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What Are Your Baking and Cooking Uses for Coffee?

Inspired by bushwickgirl in another thread about Hermits, I've been thinking about coffee as an ingredient. I always put Medalio d'Oro espresso powder in chocolate recipes (along with freshly ground black pepper and/or cayenne) , and in toffee and caramels- to deepen the flavor, and now i'm going to try it in Hermits.
I've seen recipes that include it in a roast lamb, and in mexican moles.

What do you use coffee for? Ever use it in savory cooking? vegetable dishes, soups? And what effect does it give you? Thanks much.

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  1. I add it to smoked ham as it bakes along with cayenne and molasses.

    1. I put it in my chili; Medalgia d'Oro or Kahlua are nice accents to anything spicy or chocolate-y. I'm making my "famous" Black Russian cake as we speak and it must have a spoonful of instant espresso to make it that much more special. I do coffee right out of my mug (milk and sugar optional) anytime I'm using leftover ham pieces for, let's say, gumbo or split pea soup. Or of course, red eye ham with eggs, it takes awhile to get the ham nice and crispy but so worth it.

      1. I've coated salmon with it before having it hit the pan. Have also used coffee in risotto and to add nuances to a variety of sauces.

        1. One of the baking classes I took back in the day almost always paired coffee with dark chocolate. So, if the cake, cookie, candy, etc. called for melted chocolate brewed coffee would be added (& the overall liquid configurations adjusted) to enhance the chocolate flavor. I see this pairing consistently today.

          On the savory side, most def. have used Turkish coffee, specifically, in beef stews, chili, wet rubs for pork. Espresso coffee in tex mex dishes and brew out of the morning pot, traditional roast, in pumpkin roasts and even once in onion soup. Now mind you in all cases, I'm taking a small amt. of coffee; a subtle flavoring.

          1. Espresso in brownies and toffee here, too. But I also use it in spice rubs fro meat. I add brewed coffee to braising liquid for beef, lamb, spare ribs. It always goes into my BBQ sauces and in some marinades. I've used it in soups and stews, once to tone down the tomatoes in a friend's crawfish bisque. It adds another layer of flavor, a slightly bitter/smoky complexity. It's good added to caramel/sweet butter sauces on baked pears, apple, peaches, bread pudding.

            1. I add coffee to biscotti and cookies. The ham glaze is a terrific idea!

              1. Here's an unusual chicken recipe from Canadian Living magazine from some years ago...we've had it a few times and it's quite good and different:
                Cafe Chicken
                1/4 cup strong coffee
                1/4 cup ketchup
                2 Tablespoons brown sugar
                2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
                1 Tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
                1 Tablespoon lemon juice
                4 chicken thighs, skin and fat removed

                In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients except chicken and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a bit. Arrange chicken in a baking dish and pour sauce over chicken. Cover and marinate for up to 8 hours. Preheat oven to 375 and remove cover from chicken. Bake, basting often with sauce for about 35 or 40 minutes til done.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Val

                  val, don't know if you come from that great country of canada up there (i'm in boston) but what you describe is basically a bbq sauce here, and boy, you WOULD need that coffee to help counter all the sweetness in that recipe (catsup AND br. sugar!)

                  you might also enjoy it if you added sauteed chopped onions and bacon to the sauce.and tamari would help counter all the sweetness further.

                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                    No, not from Canada...not from the south either but yes, that sauce is very similar to bbq sauce, I realize that...it just tastes...well, different...that recipe isn't earth-shaking by all means but easy enough to try out sometime, that's all, and out of the ordinary. Thanks!

                2. I use a ground coffee and spice dry rub for pork ribs and is a good addition to the braising liquid for anything pork, chicken or even beef. I use it in chocolate cakes, either as a liquid addition or by adding a few teaspoons of espresso powder. Brewed coffee makes a good base for bbq sauce or to enhance the flavor of basic gravy. I add coffee as part of the liquid in traditional baked beans recipes and try a little in bean soups with a tomato base or chili. Freeze coffee in ice cube trays so as not to dilute your iced coffee.

                  If you like Coffee Time brand coffee syrup for flavoring milk, blend strong brewed coffee with equal amounts of sugar and boil until reduced and thickened to a syrup consistency. Keep refrigerated. As a big flavored milk drinker, mrbushy is enamored of coffee syrup, instead of chocolate, and never had it before he met me.

                  I had coffee jello at a well known restaurant on Cape Cod decades ago (Thompson's Clam Bar) served with whipped cream, but it wasn't that exciting.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    you continue to shine, bwg. that ice idea is sooo helpful!! (I squealed when i read it, and then i read further and saw it was you, so had to write you!)

                    1. re: opinionatedchef

                      Thanks for the Coffee Time clone, bushwickgirl! I have fond memories of drinking scrumptious iced coffee with coffee ice cubes with friends on Saturday mornings when I lived in NYC, them zooming through weekend errands in a caffeinated blur!

                    2. re: bushwickgirl

                      Jelled coffee cubes are served at coffee shops all over Japan. They are usually very good. They are either served with sweetened whipped cream, or with non-whipped heavy cream and sugar syrup. Sometimes with vanilla ice cream.

                    3. always some Medaglia powder in my chocolate recipes...or if i'm making it for someone who's really caffeine-sensitive, i'll use instant decaf coffee though it's not the perfect substitute.

                      as others have mentioned, it also goes into dry rubs and chili. and i add it to BBQ sauce too.

                      1. Beef stews

                        Chili

                        Chinese beef noodle soup (niou rou mien)

                        Ice cream

                        French toast

                        Sauce for pork chops or loin (add coffee or espresso with bitter dark chocolate and soy sauce)

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I forgot, I love to put a half teaspoon in plain yougurt to get real coffee yogurt. Any more and you will be jittering around for awhile!

                          1. re: coll

                            coll,

                            Re: coffee in yogurt. Do you mean just coffee grinds, unbrewed, or instant coffee? The latter I can see, the former is too hard-core for me.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Any instant coffee. You could even use those flavored Nescafe sticks, a good way to get rid of them. I like to add some dried cherries or something like that too, so it's like an ice cream sundae. I learned the hard way when I used Medaglia d'oro, a full spoonful and I was shaking like a leaf (probably because I also drink coffee in the morning I guess).

                              1. re: coll

                                That is indeed a great idea.

                                I have like a boxful of those Nescafe canisters that my aunt in Brazil keeps bringing me. Now I know what to do with them.

                            2. re: coll

                              I agree!

                          2. Braised ham.

                            I have to make this for almost all of the family holidays.

                            1. http://www.epicurious.com/articlesgui...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: HillJ

                                hillj, you hot ticket you! th you.

                              2. Red-eye gravy...........

                                1. Jan's Coffee Braised Brisket

                                  3/4 cup vegetable oil
                                  1 large yellow onion, chopped
                                  6 cloves garlic, minced
                                  1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
                                  1 Tbsp tomato paste
                                  7 Tbsp light brown sugar
                                  5 cups coffee
                                  1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
                                  1 28-oz can peeled, chopped tomatoes
                                  Salt and pepper
                                  1 four to five pound brisket

                                  In a medium soup pot, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add the onion and
                                  cook until soft and golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook,
                                  stirring, until fragrant--about 30 seconds. Stir in the red pepper. Add
                                  the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute. Stir
                                  in the brown sugar, vinegar, coffee, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, lower
                                  to a simmer, and simmer 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

                                  Preheat oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit. Once it's cool, puree the sauce in
                                  batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Bring sauce to a boil
                                  in the soup pot.

                                  Season the brisket with salt and pepper. If you have a large enough dutch
                                  oven, heat the remaining oil in it and brown the brisket on both
                                  sides. Pour off the remaining oil and fat. Turn the brisket fat side up
                                  and cover with the boiling sauce. Cover the pan tightly and place it in
                                  the oven. Bake for three hours, basting frequently. After three hours
                                  remove the cover and continue to cook until the brisket is glazed and very
                                  tender, about another 1-1/2 hours. Remove from the pan and set aside to
                                  rest, covered with foil, for 10 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain.

                                  Yield: 10--12 servings

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Euonymous

                                    I was going to list a similar brisket with coffee except I use chili sauce pretty great.

                                  2. Here's something you might want to experiment with; it's great for making, then freezing into serving sizes to grab for when you want something fast and savory. It's Ropa Vieja, a Cuban stew that I add espresso to for deepening the flavor, as so many of you have mentioned in these posts. Heat two tblsp of neutral oil in a Dutch oven till shimmering (don't you just love that word?), then sear both sides of a flank steak till lightly browned. Remove steak from pan, add coarsely chopped onions and green peppers, saute till no longer crunchy. Add in a can of whole Italian tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their liquid, maybe a tblsp of ground cumin, a few shakes of both onion powder and garlic powder, a tsp of espresso powder stirred into some white vinegar before you throw it in. I also add the zest of half an orange - it brightens the flavor in savory dishes, especially tomato-based ones. Now here's the good part: cover, lower heat, and leave it alone to simmer till you can pull the meat into shreds (the "rags") without effort. Stirring and scraping the bottom at some point along the way will stir up the slightly burned bits and get them incorporated into the sauce. When done, shred all the beef into "rags" and enjoy over rice, or steamed veggies, or sauteed kale. This is my first post on a recipe site: please be gentle with me!

                                    11 Replies
                                    1. re: sparky401

                                      You just inspired me! I have a flank steak in the freezer that I never got around to this summer, and my husband loves his meat served shredded. I will make it just as you describe, sounds perfect for (another!) snowy day.

                                      About how long til it shreds, would you estimate?

                                      1. re: coll

                                        coll, it should take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours of braising. there's a decent recipe on Epicurious if you want to use it as a guideline:

                                        http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                          Thanks so much! I did google it after I wrote that, and saw a few other additions to the recipe on a couple of websites, although the coffee idea is what interests me...BUT I just looked in freezer and saw I didn't have flank or skirt, but hangar and flat iron. It's been awhile since I checked. Oh well, i"m going to have to wait for the next sale, but it is on my short list.

                                          Or I may use duck as you say below, that would be no problem here on Long Island, they're grazing down the street from me as we speak. "Make me into Ropa Vieja, quack quack quack" Probably about the same price per lb. If Asia de Cuba made it, it must be over the top good.

                                      2. re: sparky401

                                        mmm, LOVE ropa vieja. for a totally nontraditional [but delicious] twist, try it with crispy roast duck. reserve the skin, use the meat the same way you do the steak, and fold in shredded bits of crispy skin at the end...i got the idea from the Asia de Cuba restaurants - it's one of the only dishes worth eating there.

                                        oh, and welcome to Chowhound, sparky! hope to see many more of your posts :)

                                        1. re: sparky401

                                          excellent there, sparky! i'm defntly going to make this, so thanks so much for going to the trouble to post it.

                                          coll- you are FUNny! w/ the ducks talking.. and is it possible that your flat iron or skirt- could be good braised ? my 'memory' says yes.

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            I know, I'm tempted to try what I have, it might not shred....but it would be interesting to find out. Maybe if it doesn't cook up nice, I could just pressure cook it afterwards and make chili for the Superbowl. The hangar steak might be weird though.

                                            1. re: coll

                                              Coll, it's me, the Ropa Vieja Girl. I think in a braise, you could use just about any non-tender meat- I think your hangar or flatiron would work just fine and dandy. I would cook it for a slightly shorter time, as the hangar is thinner than a flank steak. You have to keep checking every 20 min or so; you know when it's done as you pierce the meat with your fork and pull gently - the meat will happily yield to the pressure. Oh, and apologies to all - I forgot to tell you that there's celery in there with the sauteed onions and green peppers. Now I am off to make my pre-Superbowl Sunday meal for six men, five women, and three children: indian style chicken chunks (I will marinate the cubed breast meat in yogurt, lime and lemon juice, plenty of crushed garlic, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, a touch of chili powder for some heat, salt, grated ginger and onion. Marinate for a couple of hours, shake marinade off, broil or grill. Serve with toothpicks!) and flank steak with a non-sweet BBQ marinade (I mix a couple of Splenda packets, a couple Tblsp ketchup, a Tblsp frozen OJ concentrate, a few shakes of soy sauce - it's meat, we need umami! - some Worcestershire sauce, strong coffee left over from brekkie (or use espresso powder - no one's watching you in your kitchen, right?), a Tblsp or so of orange marmelade or honey for caramelization. Crushed garlic, of course, and a splash of any vinegar you have handy. A few tblsp oil to smooth it out. Taste it before plunking the flank in - if it needs a touch more of something, just throw it in till it's right. Marinate for a minimum of three hours and as much as overnight. Grill over a high flame, let rest, slice on diagonal. A universally satisfying dish for carnivores of all ages. Thanks for listening to my rants.

                                              1. re: sparky401

                                                Thanks, my freezer is starting to have a little room in there and I'm psyched to get even more stuff out and cooked. With all the flavor of the peppers and onions, hopefully the hangar steak won't taste too strong. Now what to do with the cubed goat meat.....I have Jamaican curry in mind, but may have to have to wait for company that is open to new dishes.

                                                I wish my family would eat Indian style food, I have to cook two different dishes when I make something like that for myself. Husband loves spicy, just not curry flavored spices. Tonight I am making pork shoulder, I braise it sort of like carnita with a touch of Carolina in it, and since I have the tiniest bit of apricot jam left from Christmas cookies, that will be going in too now that you mention it. Adding jams and marmalades to stew and soup is such a great secret ingredient. And I think I will add some coffee to the initial saute too! I usually make this with ginger beer (or dark beer), orange juice and blood orange slices and lots of onions. Serve on buns with dill pickle chips and slaw on the side. I'll be good for a few days worth of meals after this.

                                                Hey, keep on ranting, you're giving me some good ideas, for now and the summer too. Yes I'm already planning some summer menus for those first warm days.

                                                1. re: sparky401

                                                  sparky, you know that would be a great name for a rock band>> "Sparky's Rant". yes?!!

                                                  now, since you mentioned it, and while it's obvious you are an excellent chef, i shall urge you to try this: (in my now retired 30 yr. catering co., it was one of the few things i would still eat of my own!). I'll give the concept and then proceed w/ the recipe.

                                                  CURRY CASHEW CHICKEN SKEWERS
                                                  The concept is, either as skinless, boneless chicken breasts or skewers of skinless, boneless chicken breasts in cubes: marinade in Tandoor marinade; bake or grill; cool. Thinly coat top side in curry mayo and then dip into finely chopped roasted cashews.

                                                  The curry mayo is simply hellman's with a LOT of Sun brand Madras Curry powder (WhFoods sells it, and some chinese markets; it's the only one i like.)

                                                  TANDOORI CHICKEN MARINADE

                                                  X1 // X2 / /
                                                  1 ½ tsp // 1T / Ground tstd Coriander

                                                  1 ½ tsp // 1 T / Ground tstd Cumin

                                                  1/4 tsp // ½ tsp / Chili Powder

                                                  ½ T // 1 T / kosher Salt

                                                  1/4 C // ½ C / Lemon Juice

                                                  1 T // 2 T / Minced peeled Ginger

                                                  1 T // 2 T / Minced Garlic

                                                  ½ C // 1 C / Plain Yogurt

                                                  1/8 C // 1/4 C / Veg. Oil

                                                  3 lb// 6 lb. / boneless skinless chicken breast (if left whole, poke holes w/a skewer; or cut into cubes and no need to poke holes. 1 1/2 ” cubes for entree; 3/4” cubes and 2 or 3 per 6‘’ bamboo skewer for h.d.)

                                                  Whisk all ingredients except oil in bowl. Whisk in oil last until combined.

                                                  Marinate Chicken overnight.(more than that and the meat gets increasingly mushy because of the acid ingreds[lemon, yoghurt, ginger] breaking down the protein fibers)
                                                  X1 for 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
                                                  X2 for 6 lbs “”“”“”“”“”“”“

                                                  now, that is major OT on the thread i started (mea culpa), so i'm done!

                                            2. re: sparky401

                                              That sounds great!

                                              1. re: sparky401

                                                Thank you Sparky! I need to make this.

                                              2. I use it in spaghetti sauce and also add some balsamic vinegar. Also add some brown sugar, so it gives it a little more complexity and spiciness. Also in beef stew to give it more depth.

                                                1. I recently purchased some Espresso Brava Fusion Salt and love using it on anything with beef. Great sprinkled over a steak before pan frying, I've sprinkled it over skewers of cubed steak, mushrooms and green onions as an appetizer and used it in place of salt in beef barley soup and chili. It adds a wonderful depth of flavor that is difficult to identify.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Sushiqueen36

                                                    I made a banana chocolate cake that used a bit of coffee to bring out the chocolate, the kids loved it, as it was a birthday cake hit

                                                    1. re: Sushiqueen36

                                                      queen, is this product some type of salt mixed w/ espresso or coffee powder? the ingreds should be listed on it. sounds likeyou have created great uses for it.

                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                        http://www.saltworks.us/fusion-flavor...
                                                        This is the manufacturer. I found it in a local store but it looks like they sell from the web too. I've tried several of their flavors (the store I frequent sells it in bulk) and I like the espresso the best and have found the most uses for it.

                                                        1. re: Sushiqueen36

                                                          thnx so much for the link. the coffee product sounds brilliant. have you ever tried to replicate it? the balsamic salt also really appeals to me; have you tried it?

                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                            So I'm obviously not keeping up with the discussion! Sorry for being so late to reply. I haven't tried to replicate the espresso salt - you don't need very much and I can buy it in bulk so I just go that route. I have tried the balsamic salt but it didn't have enough of a balsamic flavor to me - I wanted it to be more vinegary. It's pretty though!

                                                    2. I sometimes use instant coffee granules or very strong coffee to deepen the flavor when preparing Japanese style curry from scratch or with store bought roux (which I try to avoid). I'll try Medalio d'Oro espresso powder next time.

                                                      13 Replies
                                                      1. re: chimster

                                                        just to be sure you can track down the product, the correct spelling is Medaglia D'Oro.

                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                          And here's what it looks like. The groceries usually have it way on the bottom or out of center, so keep looking.http://www.amazon.com/Medaglia-DOro-I...

                                                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                            Thank you goodhealthgourmet. I didn't notice the incorrect spelling. I brew Medaglia D'Oro Espresso coffee like a regular coffee (not as an espresso) with good results, when I do not have time to go and get my favorite beans. It tastes better brewed as a regular coffee than espresso.

                                                            1. re: chimster

                                                              Most grocery stores have it. It's pretty convenient. I like to drink it with Stella D'Oro cookies (if I can find it where I live). Just reminds me of the time when I was a teenager living in N.Y.

                                                              1. re: chimster

                                                                chim, if you're talking about medaglia d'oro, our groc. stores in the boston area do NOT usually have it (boy do i wish) and i find it in italian specialty groceries. usually somewhere around $4-5 p. jar.

                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                  So many New Yorkers moving down to Georgia, it could be asked for. I know my brother down by Albany GA was happily surprised to find Black and White Cookies at their regular shopping place... Piggly Wiggly or something like that? I don't have to ship all that much stuff down to them anymore.

                                                                  1. re: coll

                                                                    Black and white cookies can be found in many places in Decatur-Atlanta area.

                                                                    1. re: chimster

                                                                      I can't remember exactly when the cookies appeared (10 years ago? 20 years ago?) but the excitement was unparalleled in their household. It's getting easier to eat NY style down, not that they don't like the native food too. I believe they just stocked up on pastrami and rye the other day. Publix sounds familiar.

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        Yes, black & white cookies have been around at least for past 20 years in Atlanta area. I first saw them at a coffee shop. It was exciting. Still looking for a real potato knishes (not the square doughy pillow kind). I might as well make them, because the best knishes came from my friend's grandmother. They were better than Yonah Schimmel's, or the Knishery in Rego Park. Bread Garden makes great Italian bread and Maison Robert makes real baguette, but I miss regular everyday "Italian bread" that were served in N.Y. school lunches. Heroes made with chewy "Italian bread" with meatballs or with vinegary tuna salad. Did they go to Patak for pastrami?

                                                                        1. re: chimster

                                                                          I'll have to ask, I assumed they went to the grocery store. I'm probably wrong. They're south of Albany and are always finding something else they never thought they'd see again. I went to see my sister in San Diego recently and said I would bring rainbow cookies as always, and she said no, they have an Italian bakery now. But she did request knishes and bagels, and I brought enough to fill a whole suitcase. The bagels from the best local place, but the knishes I got a case (30 of them!) of Gabila.

                                                                          When we lived upstate NY, I always called their Italian type bread "Cotton Ball Bread". So easy to get here that you just take it for granted. And if I don't have a couple of hard rolls per week, I'm out of sorts.

                                                                          1. re: coll

                                                                            I never had rainbow cookies. What are they like?
                                                                            Most Bagels, Italian and French bread here are "Cotton Ball Bread" if you buy them at a grocery store. We had Royal Bagels which closed its door several years ago. Their bagels were decent. Still looking for the real one. I might as well try making them too.

                                                                            1. re: chimster

                                                                              I never had rainbow cookies. What are they like?
                                                                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                                                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_...

                                                                  2. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                    Yes, Medaglia D'Oro. I get them at Publix in Atlanta-Decatur area. Even Kroger carries them. I pay about $4.50 for a can of espresso. I never bought a jar of instant espresso, so I don't know the price. We do not even have a good size Italian community. You might want to request it. Sometimes it works. I got Ray's Bialys by requesting at Publix.

                                                          2. I've used espresso in pastry cream & cookie dough....also use ground coffee in a spice rub for ribs & pork loin/roast as well as add it to cake mixes. Try it in a nut brittle.

                                                            1. Red Eye Gravy
                                                              Tiramisu
                                                              Roasted Pork Shoulder
                                                              Chili
                                                              Brownies
                                                              Chocolate Cookies
                                                              Coffee Granita
                                                              Pot Roast

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: chefj

                                                                hmmm, chefj, i'm comin over! ( uh, where are you?)

                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                  What a great thread, so many possibilities! I also use coffee in pumpernickel and Russian black breads as well as in the Silver Palate blondies recipe

                                                              2. This will probably gross out some people here, but last night I found another use for coffee. Instant coffee to be precise.

                                                                I mixed Folgers Instant into vanilla ice cream for that little bit of coffee pizzaz and kick. Those nice little black specks were kinda cool as well.

                                                                11 Replies
                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  Sounds delicious! Add a bit of salted caramel and I'm there!

                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                    I might start garnishing my cheesecake with instant coffee flakes. Really adds a nice bitter flavor and the crunch factor should never be discounted.

                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                      Similar crunch to chocolate nugget bits (like they use in Carvel cakes). I'd like instant espresso flakes in coffee cake streusel.

                                                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    nothing gross about it! i use instant to flavor protein shakes and yogurt all the time....i've even been known to stir it into oatmeal.

                                                                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                      I used to munch on Folgers Instant in college when cramming for midterms and finals.

                                                                      Spoonfuls at a time, chased with mouthfuls of Diet Mountain Dew.

                                                                      Ah, those were the days ...

                                                                      1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                        sorry ipse, you're on your own with that one. i can see it playing well with something like coke or dr pepper, but coffee with MOUNTAIN DEW?? yikes.

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          Oh, I do remember the college days instant coffee crunch, but Mountain Dew I did not do. Instead, I used a local CT brand of ginger ale, stocked in my dorm's vending machines.

                                                                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                            see, ginger ale totally makes sense...after all, i add espresso powder to my ginger cake. but i just can't wrap my brain around the dew.

                                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                              Broaden your horizons.

                                                                              It's just like Diet Coke Blak (remember that?) with a splash of Hawaiian Punch.

                                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                my horizons are plenty broad, thankyouverymuch...plus, my soda-drinking days are far behind me, and i didn't even like Hawaiian Punch back when i was a kid!

                                                                                BTW, this is the first time i've even heard of Coke Blak - i had to Google to find out what the heck you were talking about :)

                                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                      Instant coffee powder or a little bit of very very strong coffee mixed into yogurt or whipped cream is delicious.

                                                                    3. This isn't exactly cooking, but I make my own energy gel for endurance exercise. I use 1 part molasses (for the potassium) to 3 parts corn syrup and then add enough Cafe Bustelo Instant Espresso to cut the cloying sweetness. Way, way cheaper than the commercial gels and has the same ingredients.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: schindlr

                                                                        May be you can replace corn syrup with rice syrup.

                                                                      2. I add it to everything from beef stews to hot cocoa. I'll even take the instant expresso and sprinkle it over homemade vanilla ice cream, which is a trick I learned from my Opa that he used to make the sugar/fat/flavor free diet ice creams of the '90s palatable.

                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: kerrough

                                                                          kerr, i started another thread about uses of soy sauce and for a moment when i first started to read your post and you said beef stew, i was thinking soy sauce. but then, the next words were hot cocoa and i went "yeeew"! and then i realized this was the coffee thread and not the soy sauce thread!!!!!
                                                                          good uses you have there.

                                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                            Actually, I have had hot cocoa w/ soy sauce lol I was at a Vietnamese/Mexican fusion resturant in Austin, TX that was run by a couple of those same nationalities, and they had a whole range of cocoas to choose from, sweet and savory. One on the Vietnamese list had a whole bunch of Asian flavorings in it, which made for an interesting drink! It really did have a pleasant flavor combo once you got over the idea that this was hot cocoa lol

                                                                            1. re: kerrough

                                                                              NO????!!! really???!! now, THAT is interesting!!! but you know, now that i think of it, when cocoa was drunk only by the Aztec(or was it mayan?) royalty, it had no sugar in it. i'm guessing it was somewhat akin to straight espresso in strength and caffeine impact.

                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                One of the two, yeah. And let's not forget that it was also mixed with chiles to make it spicy lol

                                                                                1. re: kerrough

                                                                                  really? i've never heard that. i thought it was just straight. how interesting; definitely would reveal the men's men eh?!

                                                                                  maybe you found that on this site:(turns out it was in both maya and aztec culture)

                                                                                  http://www.chocolatemonthclub.com/cho...

                                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                    From watching various documentaries, actually, and my guilty addiction, Good Eats, of course lol That looks really informative, though, so coolio

                                                                                    1. re: kerrough

                                                                                      Ever used Dr. Pepper as liquid in a bran muffin with raisins, craysins, the dr. Pepper co. even had a home economist in the 60s

                                                                                      1. re: BH.

                                                                                        You know, I am a Texas girl through and through, but I utterly despise Dr. Pepper and can't stand anything cooked with it either lol Now, if you had a Big Red recipe...=)

                                                                        2. Some chili recipes call for strong black coffee.

                                                                          1. Try a shot of espresso in your banana bread next time. Or Kahlua if you prefer!

                                                                            1. i know someone who loves Enstrom's hard almond toffee from colorado but who finds it too sweet and their dark chocolate coating not dark enough. she actually spreads out onto a pan the pieces of toffee and spreads them with melted 72% caillebaut chocolate and then sprinkles them with espresso powder.
                                                                              she does this. cough cough.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                                OMG I just finished off the box of Enstroms that my sister sent me for Christmas (right after my cholestrol blood test!) and they are sweet, but so good I hesitate to make them even better! I already gobble them down like a pig.

                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                  hmmm. i know a woman who does that. cough. :)