Coffee Drinks

Drinks To Drive For

Gemelli, a great new food place, recently opened up near us. We’ve been there a few times trying out the menu. They have some great food but the standout favourites have to be their milkshakes. Four flavours range from Berry Cheesecake, Cara-Malt Popcorn, Chocolate – Chocolate – Chocolate to Vanilla Brulee. It took a while, but I tried them all 🙂 Choosing a favourite is difficult, as each has something unusual and delicious to tempt you.

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the wobbly jelly pieces in the Berry Cheesecake

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the caramel popcorn floating crunchily in the Cara-Malt Popcorn

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the chocolate filled wafers poking out of the Chocolate – Chocolate – Chocolate

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the bruleed marshmallow sitting in a mini ice cream cone, poking out of the Vanilla Brulee

I did not think there was a drink to match these in beauty and flavour but I was wrong. After conquering the milkshake challenge I turned to one of my favourite drinks – the Affogato.

What is not to love about cold ice cream served with a shot of hot coffee to pour over it? Affogato means “drowned” in Italian and refers to the ice cream being drowned by the coffee. When the hot coffee meets the cold ice cream a battle begins between the two. Will the heat of the coffee melt the ice cream or will the cold ice cream cool down the coffee? Both things actually happen. What you are left with is a warm, creamy, melting coffee flavoured ice cream which you both drink and eat with a spoon!

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Can it get any better? Yes! By the additional of alcohol. Affogato can be served with a shot of Amaretto, a sweet, almond flavoured liqueur. But the affogato here is served with Frangelico, a sublime hazelnut flavoured liqueur. It was a very pleasant surprise. While you are meant to pour both the coffee and the liqueur over the ice cream, I kept some Frangelico back for the end. Finishing my affogato with a final sip of warming Frangelico was the perfect end to a perfect drink.

I loved the affogato so much I decided to make my own version with vanilla and raspberry ice cream, served with a shot of hot coffee and a shot of Turkish Delight liqueur. The raspberry ice cream almost overpowered the coffee, but the coffee bravely fought back. The raspberry and Turkish Delight liqueur complemented each other beautifully and I was left with an intriguing mix of flavours which I liked.

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If you are happy to stray from the traditional flavours of an affogato, you can have heaps of fun experimenting. I’m wondering what coconut ice cream and coffee would taste like and what liqueur to pair them with and … I could go on but it’s time to have a coffee – without ice cream! 🙂

Bitter Sweet

In my exploration of the five flavours through drinks, I’ve saved bitter for last. Not just because it is my favourite emotion – I mean flavour! – but because it was the most difficult. Like sweet, bitter has so many of my favourite flavours such as beer, wine, tea and coffee. How could I narrow down a drink with so many offerings? With great difficulty.

After contemplating a citrus sangria, a root beer float with real beer and numerous tea infusions I finally settled on a tried and true bitter combination – mocha. Chocolate and coffee are great companions and both can be bitter. I chose to celebrate their union in stages. A marriage of fresh brewed coffee blended with melted chocolate is topped with a dollop of cream infused with instant coffee and sprinkled with cocoa nibs. The result – a luscious, messy indulgence 🙂

Hot Mocha

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A bitter-sweet symphony of coffee and chocolate.

Ingredients
1/2 cup double cream
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee powder
1 cup freshly made coffee
50g dark chocolate, finely chopped
cocoa nibs for serving (optional)

Method
Whisk the cream and coffee together by hand until thick.
Place the fresh coffee and chopped chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes or until the chocolate has melted and combined with the coffee.
Divide evenly between two heat-proof glasses or mugs.
Top with coffee whipped cream.
Sprinkle with cocoa nibs if desired.

Note:
The cream can sometimes separate when dropped into the hot mocha. You can allow the mocha to cool slightly before dolloping the cream or you can enjoy it as a buttery, creamy mocha.

Cold Nights and Warm Fortunes

I’ve experienced something the last few days that I haven’t experienced for quite some time – bone chilling cold – and I love it!

I can remember Autumns in Melbourne that were so cold that a jacket, scarf, hat and gloves would barely keep you warm. It’s not like we get snow here, but we used to get an Autumn and Winter. However, the last few years have been dominated by really warm Springs, long, hot Summers followed by a brief cooling down for Autumn and Winter. Before you know it Spring has arrived with Summer hot on its heels. While I love Summer, and really enjoy feeling the heat of the Sun warm my body, I yearn for the cold. I yearn for seasons. I want my Spring, Summer, Autumn and especially my Winter. It’s what we used to have in Melbourne and it’s what we’re having now. I’ll enjoy it while it lasts because sadly, I think global warming is having its effect and my sunburnt country is going to get hotter and hotter.

What better way to enjoy a cold Autumn night than with a hot coffee and a fortune!

traditional turkish coffee

Turkish Coffee for Two

Special Equipment

1 small, narrow-topped turkish coffee pot (called a cezve or any of a number of different names)
2 turkish coffee cups (demitasse)
2 saucers
 

Ingredients

2 demitasse cups of water
2 teaspoons of sugar
2 heaped teaspoons of Turkish coffee

 

Method

Add the water to the Turkish coffee pot, making sure you do not overfill the pot. The water should be just under the narrowest part of the rim.
Add the sugar.
Spoon Turkish coffee on top of the water. Do not stir.
Heat over medium-low heat until warm. Stir the coffee and sugar until they dissolve. Continue heating until the water comes almost to the boil and bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Remove from the heat and allow the bubbles to subside. Return to the heat and repeat two more times. There should now be a good layer of foam on the top. Carefully pour the coffee into two Turkish coffee cups, making sure there is foam on the top of both of them.
Allow to settle for a minute before drinking.
For fortune telling purposes drink from only one side of the cup.
When the coffee is finished, place the saucer on top of the cup.
Hold the cup at chest level and turn in a clockwise circle three times.
Quickly turn the cup upside down on the saucer and leave to stand for a few minutes.
Remove the cup from the saucer and turn upright.
Read the coffee symbols.
When the reading is finished and the cup returned to you, you can then make a wish whilst using your index finger to make a fingerprint in the cup.
The coffee cup can be read again to see if the wish will come true or not.
Finally, the coffee patterns on the saucer can be read.

There are many different views on how to make Turkish coffee, the right strength and the amount of sweetness. The above recipe is my preferred way. Sometimes, for a truly indulgent – but non-traditional coffee – I float a layer of cream on top. Do you have an unconventional Turkish coffee recipe/addition?

Similarly there are different rituals for coffee cup reading. I’d love to hear what your traditions are.

non-traditional turkish coffee – with a dash of cream