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Why Should You Cook With Coffee?


…and so I challenge whom ever wants to make the recipe from the blog at the end for a free book!

Cooking with coffee is a way of extracting all the beneficial properties of coffee as well as its aroma and flavors in order to transform dishes into unexpected delicacies, some new and never tasted before. We have all seen, many might have actually tasted coffee ice cream, coffee liqueurs and a couple of coffee desserts around time. But now, learning to use the coffee bean in all of its forms, the toasted and ground bean, the decaf bean, the whole bean, and the instant freeze-dried version will take us into a completely new world of amazing flavors. The flavor of coffee and sweets comes through as a sweet caramelized sort of goodie. Yet the intensity of the ground bean in a dish can lead its mixture of ingredients into a dark bark chocolaty taste that is a little bitter but not recognizably coffee as we have tasted it before. Then comes coffee used in savory dishes: any of the three kinds of coffee we spoke of earlier, and even prepared coffees as ristretto o espresso if you own a machine or if have a coffee store around the block, can be used in the books recipes. Liquors and other hearty beverages like Irish coffee are flavored with coffee and spiked with alcohol, and you will now be able to prepare your own and always have one at home in the spur of the moment. May be adding herbs and spices, like the drinks in the hot beverage section of the book will be a guide to your own private label of coffee after dinner drink. You could also invent one to be served in a shot glass with an amuse-bouche.

Cook With Coffee

The earth where coffee was grown comes out in the aroma and flavor of the bean. Sometimes as a particularly woody flavor, just like grapes do, depending on where on earth the vines are grown, how much sun and rain affect the area and how the bean is washed and roasted. It is here that the variety of coffees that may come from one same vairetal coffee plant, be it arabica or robusta, can create a grand array of aromas and tastes that professionals find as they cup the coffee and give it a name and price. So can we. In the same way we learned how to enjoy the different varieties of wines and chocolates, depending on their origin, fruit and process, we can learn to decipher coffees and make some rules that apply to our own coffee preferences. Wouldn’t it be interesting to elaborate a little on your own; before large books are written with rules on how to and not, drink the different varietals of coffee. Let’s enjoy being some of the first ones with our own coffee palate and preference.

Why Should You Cook With Coffee?

A simple way to find a diversity of coffee flavors, is to use different varieties of coffees as well as some from the upper mountains, above 2000 meters, some from the low lands, some from very damp territories and some from dry lands. We can choose, African beans, Asian Beans, South American beans and Central American Beans and grind them and prepare a variety of concentrated coffee “bases” or syrups with them. We can also use dark roasted or light roasted beans of the same variety to see if there is a detectable change in flavor to your recipe. You must keep a record in a notebook of which grain refers to which number and then label the concentrated sauces you prepare with each variety, with the numbers only. This will facilitate the sampling with out confusion. Then try them on a certain recipe. I would start with the Asian Vinaigrette from past Tuesday’s recipe of the week. I would prepare the dressing with the different varieties of coffee. Then, I would try the original recipe, divide it into 3 parts and add any of your own creative changes and see what happens. You can add certain ingredients that are already in the recipe or ones that are not. Remember to add the same ingredient to each recipe in order for them to be comparable later on . This only if you deem it necessary; if you believe they might need a bit more sweetness,a bit more sour, tart of salt, go ahead and add the ingredient you choose. This way you will be able to start telling which coffees go best with which of the ingredient base, be it sour, sweet, salty or bitter. You may even find a way to get UMAMI out of your favorite recipes. Some of the book recipes have UMAMI, and you will be able to tell, because you will find them perfectly complete.

Cooking With Coffee

This can be as fun as a game or as strict as a lab project. I would try to make it fun, maybe get together with some friends and have a couple of rums ready on the side, vodka would work too. They are the perfect match and at night it can be a celebration of life. You will be amazed at the great things we can come up with on our own, with just a little guide and time. Company makes the food taste better! It definitely does, unless it’s you other one’s ex… So try to make it a prep party or a taste party if you doubt your willingness to have to many cooks in the “experimental” kitchen. Some of us find that when experimenting, doing it with others actually reduces the stress as you share the goods and the bad too! Especially if you are the chef, the expert or the one expected to know it all. So bring in the crowd, even a crowd of two or three, and have some fun with coffee and ice creams, coffee and cheese, coffee and drinks…. coffee and anything. One important tip: always drink a cup of water after each cup of coffee, and drink bits of water between tastes. Also go from the lighter coffees to the darker ones when tasting so your tongue can completely absorb the different flavors.

Coffee as you know can be a waker upper for some, so there is always decaf for those that can not have it at night. But, if you usually have dinner invitations where your guests tend to eat and leave, well you can use one of the many recipes on the book to keep them up after dinner. This coffee recipe will also aid a bit the digestion of the food they are eating; especially at night. They will feel lighter as they leave and happier too. They might even stay longer, and have a dance or two. I actually have a friend that has one cup of coffee and can stay up dancing until the wee hours of the night.

Today every corner street has a coffee shop, so lets include coffee in our ingredients list and get together with friends to form a community like in the good old days, to talk. We can talk to reduce stress, therefore reducing the amount of aging components in our bodies, and have a good time too.

Interesting what all of us can do to make a regular night one like a night At The City That Never Sleeps!

Coffee cooking expert

Did this give you an idea of the awesome benefits that can arise if you cook with coffee? Let us know in the comments below or share any ideas you have. We are always open. Share with someone you believe you can help too!

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Patricia McCausland-Gallo is a nutritionist, pastry chef, teacher, and food writer born in the Caribbean town of Barranquilla, Colombia. She has a B.S. in Foods and Nutrition from Louisiana State University, attended a School for Retort Operations, and completed courses of instruction prescribed by the Food and Drug Administration.