A root beer float is one of my favorite summertime treats. The combination of cold and sweet ice cream with fizzy, spicy root beer is a winner every time. Coffee drinks usually take on a blended form in the summer, but the “float” concept works extremely well with coffee and is right up there with the root beer version for me.
This drink starts with two scoops of good quality vanilla ice cream in a nice, big glass. The better your ice cream, the better your drink is going to be (in other words, save the lower fat stuff for another time). Fill the glass about halfway up with cold milk, then fill it up to the top with chilled black, coffee. Give everything a little stir with a straw and then enjoy. The ice cream adds all the sweetness that your coffee will need and will still keep the drink very refreshing. You don’t need to add any milk and could use all coffee if you really wanted to, but adding that milk highlights the creaminess of the ice cream wonderfully.
This could be a dessert drink, but it is something that I usually prefer to enjoy on a lazy weekend afternoon when I’m sitting outside enjoying the summer weather. I always prefer to use vanilla ice cream (it’s a classic for a float!), but chocolate actually works just as well in this type of drink.
When I was a kid, my favorite thing about Easter was the candy – especially gooey and sweet Cadbury Creme Eggs. Even now I can’t resist buying a package around Easter, although I will freely admit that I can’t eat them like I used too because I find them to be a little on the sweet side. This sweetness is not a bad thing, however, as it opens the door for other culinary uses for the chocolate eggs. For instance, you can make a Cadbury Creme Egg Pie with a whole batch of them. Or, you can turn it into a handy way to sweeten your coffee.
Cadbury Creme Egg Coffee is exactly what it sounds like: coffee sweetened with a Cadbury Creme Egg. All you need to do is dissolve a whole, large egg into a hot mug of freshly brewed coffee. The egg adds a nice sweetness and a hint of chocolate without much effort at all. I prefer using the Cadbury Caramel Eggs, which add a subtler sweetness and give the coffee a caramel-latte feel. You don’t need to add milk or cream to the coffee after adding the egg, although a little bit of whipped cream makes the coffee look quite festive if you plan to serve this around Easter.
I really like the Coca Cappuccino that Starbucks is featuring right now, with the combination of rich coffee, bittersweet chocolate and foamy, steamed milk. The ratios seem to be just right – especially when you don’t like your mocha drinks to be overly sweet. I don’t mind going out, but the drink is simple enough to make at home. The basic recipe is strong coffee, bittersweet chocolate syrup and steamed milk. Hershey’s syrup, or something similar will work. I used homemade cocoa syrup, which has a dark chocolate flavor and a consistency similar to Hershey’s chocolate syrup. If you don’t want to make your own syrup, Hershey’s will do just fine and still give you a very similar result.
You’ll need to be able to steam your milk to get a proper cappuccino pour, but if (like most of us) you don’t have the ability to steam milk at home, you can heat milk and froth it up with a small whisk (or an electric mixer if you’re doing multiple servings) to get hot and foamy milk to finish off the drink. Don’t forget the mocha drizzle on top!
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Nutella is hard to resist, but it can be difficult to come up with new ways to use the delicious chocolate hazelnut spread besides, well, spreading it on things like muffins and toast. I never really tire of having velvety Nutella on toast, but a little change of pace is always a good thing – especially when that change of pace involves coffee. I stirred some Nutella into a cup of hot coffee and was impressed with the way the chocolate and hazelnut flavors blended with my dark roast. I played around with the combination until I had a delicious drink, then I topped it off with some Nutella whipped cream to boost the flavor even more.
The Nutella whipped cream is made by dissolving Nutella into a small amount of hot coffee (water or milk would work, too), then folding it in to whipped cream. You need to dissolve the Nutella first because it is really far to thick to easily fold into the cream, and simply heating the Nutella would make it so warm that the whipped cream would deflate when you combined the two. The cream is incredibly decadent, like a very soft Nutella mousse. It is hard to resist not simply eating it with a spoon, but it really does finish off the coffee perfectly.
If you’re looking for shortcuts, I should mention that you can actually used canned whipped cream to make this drink. I prefer to use regular heavy cream and just whip it up, but you can whisk the melted Nutella mixture right into the canned stuff (it doesn’t fold in and must be whisked quite vigorously), too. If you’re going to go this route, keep in mind that you’ll need plenty of whipped cream to achieve the right consistency (just keep squirting more in) and that the whipped cream will deflate much faster than heavy cream that has been whipped.