I know that espresso powder seems to be quite a hot topic when it is called for in some of our recipes. It’s coming up again next week, so I thought I’d add some information and links.
Espresso powder is indeed different from instant coffee. Here is what it is:
“Espresso powder begins life as a select variety of coffee beans that are cultivated specifically for the brewing of espresso. Usually, the beans are ground just before the espresso is brewed. Once the grounds have been used to make espresso, they do not have to be discarded. Instead, the used espresso grounds can be dried and then crushed into a fine powder. Espresso grounds retain a great deal of flavor and thepowder that is made from the crushed grounds will have plenty of taste and aroma. The end result is a handy cooking additive that can be used in a number of different recipes for both foods and drinks.” Thank you WiseGeek.com!
I’ve seen some cooking sites that say you can get a reasonable facsimile if you pulverize your instant coffee. However, if you’d like to try the real thing, I have some links for you.
My source is King Arthur Flour. (currently shipping for free!) I’ve also seen it at Williams-Sonoma. Medaglia D’oro is a brand that you can find at some grocery stores. You may have to ask them to order it, but it is available.
If you’re worried about not using this ingredient other than when it is specifically called for, have no fear. I always add a teaspoon to my chocolate desserts. It seems to add a little something to the chocolate without leaving a coffee taste.