Browsing articles in "Drinks"
Apr 23, 2014

Cafe de Olla

Cafe de Olla

Cafe de Olla is a Mexican spiced coffee that is a very enjoyable way to prepare your coffee if you’re looking for a little variety. The coffee is prepared on the stovetop and it is flavored with cinnamon, orange and cloves, and sweetened with piloncillo. Piloncillo is an unrefined Mexican sugar that you can find sold in cones or large chunks at Mexican markets. It has a unique flavor that is somewhere between brown sugar and honey, and while it takes a little bit of work to chop up the block that it comes in, it is well worth the effort.

This coffee is traditionally brewed by combining all the ingredients in a saucepan and allowing them to steep together, than straining out the spices when you’re ready to serve it. You can also make it in smaller batches in a french press, but I find that it is easies to make it the traditional way because nothing gets caught in the mesh of my french press. With the saucepan method, you can also easily taste your coffee and adjust the sugar level to taste, as piloncillo is quite sweet and you may find that you don’t want quite as much in your brew.
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Apr 10, 2014

Blackberry White Chocolate Mocha

Blackberry White Chocolate Mocha

Raspberries and white chocolate are a combination that you’ll see often, both in desserts and in coffee drinks. Raspberries have a bright, sweet-tart flavor that is a good match for sweet, creamy white chocolate. They’re not the only berry that is a good match for white chocolate, however. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries all play well with white chocolate. In this case, I used fresh blackberries to make a Blackberry White Chocolate Mocha. It’s a unusual – but delicious – change of pace from a raspberry drink and it’s especially good as blackberries are coming into season.

The drink is built with fresh blackberry purée and white chocolate. You can purée your blackberries in the food processor and then strain them to remove all the pulp and seeds from the fruit. This will leave you with a smooth, beautifully colored purée that can be added directly to your drink. I combined the purée with white chocolate (you might need to add a little sugar, depending on how see your berries are) and added hot coffee. The coffee is hot enough to melt the chocolate, so I just let it sit for a few minutes before stirring it to combine all the ingredients and topping it off with milk. You can use either coffee or espresso in this drink with good results.

I finished my mocha off with a couple of homemade Blackberry Marhmallows, which are also flavored with fresh blackberry purée. I highly recommend making a batch, but in lieu of that, you can top this drink off with regular marshmallows or whipped cream, and add a touch of leftover blackberry purée for extra flavor.
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Mar 14, 2014

Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino

Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino

Thin Mints are the best selling Girl Scout cookie and they make up 25% of all Girl Scout Cookies sales. They have just the right combination of chocolate and mint in a crispy cookie to be addictive. Their flavor is actually pretty unique and that makes Thin Mints very recognizable. I often use Thin Mints in baking recipes and decided to turn them into a refreshing coffee drink this time around – and the result is my Homemade Thin Mint Frappuccino. It’s an ice blended coffee drink that is packed with Thin Mint flavor – and actual Thin Mint cookies!

All of the chocolate flavor in the drink actually comes from the cookies. Thin Mints are a little more minty than they are chocolaty, so putting too much chocolate into the drink just turns this into an ordinary, but minty, mocha. The crispy cookies add just the right amout of chocolate flavor, and I added a little extra peppermint extract to boost the mintiness of the cookies. It’s a little sweet and surprisingly refreshing for an indulgent iced coffee drink! Don’t hesitate to splurge and add a dollop of whipped cream on top before serving.

If you want to enjoy this drink and it’s not Girl Scout cookie season, you can easily substitute for the Thin Mint cookies. Keebler makes a cookie called a Grasshopper that is almost identical to the Thin Mint, and you can even use plain chocolate wafer cookies or Oreos without the filling with good results.
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Feb 15, 2014

Leftover Chocolate Truffle Mocha

Leftover Chocolate Truffle Mocha

There really is no such thing as a leftover chocolate truffle, because those indulgent chocolate treats are just too delicious to turn down. But there are times when you might find that you have more truffles than you can eat (in one sitting, anyway) on hand, such as after Valentine’s Day or after a big candy sale at your favorite store. Those excess chocolate truffles are the perfect base to use for a delicious Leftover Chocolate Truffle Mocha. The chocolate in the truffles easily melts with hot coffee, adding a lot of chocolate flavor and a little bit of sweetness to a decadent coffee drink that can be enjoyed with or without truffles on the side.

You can use either chocolate covered chocolate truffles or the cocoa-dusted variety to make this drink. The most important thing is that they should be high quality truffles – the kind have a velvety smooth melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more – because a great chocolate truffle is going to make for a great coffee drink. If you are using the chocolate covered truffles, you may need to give them a little extra time in the coffee so that they can melt completely before stirring them in. As always, adjust this recipe to your own tastes by using more truffles (for a thicker, “drinking chocolate” feel) or by adding a little extra sugar to sweeten it up if your truffles are an intense, dark chocolate to start out with. There is no wrong way to make it because it will always taste so right when you drink it.
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