Winning Recipes!


It’s a tie! We couldn’t make up our minds about WHO should win this recipe challenge… So we want to honor BOTH of our favorite recipes!

Kudos go to Suzanne Banfield for her wonderful gluten-free “Mocha Java Torte with Coffee Cream” AND to Donna Marie Ryan for her kid-friendly “Tantalizing Mocha Truffles.” Both are just delicious and guaranteed to please any mocha java junkie! (As a special Honorable Mention bonus we are revealing a very unique Chili recipe from Patrick Russell called “Not Your Uncle Dave's Chili!”)

from Suzanne Banfield…

Mocha Java Torte with Coffee Cream

This is a scrumptious chocolate cake that is enhanced by the addition of coffee flavor. (Ground almond flour can be had at your local health-food grocery store or just quickly pulse enough blanched almonds in a food processor to make one cup of flour, not almond butter!) Be sure not to skip the whipped Coffee Cream, as it is truly “the icing on the cake!”

6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided use
1 cup almond flour
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 tablespoons brewed decaf espresso, divided use
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the almond flour, chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder and salt until well mixed.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, 3 tablespoons of espresso and vanilla. Whisk in the remaining 5 tablespoons of melted butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, combining thoroughly. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until the cake is firm in the center. Cool in the pan on a rack for 20 minutes, then remove the sides of pan and cool another hour.
  5. In a medium chilled bowl, beat the cream, confectioner’s sugar, remaining 1 tablespoon of espresso and the coffee liqueur until soft peaks are formed. Serve each slice of cake with a dollop of whipped coffee cream. Makes 8 servings.

from Donna Marie Ryan…

Tantalizing Mocha Truffles

This is an easy truffle recipe that begs to be made. A bit different from traditional chocolate truffles, the mocha java flavor is outstanding. This is a kid-safe recipe as they help in the kitchen. These went into Donna’s holiday gift bags and were a real hit!

8 oz cream cheese, softened
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
12 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons decaf espresso beans, finely ground, divided use
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a large mixer. Add the confectioner's sugar one cup at a time and beat on low until fluffy. Add the melted chocolate and beat until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon of ground espresso beans and mix until combined. Scrape the truffle mixture into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill for an hour or until firm.

Remove the truffle mix from the refrigerator and have a parchment-lined tray near your workspace. Mix the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of ground espresso into the cocoa powder and place on a small plate. Shape the truffle mixture into 1-inch balls and place on parchment paper. When all the truffles have been formed, roll each in your hands (to make them tacky) and then roll in cocoa-mixture. Place in individual fluted candy cups. Store in refrigerator. Makes about 60 truffles.

An Honorable Mention has to go to Patrick Russell, of the the Second Cup Coffee Company, for his recipe. This is in a category of its own! (We Americanized some of the ingredients because Pat is in Canada, but still kept his wonderful comments and instructions.) THANK YOU Pat!

Not Your Uncle Dave’s Chili

2 tablespoons cumin seed, divided use
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 tablespoon chili powder
Pinch of sea salt (fine)
1/2 cup Mocha Java coffee (very finely ground)
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 medium onions
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or shortening, or lard)
2 pounds of stewing beef
1 cup of homemade stock (chicken, veggie or beef... your choice)
1 16 ounce bottle of Guinness Stout
2 14-ounce cans tomatoes, preferably from San Marzano
2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels (or cheat and use canned corn, just not the nasty creamed stuff)
2 cups black beans (prepare from dry, overnight, or cheat with canned again, but rinse them REALLY well)
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces unsweetened baker’s chocolate
1/2 cup dark maple syrup

Beef Dry Rub:

In a mortar and pestle grind 1 tablespoon cumin seed and the mustard seed to a fine powder. Combine with chili powder, sea salt, coffee and the cornstarch.

Rinse and pat dry the stewing beef. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Coat the exterior of the beef with the dry rub mixture. Place the beef in the refrigerator for a minimum of four hours (I often leave the beef for 24 hours).

The Chili:

  1. Dice the onions and set aside. Heat a large deep-sided casserole to a medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil. When the oil begins to shimmer on the bottom of the dish, add the beef. Allow to brown evenly on all sides. (Don't get hung up if some of the rub stays on the bottom of the pan.) Remove the browned beef and set aside.
  2. Add the diced onion and stock to the casserole dish. Caramelize the onions, stirring occasionally to keep them from burning and to incorporate the dry rub left in the pan. When the liquid from the stock has been reduced and the onions have softened, add the beef back to the dish.
  3. Add the Guinness. Allow the foam to cook down, and simmer for a minute to reduce slightly. Then add the tomatoes, corn, black beans, white pepper, cinnamon and remaining 1 tablespoon cumin seed. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally to incorporate these ingredients.
  4. Grate the dark chocolate using the coarse side of a cheese grater. Stir the grated chocolate into the chili, until melted. Stir in the dark maple syrup.
  5. Reduce the temperature to low, cover the casserole dish, and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Taste the chili and season to taste. Depending on whether you used fresh or canned ingredients you will need to add more or less salt. You may also, at this point, choose to sweeten the chili to taste using more maple syrup.
  6. Replace the lid and reduce the temperature to the lowest possible setting on your stovetop and cook at this heat for another 2 hours.

This recipe holds up well in a slow cooker. I frequently prep everything up to step number 4 at night, put all the ingredients in my slow-cooker dish and put that in the fridge. When I wake up in the morning I put the dish in the cooker, switch it to low, and then go to work. Coming home to a house smelling of cinnamon and cocoa, with toasty cumin and caramelized sugar sweets is lovely.