coffee-based drinks.
|Our Instructor and Food Historian, Francine Segan|
|Caffe alla Salentina|
|Gran Aroma Coffee Blend|
The third coffee, Gran Selezione was my favorite! This dark roast is 100% Arabica beans from Peru, Brazil, Honduras, and Colombia. It has hints of dark chocolate so it's no surprise it also pairs well with chocolate.
|Gran Selezione Coffee Blend|
To pair with our coffees, we also sampled some of the most amazing Italian pastries. Everything I've ever eaten at Eataly is nothing short of fantastic, and these were no exception. We tried a croissant stuffed with prosciutto di parma (woah!), as well as two Italian donuts filled with custard (double woah!). The coffees paired well with the sweet and buttery pastries.
The last portion of the class included a live demo by Francine who showed us how to make her Torta Fredda di Caffe e Nocciole, a coffee-hazelnut semifreddo. The recipe features Lavazza espresso, and requires minimal preparation and only a handful of ingredients. The semifreddo was rich, yet light and airy, and the hazelnut crust added a nice crunchy texture.
Check out the recipe below and let me know if you ever cook with coffee--I'd love to know!
|Torta Fredda di Caffe e Nocciole|
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more as needed
7 ounces blanched hazelnuts
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, plus more for decoration
3 1/2 ounces milk chocolate
2 shots prepared espresso, warm
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Lightly butter the ring of a 7-inch spring form pan. Just the outer ring, not the bottom part. You need it just to keep the ingredients together as they firm up in the fridge. Butter a serving platter or cake stand, which is wide enough to hold the ring, and place the ring onto the platter.
In a food processor combine the hazelnuts and 4 tablespoons of the sugar and process until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Add 2 tablespoons of the butter and process until combined. Press this mixture firmly and evenly onto the serving plate, within the borders of the spring form pan. Reserve.
Melt the dark and milk chocolates in a bowl, either in a microwave or over gently boiling water. Add the espresso and stir until well combined. Add the egg and the remaining tablespoon of butter. Allow to cool to room temperature.
In another bowl, beat the heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until whipped. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mixture over the hazelnut crust and refrigerate until firm, at least 5 hours.
When ready to serve, remove the outer spring form ring, and garnish with grated dark chocolate.
Note: I received complimentary admission to this course to facilitate this post; however, all opinions expressed herein are my own.