Phil Howard, of The Square, at Nespresso Boutique

Rob Weston and Phil Howard, Nespresso with Phil Howard

I can’t admit to knowing everything there is to know about coffee but I can put my hand up and say that I’m a bit of a coffee snob.

I drink what I’d like to call “long, black”; but faced with confused expressions at restaurants, it often morphs into an Americano. Mine, homemade via filter cone and paper, is easy and low tech. Water, a couple of minutes off the boil, poured over a dessert spoonful of fresh grounds slowly trickles out. No cream. No sugar. Just a long, black coffee.

This naked coffee, I think at least, encourages the full expression of aromas, really allowing you to taste what’s there. When you get good quality, freshly roasted and ground beans, you have this incredible sense of how sensual coffee is. The aroma, rich and luxurious, is often filled with notes of caramel and chocolate and sometimes even something a bit more earthy. And that’s very much reflected in the flavour of the addictive liquor produced.

So it’s with great intrigue that I arrived at the new Nespresso boutique on Regent Street to sample some coffee infused food by two Michelin-starred chef Philip Howard, created to celebrate the launch of the store.

The chef/patron of The Square in Mayfair, Howard also happily admits to being a coffee lover and long time Nespresso aficionado. Working with their Grand Cru range, Howard has created a set of 10 recipes which serves to illustrate the flavour enhancing properties of coffee in both sweet and savoury dishes.

As the beautiful and small dishes were plated up at the Nespresso tasting station, Howard talked about his coffee and food experiments. Coffee apparently works best in sweet foods, like tiramisu, and savoury foods that have an inherent sweetness such as spare ribs.

Are they good?

Well yes, of course, as you would expect. In fact, the short rib will be making its way onto the menu at The Square towards autumn/winter. But don’t take my word for it, see for yourself. The recipes are here:

Roasted granola with coffee, Greek yoghurt, and honey

Smoked venison Scotch egg with espresso brown sauce

Duck liver parfait with port, cherry and currant chutney and coffee nougatine

Roast langoustines with miso, coffee, grilled pineapple and Szechuan pepper

Spare ribs with ginger, honey, grapefruit, soy and coffee

Breast of duck with a tarte fine of caramelised endive and cherry purée

Coffee glazed short rib of beef with creamed potato and roasted carrots

Tonka bean crème brûlée with hazelnut oil and coffee

Brillat Savarin cheesecake with a coffee crust and apricot glaze

Pavé of bitter chocolate with burnt orange and Ristretto coffee

Pavé of bitter chocolate with burnt orange and Ristretto coffee recipe

Phil Howard at Nespresso boutique

Pave of bitter chocolate with burnt orange nd Ristretto coffeeIngredients:

For the base:

25g raisins, chopped
65g crushed Hobnob biscuits
100g praline paste
35g milk chocolate, melted
10g unsalted butter, soft
35g pistachios, roasted and crushed

For the jelly:

300ml orange juice
1 double espresso serving of Nespresso Ristretto
150g caster sugar
3 leaves gelatine
2 oranges, zest only

For the mousse:

350g 64% chocolate
300g crème Anglaise
450ml whipping cream

Method:

Requires a base-less tart ring/square mould approximately 25cm across.

To make the base:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the base in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. Tip the mix out onto a sheet of parchment paper, lay a second sheet over the top and use a rolling pin to roll the mix to a thickness of 2mm – and in the shape of the mould/tart ring you are using.
  3. Lift the top sheet off and press the mould into the mix. Trim away any excess mix from around the exposed edge. Set aside in the fridge.

To make the jelly:

  1. To make the jelly place 100g caster sugar into a heavy-based pan, place it over a high heat and take it to a dark golden caramel.
  2. Add the orange juice, remove from the heat, add the orange zest and remaining caster sugar and set aside.
  3. Soak the gelatine in cold water until softened and dissolve it in the hot coffee.
  4. Add to the orange mix and set the bowl over some iced water.
  5. At the point where the liquid is just starting to thicken, pour it onto the praline mix in the mould and leave it to set in the fridge.

To make the crème Anglaise:

  1. Make the crème Anglaise by boiling the milk and cream and pouring it onto the egg yolks which have been whisked together with the sugar.
  2. Return the mix to a gentle heat and cook to 84ºC or until the custard has thickened – stirring constantly.
  3. Pour through a fine sieve into a bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.

To make the mousse:

  1. To make the mousse, melt the chocolate in a bowl set over simmering water.
  2. Add the anglaise and stir to combine.
  3. Remove from the heat and set over a bowl of iced water and stir until cooled to room temperature.
  4. Whisk the cream until peaks form.
  5. Gently fold this into the chocolate mix until homogenous, pour it into the mould and if needed, level the mousse with a palette knife.
  6. Chill in the fridge until set fully for 2-3 hours.

To make the glaze:

  1. To make the glaze put the sugar, cream and cocoa into a small pan, bring it to the boil and simmer for one minute.
  2. Soak the gelatine in cold water until soft, add to the cream, add the double espresso of Nespresso Ristretto and whisk thoroughly.
  3. Once cool, pour the glaze over the surface of the mousse and leave to set in the fridge.

To make the milk purée:

  1. For the milk purée bring the agar, milk and sugar to the boil and simmer for one minute.
  2. Pour into a bowl and chill until set. Transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth purée.

To serve:

Once the glaze has set, run a hot knife around the mould, lift off the ring/mould and portion as required – using a clean hot knife each time. Serve the chocolate pavé with a spoon of milk purée and a freshly made Nespresso Ristretto espresso.

Find more recipes from Phil Howard in The Square: Savoury: 1 and The Square: Sweet: 2.

Brillat Savarin cheesecake with a coffee crust and apricot glaze recipe

Phil Howard at Nespresso boutique

Brillat savarin cheesecake with a coffee crust and apricot glazeIngredients:

For the base:

35g caster sugar
35g demerara sugar
35g plain flour
35g ground almonds
60g unsalted butter
2 capsules of Nespresso Volluto grounds

For the cheesecake:

650g fresh Brillat Savarin or cream cheese
100ml double cream
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
1 orange, lemon and lime – zest only
3 eggs
2 yolks

For the glaze:

200ml apricot coulis
1 leaf gelatine

Method:

To make the base:

  1. To make the base place the sugars, flour, almonds, the Nespresso Volluto grounds and 35g of the butter into an electric mixer set with a paddle, and mix to an even crumb.
  2. Transfer to a baking tray and bake in an oven pre-heated to 160ºC until golden – stirring every five minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. Transfer to a food processor and blend to a very fine crumb. Add the remaining butter, melted, and briefly blend to mix.
  4. Pour the mix into a tart ring and press the crumb down to compact it into an even layer. Place in the oven, bake for 5 minutes and set aside to cool.

To make the cheesecake:

  1. Place all of the cheesecake ingredients into a blender (in two batches if necessary) and blend to a smooth homogenous mix.
  2. Pour onto the cheesecake base and transfer to an oven pre-heated to 110ºC and cook for 1 hour or until the liquid mix has just set. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Warm the apricot coulis, soak the gelatine in cold water until soft, lift it out, squeeze out any excess moisture and dissolve it in the coulis.
  4. Pour it carefully onto the surface of the cheesecake and transfer to the fridge to set.
  5. Once set, take the cheesecake out of the mould and cut into portions as required.

To serve:

Unwrap the ribs, brush them all on both sides with marinade and return to the oven – pre-heated to 180ºC. Turn after 5 minutes. After a further 5 minutes, remove from the oven, brush with more marinade and continue this process until the ribs are hot, caramelised and coated in a rich sticky glaze.

Serve with baked potato and sour cream and chives or a chicory salad.

Find more recipes from Phil Howard in The Square: Savoury: 1 and The Square: Sweet: 2.

Tonka bean crème brûlée with hazelnut oil and coffee recipe

Phil Howard at Nespresso boutique

Tonka bean crème brûlée with hazelnut oil and coffeeIngredients:

For the brûlée:

500ml double cream
270ml milk
165g egg yolks (about 8)
95g caster sugar
3 Tonka beans

For the hazelnut oil and coffee dressing:

75ml serving of Nespresso Fortissio Lungo
75ml extra virgin hazelnut oil
50g caster sugar
Demerara sugar to finish

Method:

To make the brûlée:

  1. Place the milk into a pan with the Tonka beans and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and leave to infuse overnight.
  2. Remove the beans, add the cream, yolks and sugar and gently whisk until homogenous.
  3. Pour into an oven proof dish or into individual moulds and bake, bain marie, at 110°C until the mix has just set.
  4. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the dressing:

Dissolve the sugar in the freshly made lungo coffee, add the oil and stir to combine.

To serve:

Sprinkle the surface of the baked cream mix with demerara sugar and caramelise with a blow torch or under a very hot grill.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes and serve with a small amount of the coffee and hazelnut oil dressing. Serve with a freshly made Nespresso Fortissio Lungo.

Find more recipes from Phil Howard in The Square: Savoury: 1 and The Square: Sweet: 2.

Coffee glazed short rib of beef with creamed potato and roasted carrots recipe

Phil Howard at Nespresso boutique

Coffee glazed short rib of beef with creamed potato and roasted carrotsIngredients:

1 rack of beef short ribs (ask butcher to cut down the middle to give bones approximately 12cm long)
200ml serving of Nespresso Fortissio Lungo
1 chilli, cut into slices
2 cloves garlic, smashed with a heavy knife
200ml maple syrup
200g ginger, finely grated and juice squeezed out in muslin (i.e. juice only)
10 medium organic carrots, peeled and cut in half
10 large baking potatoes
Milk
Butter

For the onion ketchup:

5 Spanish onions, peeled and very finely sliced
150ml light soy sauce
200ml runny honey
100ml Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar
50ml vegetable oil

Method:

For the onion ketchup:

  1. To make the onion ketchup place the oil into a large pan and set it over a high heat. Add the onions, a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently until the onions are caramelised, soft and golden.
  2. Add the soy, vinegar and honey and cook until completely evaporated – leaving a rich dark brown sticky sauce in the pan.
  3. Transfer this to a blender and blend to a smooth rich purée.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside.

For the ribs:

  1. Mix the onion ketchup with all of the remaining ingredients except the ribs and whisk to thoroughly combine.
  2. Place the ribs into a medium baking tray, pour over the marinade, thoroughly coat the ribs and set aside to marinate for 5 hours.
  3. Lift the ribs out of the marinade, reserving any that remains in the tray and wrap the ribs carefully in foil.
  4. Place in an oven pre-heated to 100ºC and cook for 8 hours – at which point the meat should fall away from the bone.
  5. Meanwhile place 10 large baking potatoes in to bake in an oven at 180ºC for 90 minutes. Remove from the oven, cut the potatoes in half, push the potato flesh through a fine drum sieve or potato ricer and beat in enough butter and milk to yield a rich, smooth creamed potato. Set aside until required.
  6. Place the carrots into a large roasting tray, dot some diced butter over the surface, season with salt, pepper and a sprinkling of sugar and roast in an oven pre-heated to 180ºC for 20-25 minutes or until the carrots are golden brown all over. Set aside warm.

To serve:

Remove the ribs from the oven, open the foil, transfer them to a baking tray, tip over any leftover marinade and any juices from the pouch, and place the ribs under the grill. Grill until all of the marinade has reduced to a sticky, dark glaze.

Serve immediately with a spoonful of creamed potato, two pieces of roasted carrot and residual glaze.

Find more recipes from Phil Howard in The Square: Savoury: 1 and The Square: Sweet: 2.