Bailey's Coffee Cream Pots
1 1/3 cups cream
5 tablespoons Bailey's Irish cream
1/4 cup freshly brewed espresso, cooled
9 ounce (250 g) carton mascarpone cheese
2 1/2 tablespoon sifted icing sugar, plus extra for dusting cocoa powder, for dusting
For the shortbread cookies:
1 1/2 cups plain flour, plus a little extra pinch salt
1 stick (4 ounces) butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup caster sugar
Optional - chocolate curls and spun sugar corkscrews, to decorate
Whip the cream in a bowl until soft peaks have formed. Place the Bailey's Irish cream in a bowl with the espresso, mascarpone cheese and icing sugar. Beat until well combined, then fold in the cream. Divide between 4 X 7 fluid oz ramekins or cups and chill for at least 2 hours, or overnight if convenient.
To make the shortbread cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar in a separate bowl until pale and fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg and then worked in the sifted flour until you have achieved a fairly soft dough.
Knead the dough lightly on a lightly floured work surface, then roll out to 1/4" thickness. Using a heart-shaped cutter, stamp out cookies, and then arrange them on nonstick baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until cooked through and lightly golden. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
To serve, arrange the Bailey's Cream Pots on serving plates and decorate with chocolate curls and spun sugar corkscrews. Add the shortbread biscuits and dust lightly with icing sugar and cocoa powder.
Sugar corkscrew - To make spun sugar corkscrews, place 1/2 cup caster sugar in a heavy-based pan over a low heat and heat gently to dissolve.
Bring to a boil and boil fast until the resulting syrup begins to turn pale brown, gently swirling the pan to ensure even cooking. When the caramel is rich golden brown, dip the base of the pan into a sink of cool water to prevent further cooking. Using a clean, small metal spoon and a knife-sharpening steel, dip the spoon into the caramel and lift it out again, then twist it around the steel to create some corkscrews.
Use within one hour.
Chocolate curls - place 3 ounces of plain chocolate (at least 50% cocoa
solids) in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and heat gently until the chocolate has melted. Remove from the heat and stir in an additional 1 ounce of chocolate. Continue to stir until the chocolate is smooth and glossy. This will help temper the chocolate. Pour the chocolate onto a very cold marble slab and allow to set at room temperature. If you put it in the fridge the chocolate will lose its wonderful sheen. Using a large sharp knife, pare long curls off the surface of the hardened chocolate, carefully adjusting the angle of the knife as you work.