How to make mochaberries

February 24, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
Combine coffee and chocolate to create a treat with a kick. Karen Shebek, director of strategic sales for Rubicon Bakery in Richmond, shares this sweet recipe.

MochaBerries from Rubicon Bakery
Makes over 100 MochaBerries


  • 4-5 Tablespoons of dark roasted Arabica coffee, finely ground
  • 8 ounces of hot water
  • 3 Tablespoons of dried egg whites *
  • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2.5 lbs of dark chocolate

*Honeyville brand or Just Whites dried egg whites are available at specialty grocers and online


Brew double strength of a dark roasted coffee. In home coffee maker, use 4-5 tablespoons for 8 ounces of water. Let cool.

Measure 2/3 cup of double strength coffee and pour into mixing bowl.

Add 3 tablespoons of dried egg whites.

Mix on highest speed until foamy.

Gradually add 3/4 cup of granulated sugar.

Continue to beat at highest speed until stiff peaks form.

Fill pastry tube, pipe onto a foil lined baking sheet, nickel sized peaks.

Bake at 200 degrees for 3 hours.

Temper chocolate for enrobing meringues by melting 2/3 of the chocolate in a double boiler. Remove from heat and add in balance. Stir.

Dip bites in chocolate, place on sheets, cool in fridge or freezer quickly.

About Karen Shebek
Karen Shebek's straight-forward style of negotiation, team-building skills, and palate, were key elements in her rise through the ranks at Nestle Beverage, one of the largest coffee and tea manufacturers in the U.S. At Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker and Niman Ranch, she turned her expertise to European quality chocolate and the finest tasting meat. Now she is applying her skills and knowledge delicious desserts while helping to transform the lives of those in need at Rubicon Bakery.

Shebek's love for good food was nurtured at an early age, living above her family-owned restaurant in Greenwich Village. While most high school students find jobs in food service to support their secondary education, she took a job with a fast-paced commodities trading house on Wall Street in order to attend Cornell University. Her enthusiasm for the global markets led her from engineering studies to a degree in international relations, where an independent study on multinationals in Brazil led to her familiarity with the world's largest coffee producer.

Shebek moved to the Bay Area , and credited her commodities background and language skills with her acceptance at MJB Co, where, in 1983, Bransten family members still taught the art and science of buying, blending and roasting coffee. Her preference for Peet's coffee, an outcome of her early exposure to McNulty's coffee in New York, validated the company's launch of MJB's European Roast. Acquired by Nestle, the company benefited from the resources and diverse experiences of a range of coffee companies, now under one roof. Droughts, international criminal activity and frosts honed her skill at quickly overcoming operational challenges. In 1993, she broke new ground as the first woman elected President of the Pacific Coast Coffee Association. With the First Lady of Colombia at her side, she helped open an eye clinic in Bogota, which would later be followed by one in Pereira.

When Nestle relocated its operations to Southern California, Shebek remained in the Bay Area and joined Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker as General Manager. She was drawn to the founders' commitment to make fine chocolate using high-quality cacao beans and amazed to learn that compared to the wide spectrum of nuance and flavor of coffee beans, cacao beans were even more diverse. Under her leadership, the company successfully launched the 2000 winner of NASFT's Outstanding Confection.

Shebek transitioned to the main course, consulting with Niman Ranch in order to improve day-to-day operations to support the company's strategic growth. Founder Bill Niman, a Bon Appetit's Artisan of the Year, has been successful in bringing the company's natural and sustainable meat products to national significance.

Karen applied her business expertise to the local arena, by helping study school configurations in West Contra Costa Unified School District, based in Richmond. She was introduced to neighboring non-profit Rubicon Bakery and is working with its sales and production teams.

Karen Shebek lives in Kensington with her husband and two children.

About Rubicon's CocoaBerries... and introducing MochaBerries
For over 12 years, Rubicon Bakery has been making high quality bakery products from scratch with the finest ingredients, selling through premier retail outlets in the Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. CocoaBerries are handcrafted by individuals who are overcoming economic and social hurdles such as homelessness, mental disability, and addiction.

Purchases of CocoaBerries lead directly to the creation of jobs and other support services for these individuals. CocoaBerries are available at In the Bay Area, they can be purchased at Andronico's, Whole Foods, Mollie Stones, and over 30 other specialty grocers. Check out the stories of transformed lives at Robert most likely packed the box we ship and Orville deposited the meringue batter. If you don't have a sweet tooth, but would like to make a donation to support Rubicon's worthy programs which have helped over 35,000 people since 1973, go to