Coffee espuma with garlic and chocolate (TGRWT #1)


For the food blogging event They Go Really Well Together (TGRWT #1) I decided to used baked garlic. Baking gives garlic a slightly sweet, mellow taste and I figured this might work well with the soft texture of an espuma. Just make sure you get fresh garlic without green sprouts – they will give a bitter taste.

4 cloves of baked garlic (baked whole, 30 min @ 150 °C)
3.5 dL strong coffee
30 g sugar
40 g chocolate (70% cocoa)
ground cardamom
3.4 g gelatin (= 2 sheets)
1.5 dL heavy cream (38% fat)
1 iSi cream charger

Mix garlic cloves and coffee with blender or hand-held mixer. Add chocolate, a pinch of cardamom and heat while dissolving sugar. Stir in pre-soaked gelatin. Cool, add heavy cream, sift through fine mesh to remove remaining pieces of garlic and fill 0.5 L iSi gourmet whipper. Charge with 1 cream charger and leave in fridge over night. Serve with a drizzle of instant coffee.

How it tastes? In the finished espuma served cold, the first aroma noticed is coffee accompanied by a sweet taste on the tongue. This is followed by a faint chocolate aroma which then gives way for an aftertaste dominated by garlic. It’s quite surprising and the aromas blend well together. I used 30 g of chocolate, but I’ve increased it to 40 g in the recipe since the cocolate aroma was a little weak. As for uses, I think it would go well with a steak for instance. If used as a dessert I would perhaps reduce the amount of garlic to 2 or 3 cloves so as not to overwhelm the guests (unless they frequent the restaurant Garlic & shots in Soho, London where even the beer is served with garlic!).



  1. A little of funky-tasting additive has often flavor-enhancing qualities – for example the drop of fish sauce in thai coconut milk-based curry or the anchovy in Cesar dressing. But it should be used sparingly, as a highlight. I think the roasted garlic is a clever choice for chocolate+coffee based dessert – but I would scale the garlic component down to one half of a clove, to the point people would not be able to recognize what it is but would say – “hmm, that’s really tasty, I wonder what this extra stuff is”

    About the flavor-pairing theory: I noticed that addition of a small piece of a nice ripe Hass avocado does wonders in vanila milkshake – by framing the vanilla flavor. There are some bitter and flavorful phenolic compounds in avocado although I don’t know how related they are to vanilin/ethylvanilin.

  2. milkshake: Yes, you could certainly reduce the amount of garlic so people would only perceive the added complexity, but not the source of this complexity! And some other good tips there as well with regard to adding complexity to a dish.

    blogdonkulous: I’ve never used asafoetida, but I’ve smelled it and it really stinks due to the presence of several sulfurous compounds. But at lower concentrations it’s reminiscent of onion, garlic, eggs, meat and white truffles according to McGee. It will certainly add complexity to your dish!

  3. Chocolate-Coffee Mayonnaise with Garlic (TGRWT #1)…

    There’s an old Alsacian joke going like this:

    “Chocolate is good, and garlic
    is good. How good is then chocolate with garlic?”

    When Martin at organized the first They
    Go Really Well Together
    event suggesting to compose a…

  4. I’m fascinated by experimental recipes, but particularly when created with a molecularly gastronomic consideration. I’m a chocolatier in the very early stages of business with lots to learn. my recent truffle with white stilton, mango and ginger, in a 34% cocoa butter Venezuelan white chocolate, [Icoa] and double cream has been a great success. I look forward to experimenting with garlic!

  5. […] Gli alberi gustativi possono essere utilizzati anche per combinare tra loro due alimenti apparentemente inconciliabili: aglio e cioccolato ad esempio. Conciliare questi due sembra una mission impossible vero? Ma ecco arrivare in soccorso l’Ethan Hunt della situazione: il caffí¨. Questo, avendo degli aromi comuni sia con l’aglio che con il cioccolato, dovrebbe riuscire a rendere possibile il matrimonio  “impossibile” tra aglio e cioccolato. Potete leggere sul blog khymos i risultati. […]

  6. If I am making choc, coffee and garlic espuma in a 1 Ltr whipper, do I have to double the charge or will 1 suffice? I would imagine double mix needs double gas.
    New to this espuma lark!
    Presumably less gas will make a thicker mousse/foam. Would like a sensible suggestion before experimenting several times if someone has already done it.

    • Yes – I would recommend at least 2 chargers for the 1 Ltr whipper.

      Generally speaking a higher pressure causes more expansion when the espuma leaves the whipper – that’s equivalent to a lighter, more fluffy texture (but also something that could easier collapse if there’s insufficient hydrocolloid to stabilize the foam).

  7. This recipe was received well by nearly all ,pastry chef suggested more choc, using coffee as a background spice, a little more ‘mocha’ maybe. Garlic, 2 cloves per ltr, snuk up on everyone after 4/5 mins! an interesting experience.

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