Quick Bites from Pender

Coffee Extract

In Kitchen Tips, Recipes on March 15, 2010 at 5:00 am

coffee-extract

I found this little gem a couple of weekends ago while channel surfing.  PBS came through with an old Julia Child:  Lessons with Master Chefs episode.  I was actually about to move on, because it was a super complicated Viennese Cardinal Slice — not exactly my thing (to make — I’d eat it, but make it?  No.  Never).  But then the Chef, Markus Farbinger, said something about making coffee extract.  Julia was intrigued, I was intrigued.  I hit record on the PVR and sat back to learn something new.

The potential uses for my new bottle of thick, syrupy go juice are starting to take over part of my brain.  Coffee ice cream, iced coffees, milkshakes, coffee-cream filled eclairs, jet-fueled tiramisu, etc.

And the more of those things you make, the more caffeine (and sugar) in your system.  Which, of course, starts the whole cycle all over again — all night coffee-extract brainstorming sessions, followed by planning, making and eating.

I think I’ll make my next batch decaf…and go get on the treadmill.

sugar-pan

caramel

*Always keep a bowl of ice water close by when working with molten sugar.  If you burn hand, plunge it into the ice water and keep it there for at least 2 minutes.  This will minimize the burn.

Start with 2 cups of granulated sugar and 1 cup of hot espresso (I used double strength brewed coffee).  Preheat a large non-stick pan over medium heat.  Sprinkle enough sugar in the pan to lightly cover the bottom.  Do not stir.  As the sugar melts, sprinkle more sugar over the hot spots.  This keeps the temperature even, and prevents scorching.

Continue with this method until about half of the sugar has been incorporated.  Stir gently with a wooden spoon to melt all the sugar into a smooth caramel.  Add the remaining sugar, about 1/4 at a time, and continue to stir to keep the caramel smooth.

Continue to cook until the caramel is almost the colour of coffee.  The easiest way to see this is by smearing a bit of the caramel on a white card.  Expect some smoke when sugar gets this hot — turn the exhaust on and BE CAREFUL!!

Remove from the heat, and gently stir in approx 2 tablespoons of the hot espresso/coffee — beware of splatters!  Add the coffee, a little bit at a time, until it is all incorporated, stirring well between additions.

Store in a glass jar at room temperature for up to 6 weeks.

dark-caramel

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