Oct 16, 2019 Last Updated 6:31 AM, Nov 9, 2017

Espresso Cream with Mint and Fernet

Espresso Cream with Mint and Fernet by Angela Pinkerton.

"Angela Pinkerton, Executive Pastry Chef/Partner of soon-to-be-opened Che Fico, San Francisco, CA, shares her Espresso Cream with Mint and Fernet recipe in the DessertProfessional.com Dessert Trio column."


In DessertProfessional.com's latest issue, the Dessert Trio column features three different dessert perspectives on espresso, from three top pastry chefs, François Payard, Michael Laiskonis and Angela Pinkerton. Click the following to see recipes and notes by:
François Payard | Michael Laiskonis


Notes: This dessert was inspired by a visit to San Francisco when I was living in New York City. Fernet Branca is a popular amaro in San Francisco; some friends and I were having it with a little chocolate and coffee after dinner one night, and I thought this would make a fabulous dessert!

Yield: 60 servings

Café Pastry Cream:

  • 5.3 oz/150 g whole espresso beans
  • 33.8 liq oz/1 lt milk
  • 8.8 oz/250 g granulated sugar, divided
  • 3.3 oz/95 g pastry cream powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2.8 oz/80 g egg yolks
  • 4.4 oz/125 g unsalted butter, soft

1. Roast the coffee beans hard in the oven. 

2. Scald milk; add coffee beans and steep for 15 minutes. 

3. Remeasure milk, Stir together pastry cream powder and 4.4 oz/125 g sugar. Mix egg and yolks with remaining sugar and whisk into dry ingredients. Temper in hot milk. Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly, for roughly 5 minutes, or until shiny and sweet. Take off heat, stir in butter. Push through tamis. Cool.

Café Bavarois:

  • 10.5 oz/300 g Café Pastry Cream (above) 
  • 10.5 oz/300 g heavy cream
  • 0.17 oz/5 g espresso powder

Recondition the pastry cream by mixing in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to make sure it’s completely smooth. Add cream and espresso powder, then whip to firm peaks. Place in piping bag with #803 tip.

Mentholated Mint Sherbet:

  • 63.5 oz/1800 g whole milk
  • 63.5 oz/1800 g half-and-half
  • 14 oz/400 g spearment (leaves only), divided
  • 0.03 oz/1 g menthol crystals
  • 20 oz/570 g granulated sugar
  • 8 oz/228 g glucose
  • 0.35 oz/10 g kosher salt

1. Heat milk and half-and-half. Add 8.8 oz/250 g of the spearmint leaves and steep for 30 minutes, covered. Strain. 

2. Blanch remaining 5.3 oz/150 g spearmint leave; squeeze out excess moisture with a dry towel. Blend blanched mint into milk mixture with Vita Prep. Strain and remeasure amount of liquid, adding milk if necessary. Add menthol, sugar, glucose, and salt. Heat until hot and sugar is dissolved. Heat to just under a boil. Blend with hand blender. Strain. Chill in ice bath.

Espresso Cookie Crumble:

  • 9.8 oz/278 g unsalted butter
  • 8 oz/228 g granulated sugar
  • 8 oz/228 g brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbs espresso powder
  • 14 oz/399 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda        

1. Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the salt, then the eggs, yolk, vanilla and espresso powder until blended.  

2. Combine baking soda and flour and add to butter mixture until combined. Sheet cookie dough to #3. Bake until golden brown in 350°F oven. Cool slightly, then break into smaller pieces and dehydrate in a low oven, until crunchy and dry. Cool completely. 

3. Grind in food processor.

Espresso Tuile: 

  • 14 oz/400 g confectioners’ sugar 10X
  • 3 oz/85 g egg whites
  • ¾ tsp mint extract
  • 2 Tbs espresso powder

Combine sugar and egg whites and using the paddle attachment, “cream” until white, fluffy and smooth, scraping the side of the bowl often. Add extract and espresso powder. Spread onto flat inverted sheet trays covered with acetate. Dry at room temperature. Store in a dry box.

Fernet Ganache:

  • 31.7 oz/900 g heavy cream
  • 5.6 oz/160 g glucose
  • 2 oz/57 g granulated sugar
  • 10 sheets gold gelatin, bloomed
  • 21.16 oz/600 g Valrhona chocolate 66%
  • 2.8 oz/80 g Fernet Branca
  • 1.76 oz/50 g unsalted butter

Heat the cream, glucose and sugar just to a boil. Add gelatin and let rest until gelatin is melted thoroughly, then strain hot liquid over chocolate and gently mix together. Add liqueur. Blend in butter with hand blender, being careful to not bring the blender above the surface – you want to create the least amount of air bubbles possible. Finish using rubber spatula. Cool until slightly thickened. Cryovac on setting #6. Refrigerate.

Mint Meringues:

  • 1.76 oz/50 g mint (leaves only)
  • 5.3 oz/150 g ice-cold water
  • 0.84 oz/24 g egg white powder
  • 1.4 oz/40 g egg whites
  • 3.5 oz/100 g granulated sugar           

1. Blanch mint; squeeze out all excess water with a towel. Blend with ice-cold water, then strain through chinois.

2. Combine mint water and egg white powder, whisking to hydrate. Add fresh egg whites, and whip slowly on mixer, adding sugar when whites are at soft peaks. Whip to firm peaks in the walk-in – meringue will get lighter in color and the whisk will stand on its own in the bowl. Pipe into small kisses and buttons. Dry in oven at 175°F. Store in a pint, always sealed.


  • Lemon zest
  • Petite mint
  • Petite thyme
  • Maldon salt

Place one mound of cookie crumble in center of plate. Pipe four varying sized kisses of the Cafe Bavarois with a large round pastry tip around the crumble. Repeat using the Fernet Ganache with a medium star tip. Arrange tuiles, petite herbs, lemon zest and meringue whimsically around kisses. Quenelle mint sorbet onto cookie crumble. Sprinkle dessert lightly with Maldon salt.

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