It’s still raining in Seattle, but I’ve heard it’s summer in other parts of the country. And what do people do in summer? They barbecue!
Also, there are technically two recipes in this blog post, so it’s your lucky day!
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup coffee infused bourbon
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine onion, garlic and bourbon
Cook until onion is tender (about 10 minutes)
Mix in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil
Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes
This BBQ sauce is pretty much amazing. Whether you’re using it for ribs or shredded chicken sandwiches, you really can’t go wrong!
If you don’t have coffee infused bourbon lying around your house (and really, who does?), you’ll need to make some. Simply add 1/2 cup whole coffee beans (I used Velton’s Three Ravens Blend Decaf Espresso) to a bottle of bourbon. Let sit 24 hours and then strain out the beans. How easy was that?
As summer inches closer, so do the cravings for the most delicious of summertime foods: S’mores. So, what’s a girl to do when it isn’t quite campfire weather? Make Espresso Graham Cracker Cookies, of course!
Mix butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy
Mix in egg and vanilla
Stir together ground espresso, flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl
Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until well combined
Stir in the chocolate chips
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray
Drop tablespoons of cookie mixture onto lined cookie sheet, giving each cookie plenty of room to spread out during baking
Cook at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned
Let cool on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack
You may have noticed a few things, like that these cookies don’t have marshmallows (an integral ingredient in s’mores) or that traditional s’mores don’t have espresso in them. All I can say is that 1) everything tastes better when you add espresso and 2) wait until you see Brandi’s beverage on Thursday!
The cookies are pretty delicious and you can’t really go wrong with them. Plus, they’ll hold you over until the weather is nice enough for camping!
While we have carried a bottomless portafilter for E61 brew heads that also did work fairly well in the Rancilio Silvia’s brew head, it didn’t seal quite as we might like and so there was often a little bit of water leakage over the top that really was just gauche.
Rancilio released their own version for their commercial machines that fits the Silvia, so we gave it a test drive. We did notice a bit of water leaking over the top, but nothing like the former model. And the spurting/spraying/mini-geysers? There were a few present in Gail’s extraction — more of a fine mist — but that’s just a result of channeling, baby.
By now, you probably know that I like the flavor combination of chocolate and espresso. I’ve done everything from chocolate espresso cookies to chocolate covered espresso beans. So, what could I do that is completely adventurous and incorporates these flavors? Chocolate Pasta with Espresso Chocolate Sauce, of course!
I’ve always wanted to make chocolate covered espresso beans. They’re delicious and bite sized and oh-so-pretty! However, every time I’ve tried, I’ve ended up with sparsely coated beans or something more akin to espresso bean chocolate bark.
So, when I was in the craft store browsing at all the lovely baking and candy making supplies and happened upon a chocolate mold that I thought might make my chocolate covered espresso bean dream a reality, I was sold. Sure, it’s a square mold that makes candy bar shaped chocolate pieces, but it would do the trick.
Place an espresso bean and any mix-ins in each piece of the mold
Melt chocolate in microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between intervals
Pour chocolate into each piece of the mold, completely filling
Place mold in freezer for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is completely set
Remove chocolate from the mold
I made four varieties: dark chocolate covered, milk chocolate covered with walnuts, milk chocolate covered with coconut and milk chocolate covered with marshmallow. All of them were delicious, though I did hear quite a few murmurs that coconut was the best!
The flavors from Velton’s Twilight worked amazingly well with all the variations. The dark chocolate covered espresso beans had a deep and robust flavor while the milk chocolate varieties were sweeter, which was nicely accentuated by the dark roast.
My only regret? That I didn’t have a sweet chocolate mold that would make the chocolate covered beans look like coffee beans! Oh man, that would have been the icing on the cake. Maybe next time…
This week, I decided to take a departure from my usual chocolate and espresso combo. Well, sort of. You see, I made these really yummy candied espresso walnuts. They were good as is, they really were! But for the next batch I added some chocolate, just to up the ante. The results? Still really delicious candied espresso walnuts.
The moral of that story is twofold: 1) I am clearly obsessed with chocolate and can’t handle a week without it, and 2) With or without chocolate, you really need to try these!
There’s something you should know about me. Ready for it? I love community recipe sites. Seriously. I can spend a whole weekend browsing through them and bookmarking 100+ recipes that I want to make. Sure, I usually only cook one or two before I completely forget about them and start the process over again, but I still get an odd sense of accomplishment out of it.
That being said, I recently found a recipe for Chocolate Espresso Cookies and bookmarked it. Then I started doing these weekly blog posts and I finally had a reason to make them. I knew all that bookmarking would pay off …
Melt together unsweetened chocolate, 1 cup of the chocolate chip and butter. Stir occasionally until melted. You can do this in a double boiler or in the microwave (in small time increments and keeping a close eye on it).
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes
Mix in the ground espresso
Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix well
Sift together the flour and baking powder, then stir into the egg mixture
Stir in the remaining chocolate chips and walnuts
Drop dough by the tablespoon onto cookie sheets, leaving room for expansion during baking
Bake 10-12 minutes or until cookie tops have a crackled appearance
Cool on baking sheets
These really were amazing. Cookie on the outside and brownie on the inside, all with just enough espresso to make your taste buds happy! The Seattle Coffee Gear team gobbled them up in no time and Gail even had one with each of her two morning coffees. Yeah, they were that good.
Now, what are you waiting for? Go get your bake on!
In the world of coffee bean storage, do either of these devices do a better job of keeping your beans fresher, longer? We asked Gail to throw a bag of Velton’s Bonsai Blend into an Airscape and a Coffee Bean Vac, then we pulled shots a week later and two weeks later to see how they held up. Aside from when we opened them for testing, they were securely sealed.
While we have over 100 different espresso machines at our jittery little fingertips each day, our crew sometimes opts to brew a batch o’ java using a different method. We asked Gail, Bunny, Allie, Brandi and Rade to share which non-espresso coffee preparations they dig the most, then filmed how they do it.
We shot this series over a few weeks and didn’t realize until the slice-n-dice that one very common theme throughout is that all of us lack the precision some folks adore, but we’re pretty sure you know that about us by now!
Watch as each of our trusty compatriots talk about why they like the prep they’ve chosen and make us a cup so we can taste their handiwork. This video is a true homage to shooting from the hip if there ever was one.
I recently decided that my mission in life is going to be finding ways to incorporate coffee and espresso into everyday foods. After all, who wants to limit their caffeine intake to mornings?!
So, the first recipe I wanted to tackle was Espresso Infused Meringue Cookies from the Happy Good Times Blog. I think now would be the appropriate time to point out that these meringues didn’t turn out how I think they were supposed to. They were still good (seriously!), but I think I lack the necessary skills to create this lovechild of baked goods and candy. Also, I may or may not follow directions well…
1/4 teaspoon vanilla (I used powdered, but I don’t think that’s necessary)
Allow whites to come to room temperature (about 20 minutes)
Clean and dry your mixing bowl
Line baking sheet with parchment paper
Pre-heat oven to 275 degrees F
Stir together sugar, espresso grounds and vanilla – set aside
Using a mixer, beat whites on low speed until foamy
Sprinkle cream of tartar and salt over foamy whites
Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until medium peaks form
Increase mixer speed to high, and add sugar mixture one tablespoon at a time
When stiff, glossy peak form, spoon meringue onto your prepared baking sheet
Bake for 60-70 minutes in the top third of your oven
Allow to cool completely on the baking sheet
Store in an air-tight container for about 3 days.
After reading through that, and seeing my pictures, you may have a couple of questions. Questions like: ‘Kaylie, did you use bottled egg whites instead of fresh ones?’ or ‘That sounds like a lot of meringue mixture; did you double the recipe?’ The answer to both of those questions is yes, that is exactly what I did! Remember what I said about not following directions? Well, it’s not that I don’t follow them so much as I try to take shortcuts. Shortcuts which may or may not ruin the finished product.
How so? Well, the meringues were very delicate on the outside and soft on the inside. Not fluffy soft, more like ‘too heavy to rise so it sunk to the bottom’ soft. The result? Something like hollow egg shells that were nearly impossible to keep intact while removing them from the baking sheet.
The crew here at Seattle Coffee Gear still ate them, cutting the sweetness with an iced latte (courtesy of Brandi). I just wish they had turned out pretty and delicious. If there are any readers with mad meringue-making skills, please let me know what I did wrong! I’d love to try these again and have them turn out. In the meantime, I will just need to redeem myself with next week’s recipe … Wish me luck.