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.
I can’t remember where I was at the time, but a few years ago I went to a coffee shop that offered a s’mores latte. This drink was inspired by classic campfire s’mores, with their layers of crisp graham crackers, toasted marshmallows and melting chocolate. Unfortunately, the coffee shop in question used a s’mores flavored syrup and it didn’t quite live up to my expectations in the flavor department. I still thought it was a good idea, however, and decided to play around with the concept at home. Adding the chocolate to hot coffee and milk was easy, and marshmallows on top added plenty of marshmallowy sweetness. I used milk chocolate, as that is the quintessential s’mores chocolate (although you can use dark if you prefer).
The graham cracker element was slightly trickier, as the crackers lost their crunch – and just about all of their appeal – when they got wet in the mug. I solved the problem by simply crushing the grahams and sprinkling them on top of the marshmallows, where you can still get a taste of them in every sip, but where they are protected from the coffee and milk by a layer of sugar.
If you look carefully, you can find an official day for just about anything. For instance, January 25th was National Irish Coffee Day! Irish Coffee is a hot coffee drink, where freshly brewed coffee is spiked with enough Irish whiskey to give it a kick, then sweetened with sugar and topped with whipped cream. It is a classic and, although I might be a day late to the official party, any excuse for an Irish Coffee is a good one.
Irish coffee is a drink that I like to serve for dessert after a dinner party or even to make for myself on a cold evening when I could use a very cozy, warming drink. I don’t want to offend any purists, but I’ve been known to add a splash of Irish cream to mine, too, just to sweeten things up! I generally go by taste, so as you follow the recipe below, feel free to adjust the amounts to suit your own preferences.
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A few years ago, banana drinks hit the menu boards in many coffee shops, including Coffee Bean and Starbucks. At the time, I thought that putting banana into a coffee drink was a strange concept. Starbucks primarily limited the fruit to blended, milkshake like drinks and the banana suited them. Coffee Bean, for instance, used a banana puree syrup to add to hot coffee drinks, along with caramel and chocolate. The combination may have seemed strange, but it tasted great. The banana flavor really suited the coffee in a way I didn’t expect it to, and the drinks were a hit with me.
I didn’t try to make this combination at home until recently. Banana puree, again, isn’t the first thing that you think about adding to your coffee! But when the banana was pureed to be very smooth (not just mashed lightly with a fork) it brought a lot of sweetness and a richer flavor to my mocha. It also reminded me of the chocolate banana milkshakes my dad used to make for me during the summertime – although this hot version has a nice caffeine kick and can be enjoyed even in cold weather. It’s kind of a fun drink and one that I’ll be making again. Be sure to get that banana pureed as smoothly as possible for the best consistency in the finished drink!