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Jan 17, 2011 09:15 AM

Advice needed about cooking with coffee

Hi Folks

I've recently become enthusiastic about cooking with coffee. Mainly I've been using a shot of espresso as a base note and have come to the conclusion that while it is awesome I'm really not sure I totally know what I'm doing. I understand that coffee is a complex blend of oils and acids and worry that I'm not getting enough of it. It seems totally lost if I put it in the initial braising liquid and too dominant if I just splash it in the end. I've been mainly using it in ragus and casseroles but think I'm missing out and not getting the most out of it.

Would love a better insight on what coffee does in food, how it's compounds are effected by cooking times and heat etc and how to maximise its addition to a dish, as well as any other ways people are using it to mass up their meals or in unusual ways.

Much appreciated in advance,

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      1. Coffee is an amazing culinary partner and I've done a lot of experimenting and research. here's some of what I've discovered....hope it helps!

        Coffee is an extraordinary culinary partner. It is not only the "best kept secret ingredient" of today's chefs, but it was probably used by your grandmother as well. It has a long history in the kitchen. You will be amazed at what the addition of coffee can do to your everyday cooking!

        People often ask us about the addition of coffee in our cooking. Actually, there are many excellent culinary reasons why coffee is a perfect cooking partner:

        --Coffee enhances the flavors of everything you cook!

        --Coffee helps to caramelize the surface of what you are cooking and the caramelization from the coffee helps to seal in juices creating tastier entrees.

        --Coffee helps build and create a depth of flavor rather than stripping flavor as adding water in cooking can do.

        --Coffee also helps to create subtle toasty and smoky notes…a direct result of the roasted characteristics of the coffee bean itself.

        It is important to note that adding coffee to savory flavors such as herbs, spices and salts makes coffee a "natural flavor enhancer". You will not experience a coffee/mocha taste as you do when coffee is added with sugars and chocolates.

        Coffee in cooking is loved by non coffee drinkers as much as coffee lovers and no need to worry about caffeine effects as caffeine is broken down through the cooking process. There is no residual effect when ingested in prepared foods.

        Once you start using it you too will become a believer in coffee’s inherent cooking benefits! It’s JAVALICIOUS!

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