Vietnamese Coffee

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016 by

Vietnamese Coffee

If you’ve never had Vietnamese coffee, you have to try it. It’s shockingly good. I like my coffee black or with a little cream, but never sweetened so I can’t explain why I like this intensely sweet drink, but I love it, especially over ice. The sweeter the better. Coffee in Vietnam is typically Robusta, which has a reputation for being slightly bitter. Dark roast levels are common, as they minimize this bitterness. A big spoonful of sweetened condensed milk helps too. For this recipe we used our Super Dark Espresso, which contains some Robusta as most espresso blends do. We also used a traditional 6 ounce Vietnamese coffee filter called a phin. These stainless steel filters are inexpensive and easy to find online in several sizes. You can substitute brewed espresso or strong French Press coffee if you prefer.

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons ground coffee. A French press (coarse) grind works best
  • Hot water

Instructions

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a heat safe glass or mug. Start with a little if  you’re not sure how much sweetness you’ll like and stir more in if you prefer after brewing. Remove the interior screen from the filter (you may need to unscrew this manually). Add coffee to the filter and replace the inside screen, tightening the screw fully, the unscrewing it one full turn to give the coffee room to expand. Rest the filter on top of your mug or glass and add a splash of near-boiling water. Let this sit for half a minute, then fill the filter chamber with water. Cover the top of the filter (there’s a cap provided) and allow the coffee to drip through. Once the water has drained through, remove the filter, stir, and enjoy hot or pour over ice.

This entire process takes about five minutes. If the water drains through too quickly, your grind may be too course and you’ll have a watery cup of coffee. Too fine a grind will clog the filter. If you grind your own beans, play with the grind level until you find what brews and tastes best with your filter.

The Perfect Two-Ingredient Dessert

Friday, January 8th, 2016 by

Affogato

It’s called an affogato and it’s perfect in its simplicity. All you need is a scoop or two of vanilla gelato and a single shot of freshly brewed espresso. While it’s pretty simple to make (pour the hot espresso over gelato), there are a few tricks to making an affogato great:

  1. Don’t skimp on the ingredients. The gelato (or ice cream if you prefer) should be good quality and the espresso fresh. Experiment with different flavors if you like. Caramel is delicious and a flavor with a little texture like chocolate chip would work well too.
  2. Make sure your gelato is very cold and scoop generously. Otherwise you will have a delicious bowl of cool soup. Chilling the bowl also helps.
  3. Make the espresso immediately before serving. Part of the fun of this dessert is the contrast between textures and temperatures. The espresso should be hot and served in something easy to pour.
  4. Optional: serve with a straw, unless you’re dining alone, in which case just put the bowl up to your face and drink all that melted deliciousness at the bottom. Waste nothing.

 

Espresso Shortbread Cookies

Thursday, October 15th, 2015 by

 

Iced Shortbread Cookies

Holiday season is almost upon us, which means cookies in the break room again. Shortbread is a favorite because you can make many variations with one big batch of dough. If you have a tried-and-true shortbread dough you love, you can easily adapt it by mixing ground coffee into the dough and glazing the cookies with coffee icing (recipe below).

We followed this recipe, for the shortbread dough, with a couple of changes: we used our 0 Dark 30 blend coffee, ground for a standard autodrip machine, and two kinds of icing to mix things up a little.

Ingredients (yield: about two dozen cookies)

For the dough
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon ground 0 Dark 30 (or any dark roast coffee you like)
½ vanilla bean, split and scraped for seeds
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cup flour, sifted

For the icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons half and half (or strong brewed coffee, cooled)

You can find the full directions for the dough here. Mix the icing ingredients together until smooth and glaze the cookies once they have cooled completely. Then bring them to work so you don’t eat them all by yourself.

 

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, August 6th, 2009 by

Well, I decided to bake again…
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