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Jan 2, 2009 08:55 PM

Can I cook something with Coffee Creme Liqueur?

Hi everyone... I don't drink coffee, (Oh the shame!) Got a gift from friends of a Coffee Creme Liqueur (with two coffee cups, which I will likely start my tomatoes in for next year...).

The "Cafe Boheme" Coffee Creme Liqueur gift is a 750 ml bottle of something. Something that apparently tastes like coffee. Sorry, it was a gift, and I was perplexed for a moment until I remembered that beef or other meats (in the past ten years, especially) have been cooked in great restaurants with coffee flavours.

Since this Creme Liqueur will not ever be drunk by me, could I mix it with cream and peppercorns and maybe a paste of cornstarch and water with pan drippings to make an amazing steak sauce? If so, what kind of steak (I was thinking filet mignons, but then thought they are so tender that the coffee flavour would be overwhelming?

Should I just save the stuff for a hot summer's day and serve it over ice at the end of the meal?

Essentially, I have no idea what I was given. My first thoughts of uses were culinary and I know coffee tastes can enhance meat tastes... any ideas you have are generously welcomed! My fellow CHers always come through...

Thank you in advance!

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  1. ideabaker, I would treat this like Bailey's Irish Cream. Now, you don't mention whether you're interested in baking or making sweet goods with the liqueur, but if you are, there are many, many recipes you can find on the web for things like cheesecakes, cream pies, muffins, mousses and bavarians, and pastry creams if you do a search for "Bailey's Irish Cream recipes." No reason you couldn't try your coffee liqueur in these recipes.

    As for savory stuff, it seems to me there must be some kind of way to concoct a steak sauce, such as you're talking about, or maybe some sort of barbeque (sp) baste. I say this because coffee (liquid, powder and ground beans) contributes to some good savory recipes, including bbq sauces and spice rubs (I use a touch of finely ground coffee beans in some of those), and sugar, which your liqueur contains, is often an ingredient in those things. But I couldn't find any recipes in a quick search. You might want to visit the Bailey's site, or maybe sites for Kahlua, to look for those type recipes. I'll be interested to know if you come up with something.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Steady Habits

      Coffee grinds are used in a rub mixture for a lot of meats, but I don't know if it would work with a cream liquor due to its extreme sweetness. It would be similar to adding sweetened chocolate milk as a base for your steak sauce.

      I would make ice cream with it, or serve it over ice at the end of a meal. If you have already opened it, store it in the refrigerator, as the cream part will curdle if left out.

      1. re: Caralien

        Yes, I understand what you're saying, Carolien re the grinds. I mentioned those more re the fact that coffee--the flavor--is used to enhance protein recipes, sometimes. And, then, sweetness, by itself, isn't an issue, because, well, meats are cooked with sweet elements all the time. E.g., honey, maple syrup, sugar in some barbecue sauces. The alcohol isn't an issue; people also use that all the time. And, some meats are braised in milk or cream, so that's not a problem. It's just that, when you put them all together in one liqueur--well, it's a mystery.

        1. re: Caralien

          Good to know about the refrigeration, Caralien. I had assumed that I would be able to leave it with my other spirits on the shelf at room temp.

        2. re: Steady Habits

          Thanks for your thoughts, Steady Habits. I am looking more for savory applications as I don't eat a lot of sweets. So this stuff is something like Bailey's or Kahlua, which will help when searching for recipes, as I found nothing for Coffee Creme Liqueur recipes (which frankly surprised me!). I'll definitely report back should I find anything of note...

        3. You can use it in cakes and similar baked goods (makes a nice addition to chocolate cake recipes) or, if you don't care to use it as a direct ingredient, use if as a drizzle for a Poke cake.
          How 'bout a banana bread "Poke" cake drizzled with a syrup made from your Cafe Boheme?

          3 Replies
          1. re: todao

            Todao, that Poke cake sounds interesting, and oddly (since I don't eat sweets) compelling. Am trying to get my head around the thought of banana and coffee flavours going together. (Would it taste like a slightly bitter banana split??) Maybe I should reconsider using it in a sweet recipe. Only I don't even have friends who eat many sweets! (Our 'desserts' are typically a cheese and fruit plate, or fresh fruit with freshly whipped cream).

            1. re: ideabaker

              I looked in Culinary Artistry, to see what fruits were recommended in flavor combinations with coffee, thinking you could beat a little of the liqueur into the topping. How does a nice bowl of lemon wedges with coffee creme whipped sound? ;-D Because lemons are the only fruit on the list (e.g., lemon with espresso).

              The list of flavors Dornenburg and Page recommend to pair with coffee is quite short, as this book generally goes. They are: the lemon, cinnamon, Cognac, cream, hazelnut and vanilla.

              Not that this book needs to be final word on what folks match up, but I always find it to be good inspiration when I need something fresh and new. But it just doesn't suggest much out of the ordinary in the case of coffee.

              It does mention Lindsey Shere's Espresso-Cognac mousse, however. Maybe that's something that wouldn't be too sweet?

              1. re: Steady Habits

                Steady Habits, that Espresso-Cognac mousse sounds extremely interesting. I have never made a mousse but certainly would have the ingredients and tools, and I have seen my friends eat a bit of mousse topped with berries and whipped cream in the past. In the case I made that, I would probably wait until spring/summer in the states, or take it with me in a few weeks to New Zealand where it is already summer.

                Because a bowlful of lemons and this Chocolate liqueur are highly unlikely in my kitchen :-)! Thanks for looking that up.

          2. I think cooking with it would be "iffy". Who knows what artificial flavors are in it, that would just leap to the fore once the alcohol cooks away?


            1 Reply
            1. re: wayne keyser

              Wayne Keyser, you actually read my mind on this one... I was wondering since it is a boxed set with the lovely cups included and unopened if I should consider giving this to someone who might be able to appreciate it more, as is. I almost did that with a big bottle of Hennessey (sp?) someone gave me until I realized I could in fact cook with that. If nothing compelling to prepare with it comes up, regifting may be the fairest thing to do, for my stomach and the boxed chocolate liqueur set.

            2. In general, a *small* addition of coffee to chocolate preparations makes the chocolate taste more intense without a detectable coffee taste.

              6 Replies
              1. re: jlafler

                Jlafler, I appreciate your suggestion. Thought about the chocolate/coffee mix, too. Unfortunately I don't eat chocolate (Which is a shame because I also received a huge box of those foiled bottle shaped chocolates filled with various sprits, which I'm also looking to regift so they don't go to waste). Don't know if my local food bank accepts stuff with alcohol in it. I'm not much of a sweet tooth in general and neither are any of my friends or family. Thought about taking it to my local police department or taxi service as a thank you, but there are probably rules about taking alcohol into either/both location(s).

                If I keep this liqueur maybe I should stop overthinking it, and as Steady Habits suggested, serve it over ice (in summer). I could even have a play with your chocolate/coffee idea by mixing it into iced chocolate milk (though I wouldn't drink it since I don't do milk either!). I could imagine it being a refreshing end to a summery meal like a BBQ that someone would enjoy. Thanks for that idea.

                1. re: ideabaker

                  I think you're probably right about rules at the police department or taxi service. But...if you decide you really can't use it... there are often local charitable or fundraising groups (probably some attached to that police department, actually, or a local hospital auxiliary or if you have a Junior League in the area) who do evenings that include silent or Chinese auctions, or raffles, and they are *always* looking for people to donate "prizes" large and small. I've been active in a couple of organizations that have such events, and even when someone donates just one bottle of wine or liquor, we were able to combine those with other donations of food or barware, or gift certificates to restaurants, etc., to make theme baskets. So...look at the community calendar in your local paper to see if anyone is doing a fundraiser. And you can have the tax deduction.

                  1. re: Steady Habits

                    Steady Habits, that is a wonderful idea. I think we do have Junior League in the area. Am getting discouraged that I'm not finding much to do (for savory culinary dishes) using the liqueur. Will give my search another week, then look to regift; preferably to a charity. Thanks for your suggestion!

                    1. re: ideabaker

                      I admire you for wanting to make sure that, if you can't use the gift, someone else will have the chance to, either through re-gifting or donation. Waste not, want not, right?

                      1. re: Steady Habits

                        Thanks Steady Habits... it really is a beautiful presentation with the two cups (haven't taken it out of the package) and sounds lovely for someone into coffee liqueur-ish kinds of things. You're swell.

                        1. re: ideabaker

                          Aww, TY, ideabaker. ;-)

                          I have to admit, it was an intriguing question, trying to figure out what you might be able to make with this stuff...