This classic French dessert always tugs on my heart strings. My maman used to make it all the time during the summer months when I was growing up. Café Liégeois originally was called Café Viennois but during World War I when the Germans attacked Liège, Parisian restaurants changed the name to Café Liégeois.
Café Liégeois is a very simple recipe that allows lots of variants to be created. Classically it is made from iced and sweetened espresso, coffee ice cream & sweetened whipped cream. This last weekend I made a variant called Barcelona Liégeois made with iced espresso, chocolate sorbet , salted caramel, whipped cream, chopped Marcona almonds and a Pirouette cookie from Pepperidge Farms.
No recipe is needed other than for salted Caramel sauce and even that is so easy and flexible. I start by caramelizing ½ c. organic sugar and about ¼ c. water in a heavy gauged pot over medium heat. As you start heating the pan notice the small size of the bubbles. As the sugar cooks and the moisture cooks off the bubbles will get considerably larger. Pour in ¼ c. of Heavy Cream when the caramel turns an amber color. Finish the sauce with two pinches of really good sea salt and a tablespoon of butter.
Construct your Café Liégeois with chilled sweetened espresso, a few scoops of chocolate sorbet, a tablespoon or more of salted caramel sauce, a few tablespoons of sweetened whipped cream, a few large pinches of chopped Marcona almonds and a Pirouette cookie.