I've added coffee to chocolate in baking recipes to deepen the chocolate flavor, but I had never tried it in a chocolate sauce until now. To spice it up a bit I checked my spice drawer and found I had whole Tellicherry black peppercorns, cloves, coriander seeds, star anise, and cinnamon sticks so i decided to blend my own 5 spice powder. I heated the espresso and sugar with the spice powder before whisking in the chocolate. Adding a little softened butter at the end produced a rich velvety smooth sauce, and the spices added an interesting kick to an otherwise yummy hot fudge sauce. Serve it on vanilla or coffee ice cream. Yum! —dinner at sheila's
1 and 1/2 cups
strong coffee or espresso, brewed
2 and 1/2 tablespoons
whole Tellicherry black peppercorns (Szechuan, if you want a stronger pepper)
whole star anise
cinnamon stick, broken into a few pieces
good quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Callebaut),
softened unsalted butter, cut in pieces
Grind the peppercorns, star anise, cloves, coriander seeds, and cinnamon stick pieces to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Measure 2 teaspoons and set aside. The remaining spice blend can be put in a covered jar and saved for a future use.
In a small saucepan combine the espresso or coffee with the sugar and 2 teaspoons of the spice blend. Heat on low until sugar and spices are dissolved, and mixture is hot. If there are bits of spices that are not dissolved you can strain the mixture before adding the chocolate.
Add the chocolate, and whisk until smooth and completely melted.
Remove from the heat and add the pieces of butter, whisking until thoroughly blended.