So most of us love coffee as a drink, and more often that not a means to stay awake during the day, but how often do we think to use coffee as an ingredient in the food we eat? You could be using that coffee maker to prepare your main course and not just at the end of the meal.
Immediately you will think of desserts or chocolate, which are the most common uses of coffee in food, and we will discuss these in more detail, but you shouldn’t limit your imagination to sweet product. Coffee can also give a real kick to barbeque glazes, marinades, chili and even some casseroles.
Before you start throwing instant granules into all your dishes, bear in mind that fresh coffee produces the best flavor. You want to use freshly ground beans, preferably ground yourself if you have the equipment. If you need to brew the coffee, make it with clean filtered water and don’t make it until you actually need it. Generally coffee to be used in food should be at least twice as strong as drinking coffee depending on your tastes.
One popular savory sauce to make use of coffee is meatloaf sauce, which is best served with Australian meatloaf. You need to mix a tablespoon of coffee with a small amount of water, some tomato ketchup, Worcester sauce and a little dry red wine. Vinegar, a squeeze of lemon, dark brown sugar and some vinegar are the rest of the ingredients to add to the zesty concoction.
You should cook the meat at three hundred and seventy five degrees Fahrenheit for thirty or so minutes, before adding the sauce and continuing cooking for an additional forty five minutes.
A popular use of coffee in sweet food is espresso brownies, which will make any social occasion a success. Mix together sugar, a pinch of salt, and some butter over a low heat. Add some vanilla to taste and broken up chocolate, preferably sweet milk chocolate to contrast with the bitter coffee. Add some finely ground dark roast coffee, such as an Italian or French roast.
Mix all the ingredients together and then allow slight cooling. Fold eggs and flour into the mixture whilst still a little warm. The resulting combination should be baked in a moderate oven for thirty minutes and allowed to become cold before sampling.
There are so many possibilities when using coffee in your food, cakes, gateaux, cookies and ice creams all taste fantastic with a coffee flavoring. Even a simple sponge can be livened up with coffee icing or coffee cream filling.
The popular Italian dessert tiramisu is becoming a global favorite with its rich combination of espresso, marsala, sponge and mascarpone cheese.
A number of cocktails are now incorporating coffee. As well as the well known Kahula, various coffee liqueurs such as Tia Maria make versatile cocktail ingredients.
A final possibility is coffee syrup, a perfect topping to almost any desert or ice cream. You just combine sugar with good quality double strength brewed coffee and boil to dissolve the sugar. Simmer over a lower heat until the mixture thickens and then allow to become cool.
So get a little creative with your coffee machines and see what innovative dishes you can come up with using coffee as the special ingredient.
Robert Carlton routinely edits papers on themes relating to coffee roasting and coffee types. You can see his comments on coffee maker over at http://www.coffee-espresso-maker-tips.com .