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Coffee Connoisseur's Secrets

Coffee is far more than simply the brew that wakes people up in the morning. Coffee shops dot the city streets around the world with specialty coffee drinks drawing lines of customers. We will share the nuances of coffee from how to select the roast that suits your palate, to secret recipes of your favorite specialty drinks. We even have some marvelous recipes using coffee as a flavoring or spice to add a very special touch. If you love coffee, you will love these secrets. affiliate

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The Coffee Connoisseur's Secrets

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Flaming Coffee Tia Maria Recipe


The fun of cooking is putting on a show and being watched. A stage is your dining room and your audience is your guest.
Practice makes perfect so please practice before putting a show on in front of someone.

1/4 medium lemon
1 cup granulated sugar in bowl
1 1/2 ounces cognac
1 1/2 ounces Tia Maria
3 cups of hot, fresh coffee
1 cup Romance Whipped Cream

Equipment Needed
1 small fire extinguisher
1 portable gourmet stove and fuel
3 long handled matches
2 heat resistant glasses with stem
1 serving spoon
1 jigger
2 napkins
2 dessert plates with under liner

Light the burner and adjust the control to moderate eat.

Rub the rim of a glass with lemon. Dip the rim in the bowl of granulated sugar to coat.

Pour 11/2 ounces cognac from a jigger into the glass hold the glass by the stem over the burner, turning continuously to prevent breaking, until the cognac ignites.

Remove the glass from the burner and swirl until the sugar on the rim caramelizes.

Pour in 3/4 ounces of Tia Maria.

Add hot coffee to within inch of the top of glass. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to coffee.

Next, spoon romance whipped cream over top of coffee.
For presenting, wrap the glass in a clean white napkin, place on a dessert plate with under liner and serve.
Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Coffee Passion Pound Cake Recipe

Espresso ... latte ... cappuccino ... café au lait ... COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE. We brew it freshly every morning, visit coffee bars daily, carry containers of it wherever we go, and speak earnestly about which coffee beans are best and the qualitative differences between various brewing methods. We're obsessed.

If you are among the many who share this passion for coffe, you'll love the Coffee Passion Pound Cake recipe. It is a coffee-lover's delight. The flavor of java is rich and pronounced and complimented by the bitterness of the walnuts. Mildly sweet, this pound cake doesn't interfere with the dominant coffee taste.

We offer two different glaze recipes. My husband prefers the vanilla one as it is similar to his coffee with cream and sugar. But if you like your brew black and want a double shot of coffee flavor, use the coffee glaze.

Though this coffee passion pound cake is ready to eat as soon as it is cooled and glazed, we like it best the day after it has been baked; the flavors mellow. And of course, the best way to finish this dessert off is with a cup of superb coffee!

Be sure to use a pan with a middle tube, like a Bundt pan, as it needs heat from both sides to set the batter quickly and prevent the possibility of falling.

This cake freezes well; just defrost it and add the glaze before serving.

Coffee Passion Pound Cake Recipe
(Adjusted for altitudes above 8,000 feet)

Make in a 12 cup Bundt pan. You can successfully half this recipe

Cake Ingredients

1/2 cup of milk

5 tablespoons of instant coffee granules

1 1/3 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 2/3 plus 2 tablespoons flour (gently spoon the flour into a measuring cup and sweep the top to level it; don't dip the measuring cup into the flour or you will get too much)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup of walnuts, chopped medium

Vanilla Glaze

1 tablespoon butter, melted

3 tablespoons cream or milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

A pinch of salt

1-2 cups confectioners' sugar

Coffee Glaze

1 tablespoon butter, melted

2 teaspoons instant coffee dissolved in 3 tablespoons warm milk or cream

1-2 cups of confectioners' sugar

A pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees if you are using a dark metal pan), with a rack in the center position. Grease and flour the pan or spray it well with Baker's Joy, wiping the spray with a paper towel to assure uniform coverage. Be sure the pan's central tube is well greased and floured.

Warm the milk in a small bowl, add the instant coffee and stir until it is dissolved. Set mixture aside to cool.

Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed. Set the mixture aside.

Cream the room-temperature butter with the granulated sugar until the mixture is lightened in color and fluffy. Take your time with this; it makes a big difference in the cake's texture.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add the flour mixture alternately with the coffee-milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix the batter gently after each addition. Don't overbeat the batter at this stage.

Stir the walnuts in with a rubber spatula.

Pour or spoon the batter into the cake pan, smoothing and leveling it as you do so.

Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, the time will depend on the size and shape of your pan. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

Remove the cake to a cooling rack. Wait about 15 minutes, invert the cake, carefully remove the pan, and let it cool.

Prepare the glaze: Whisk the melted butter, milk or cream (mixed with instant coffee for the coffee glaze) and salt until combined. If making the vanilla glaze, add the vanilla at this stage. Add about a cup of confectioners' sugar and mix well. Continue adding the sugar, a bit at a time, until the glaze reaches the consistency you want. If it becomes too thick, add a bit more milk or cream. Drizzle it decoratively over the cooled cake.

This recipe is inspired by one in the Bundt Cookbook.

Serve This Delicious Cake With Your Favorite Freshly Roasted Gourmet Coffee