Category Archives: Food and Drink

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Whipped Cream

Espresso Whipped Cream RecipeSometimes, simple is better; but other times, souping up simple is even better. Take this espresso whipped cream recipe, for example: With the minor addition of finely ground coffee to a fairly standard whipped cream recipe, you produce something that is altogether more sophisticated and refined.

This delectable topping could proudly accent a gourmet coffee brew or molten chocolate cake; heck, it could even stand on its own, chilled in a decorative serving glass. And if you don’t have Brandi’s rockin’ biceps to work it out with a standard whisk, you can whip it up using an electronic mixer when you’re not even in the room! What could be more simple?

Watch her show us how it’s done in this fun recipe how-to video.

Recipe: Espresso Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chilled whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground coffee – we used Velton’s Twilight

Directions

In a medium bowl, beat all the ingredients until it forms soft peaks. Can be prepared up to 4 hours in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator if needed.

Source

Brewin’ with Brandi: Happy New Year Boozy Shakes!

Happy New Year 2014!In preparation for tonight’s festivities, here’s a special episode of Brewin’ with Brandi — Happy New Year Edition!

Many of you will be rockin’ the bubbly when the clock hits midnight, but there’s plenty of time to get in some yummy drinks beforehand. For example: Breakfast. If you had a little pre-funk last night and need a good way to alleviate the boozy shakes, or are looking to set yourself up for a remedy tomorrow morning, then this boozy shake is just for you. With coffee, liquor, liqueur and chocolate ice cream, it’s certain to be a party favorite.

Watch Brandi whip up a batch for us to enjoy.

Recipe: Boozy Shake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Irish whiskey
  • 2 cups chocolate ice cream
  • 1/2 cup chilled coffee
  • 1/4 cup Irish cream liqueur
  • 1 cup of ice (more or less)

Directions

Place all of the ingredients (or half or the ingredients) into the blender and turn it on high speed. If you have a ‘pulse’ feature you can use it to hear if your ice cream/ice cubes are well blended. Serve up to yourself and three of your favorite people.

Happy New Year!

What’s Your Signature Espresso Drink? Episode Two: The Puristas

Purista Blog - Coffee RoasterWe talk a lot about coffee experimentation here at SCG. The great thing about being a coffee lover is that there is always something new to learn. Heck, we will try any espresso drink and any coffee brewing method at least once and we love to share our knowledge.

Recently, we met a couple who have taken our raison d’être ’How do you make great coffee at home?’ to new heights of exploration. They have even started to roast their own coffee beans at home! When passion and inquisitive minds collide … meet the bloggers behind Purista.

Home Roasters

David and Mae have a beautiful coffee review blog. In researching their coffee reviews they found ‘one green coffee can become any multitude of different roasts.’ Many coffee lovers would simply compare these final roasts but David and Mae were intrigued by the whole process. ‘In order to more fully explore coffee, and to provide ourselves with even more education and understanding, we decided to begin roasting coffee at home. We are still in the early stages of our roasting setup, and are learning new things with every roast.’

Ethiopia Aramo

David and Mae’s Recipe for Success

‘We recently adopted a back-to-basics mentality with our roasting. Per the suggestion of a member of the Sweet Maria’s coffee roasting community, we now roast in the following manner:

  • Turn on the roaster
  • Add just enough coffee to stop the rotation of the mass of coffee
  • Watch. Smell. Listen.

This has already proven so much better than how we were doing it before. Our roasts are now closer to seven minutes, rather than the four minutes we were getting before for the same roast level. This translates to a more developed profile — more complex aromas, flavors, finish.’

Signature Drink: Pomegranate Molasses Affogato

Here is the background and step by step recipe with pictures from David and Mae for this luscious and festive holiday treat. The volume yields 4 drinks total.

‘We wanted to create a signature drink that embodies the season, but keeps our Purista ideals in tact. What we mean by that is that we want the coffee to be the focal point and any additions secondary and complementary. Since we’re also proponents for taking the time to make something well, the recipe involves a bit of work.
Pomegranate Molasses Affogato

Ingredients

  • 1 pint Vanilla ice cream; chocolate ice cream would be a solid choice as well
  • 4 double shots Espresso
  • 8 oz 100% Pomegranate juice (POM makes a bottle just the right size)
  • 1 tbsp Agave sweetener (you can use cane sugar or honey instead)

Directions

We’ll walk you through the pomegranate molasses reduction before the assembly of the drinks. This takes some time, and attentiveness, but you can make it ahead of time and store it in a container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the pomegranate juice and agave sweetener and reduce on a medium-low heat. The liquid should simmer within about ten minutes. After ten minutes check it about every four minutes. In twenty eight to thirty minutes, the liquid should have reduced by more than half and coat a spoon ever so slightly, like syrup, when stirred. Don’t let it get too thick, as it will thicken a bit more as it cools, and for this drink we want it to be about the same consistency as the espresso.
  2. Remove from heat and let it cool about five minutes before pouring it into a suitable container. If you’re doing it ahead of time you can just put it in the refrigerator. If you need to use it relatively soon, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes.

And now it’s time for assembly …

Pomegranate Molasses Affogato

  1. Place 1/2 cup ice cream into 4 small cups or bowls. For reference, our INKER cups are 6 ounces. Place in the freezer until the espresso is prepared.
  2. Pull a double shot of espresso for each serving.
  3. Take the ice cream out of the freezer and pour a fresh double shot over each serving, followed by a tablespoon of pomegranate molasses.

Note the way that the syrup and espresso seamlessly blend together in texture. Then take note of the tartly sweet play on the coffee’s own acidity accentuated and complemented by the pomegranate. The ice cream is just a carrier vessel, and a balancing component that tames the intense flavors just enough, and shocks the coffee into a submissive temperature. This is our treat of the season, and since we can’t have you in our own living room, we send this decadence off to yours. Happy holidays!’

Many thanks to David and Mae. If you would like to share the recipe for your signature drink, send us an email!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Easy Tiramisu Recipe

Easy Tiramisu RecipeThere are some things in life that just shouldn’t be easy — becoming a doctor, developing muscle tone, writing the Great American Novel — these are all processes that have a defined pace which likely contributes to their very worth. You must walk before you run, try to notice the foliage along the way and no doubt be better for having followed a more disciplined approach to the endeavor. In that vein, we submit another activity that may not be the best when rendered ‘easy’: Tiramisu. Yes, it still tastes great and everyone you know will be clamoring for more, but is it really a good idea that you’re able to whip up such a devilishly delicious dessert so quickly and easily?

As Brandi demonstrates in this video, except for the whipping of the cream, this tiramisu recipe is probably too simple to keep anyone very honest and on track with dietary balance. Gail even joins her in the end to sample this delectable treat … and pretty much everything used to make it. If you’re looking for a super simple, easy and crowd-pleasing dessert for this holiday season (or any other time of the year, really,) then this tiramisu is the choice for you.

Recipe: Easy Tiramisu

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen pound cake (10 3/4 oz), thawed
  • 3/4 cup strongly brewed coffee (you know we used Velton’s Twilight!)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Monin Dark Chocolate sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  • 2 Heath bars, crushed

Directions

  1. Slice the pound cake into nine slices and arrange in an ungraded 11 x 7 baking dish.
  2. Drizzle the pound cake with the coffee.
  3. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
  4. Add the chocolate syrup, blend well.
  5. Fold in the whipped cream until well incorporated.
  6. Spread the mixture over the pound cake, then sprinkle with the crushed candy.
  7. Refrigerate until serving.
  8. Give up all hope of losing that last 5 pounds.

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Hot Blog On Bog Action: Coffee Your Way

Laila-GhambariWe are all for having fun brewing coffee and tea however you like it — we love how personal/meaningful/medically necessary it is … It can be all things to all people and we don’t judge (except for my not-so-secret campaign to stop the current #pumpkinspicelatte craze but that’s a whole different story). Here’s some inside scoop on coffee, tea, and having it your way.

Interview: Laila Ghambari, Caffe Ladro Director of Education (via Food GPS)
Our coffee friends at local Seattle roastery Caffe Ladro focus on quality. We talked with Laila about how ‘coffee culture is changing and progressing so rapidly’ and how that effects everyone in the chain from growers to customers. She aims to make high quality coffee that is approachable to consumers — without  coffee elitism.

Tea Cupping Versus Tea Tasting (via T Ching)
Tea cupping is serious business. There are rules. Protocol. Necessary accoutrement. Yikes! But a tea tasting is a social get-together where you can break those rules and still have a lovely cup of tea … your way.

Tea Bags Get a Bad Rap, What’s a Solo Sipper to do? (via Drink Tea)
Be kind to yourself. If you drink tea, make it a good cup of tea. Pick loose leaf black tea, green tea, white tea, Oolong, Pue-erh or herbal blends that float your boat and have the right tools on hand for home, work or travel.

Map of Seattle’s Best Tea Houses (via Eater)
We’ve gone to Cederberg Tea House before, see other places Brenna found around Seattle to tempt your tastebuds. Or re-create the tea house experience at home with these goodies.

If you want a daily dose, we spill the beans about National Coffee Day 9/29, a coffee comic strip, cats that need coffee and other items of caffeinated interest on:

What’s Your Signature Espresso Drink? Episode One: The Bob-uccino

spilled milkThe Crew at Seattle Coffee Gear knows what it feels like to spend hours practicing latte art while family members scratch their heads in confusion at so much spilled milk. Sometimes it feels like a lonely life for the home barista on a mission to master espresso drinks. Who is there to understand your triumphs and tribulations? But you are not alone in your caffeinated quest! In the spirit of coffee camaraderie, we offer insight into how other coffee friends use their coffee gear. If you would like to share the recipe for your signature drink, send us an email!

The Bob-uccino

What do you get when you find a La Pavoni Europiccola 8 and a Rancilio Rocky doserless grinder squirreled away in the kitchenette above a remotely located chainsaw retailer? If you are lucky, and I mean VERY lucky, you will get a ‘BOB-uccino.’ This is the best drink in town and nobody knows it! Here’s the secret recipe revealed:

Bob-uccino

Ingredients

Required Equipment

First, you need an Uncle Bob. These are getting harder to come by. I encountered one in the far reaches of Alaska this summer — a crusty old dude on the exterior with a hidden soft spot for a properly prepared cappuccino.

Directions

Froth the milk to your desired consistency, tap and swirl the frothing pitcher to decrease bubbles if necessary. Set aside. Extract the espresso shots. These are perfectly timed, perfectly executed manual shots. It takes time, patience and the skill of a master mechanic to consider humidity, roast date and moon phase (or other factors he will make up and explain to you in all seriousness).

Presentation

Uncle Bob’s preferred glass is not commonly used in the US; it is the Bormioli Rocco Verdi Oslo Cappuccino glass. They are the right size (7.2333 ounces) and proportion for a cappuccino. ‘This allows approximately .321 inches of lip engagement at the rim for full oral satisfaction,’ explains the master.

Taste

The flavor is very special because the milk foam is light and airy while the dark rum adds more depth and caramelization than vanilla alone. Remember our family motto, ‘You can’t drink all day if you don’t start in the morning,’ so try a Bob-uccino this weekend!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Morning Buzz Granola Recipe

Morning Buzz Granola RecipeWhen we walked into our test kitchen and were greeted by Brandi’s delicious granola recipe, we knew everything was going to be right in the world. Combining a nice selection of nuts, seeds and chocolate covered coffee beans (of course!), this tasty treat is sure to get your morning’s engine revving on all cylinders.

Watch Brandi tempt us with its grand awesomeness.

Recipe: Morning Buzz Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
  • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter
  • 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (for easy clean up!).
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, sunflower seeds, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and honey together, then heat until the butter melts and everything is well incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to combine; make sure that everything is well coated.
  5. Spread the mixture onto your baking sheet and then put it in the oven.
  6. Bake until the top is golden brown, which is about 15 minutes, then remove and break up the pieces slightly. Repeat after another 15 minutes and then after 10 minutes.
  7. Once the granola is golden brown throughout and dry, remove from the oven and sprinkle chocolate covered coffee beans over the warm granola; stir in.
  8. Allow the granola to cool and then serve! Cool it completely before storing, which you can do in an airtight container for up to a month.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Frozen Berry Yogurt Recipe

Recipe: Frozen Strawberry YogurtWith summer coming rapidly to a close, we wanted to rock a recipe that is both sweet and icy. With a wide array of naughty frozen delights available to you (like this or this), frozen yogurt truly is relatively nutritious — especially if you incorporate fresh strawberries into the mix! Right? Right.

Watch as Brandi demonstrates making this delectable dessert recipe on the Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled & quartered
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups plain yogurt

Recipe Directions

  1. Place quartered strawberries in a bowl and mix with 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice. Gently crush with a fork and let site at room temp for an hour to macerate. After an hour, gently crush with a fork again to desired consistency or blend into a puree.
  2. Combine strawberries, yogurt and sugar and pour into the ice cream bowl. Set ice cream maker to YOGURT setting an churn.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Chocolate Cake Shake

Yes, we’re serious. No, we can’t believe we are, either. We probably shouldn’t let Brandi choose her recipes on her own anymore after she brought this bad boy out to play. Who on earth blends up a slice of chocolate cake and then drinks it?! Probably the same person who blends up a donut.

We apologize in advance for any and all of the havoc this wreaks on your lovely figure, love. Ijole!

 Ingredients

  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 – 1 cup milk
  • (1) 8 oz. slice of chocolate cake
  • 2 shots of espresso

Directions

In a blender, puree the ice cream and the milk together. Add the cake and the espresso shot, continuing to blend and adding more milk (as needed) to get the right consistency. Serve with a straw and spoon in a pint glass, preferably away from any reflective surfaces.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso-Infused Banana Bread

Recipe: Espresso-Infused Banana BreadIf you find yourself with a few ‘vintage’ bananas, you have one of two choices: Whip up a delicious banana licuado or whip up a delicious banana bread. If you have several over-ripe bananas at your disposal, we highly recommend that you whip up both, but if not — and you’re all smoothied out — Brandi’s espresso-infused take on a classic is the best thing you can do for yourself today.

Armed with a slightly altered version of her Grandmother’s recipe, watch Brandi craft us a loaf of this ultra-moist recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 shots of espresso (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Grease a bread / loaf pan and preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Beat the bananas until they are mostly liquid; add the eggs and blend.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and slowly add the sugar; beat until fluffy.
  4. Add the banana mixture, vanilla extract and espresso to the creamed sugar.
  5. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder, then blend it into the batter.
  6. Transfer batter to greased pan and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until firm to the touch.