Earlier in the week, we talked about some fabulous coffee collaborations
on the market, and we promised we'd show you how to create your own. Now, we're keeping that promise with some tips on creating your own"coffee and" collaborations. We spent the week trying various coffees from our stash and playing them off against delicious chocolates, local dairy offerings and fine liquors. We came up with three collabs and a handful of tips to guide you in pairing specialty coffees with other foods in your own unique coffee collaborations.
Our Three Coffee Collaborations
Fine coffee is all about indulgence - the flavors, the aromas, the textures and the pure meditation of creating a moment. Coffee collaborations are a way of extending that indulgence by playing off the flavors and qualities present in a particular coffee against complementary flavors, qualities and textures in other indulgent foods. We chose three of our favorite un-caffeinated luxuries to combine with delicious coffees and started combining. Here's what we came up with.
Spreadable Coffee Garlic Cream Cheese
Cooper's Hilltop Farm
has been a Central Massachusetts tradition for nearly a century. They serve the local area with farm-fresh milk and cream that's a staple for local ice cream makers. All the milk sold at the family-ownned farm is processed onsite, and the cream content makes it incredibly rich and almost buttery. Metropolis Coffee's Spice Island FTO
is the perfect complement to the rich, creamy density of Cooper's heavy cream. The spicy sage, walnut and pecan notes are strong enough to stand up to heavier flavors, and the herbal acidity is the perfect foil for the citric acid needed to form curds for cheese. If you've never tried to make your own cheese before, you'll be amazed how easy it is -- and if you've never thought of cheese and coffee as complementary flavors, you won't believe what your taste buds are telling you.
- 1 pint fresh dairy heavy cream
- 3 tbsp Metropolis Spice Island FTO, very finely ground
- 4 tbsp cultured dairy sour cream
- 1 tsp citric acid
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
Combine all the ingredients in a glass jar and shake to mix well. Cover the jar loosely and put it in a warm place (about 100 F.) for 3-4 hours. When the mixture is about the thickness of yogurt or creme fraiche, pour the contents of the jar into a strainer lined with cheesecloth or another fine fabric. Let it drain four an hour, then gather up the corners of the fabric and twist them tightly to express more liquid. Put the wrapped cheese back into the strainer. Place a heavy bowl filled with water on top of it to weight it down overnight and press out as much liquid as possible. In the morning, unwrap the cheese and serve spread on crackers or toast.
Chocolate Dipped Cuvee Coffee Fondants
Ghirardhelli is an established name in luxury chocolate and Cuvee is an established name in fine, specialty coffee, making them a natural pairing. When you use coffee in a very sweet dish, you need one with bright, bold flavors that are accented rather than drowned by the sugar. Cuvee's Brazil Fazenda Pantana
offers soft malt chocolate, cedar and maple notes that give it a smooth sharpness that doesn't get lost in a sugary confection. Because the fondant is almost achinglly sweet, we picked Ghirardheli's Evening Dream chocolate, a deep, dark, bittersweet blend that offsets the coffee and sugar perfectly.
- 3/4 cup half & half or light cream
- 2 tbsp coarsely ground Cuvee Brazil Fazenda Panto coffee
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp corn syrup
- 1 tbsp liquid glycerin
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 3 oz bar Ghirardhelli Evening Dream chocolate
- 1/4 oz beeswax
In a small saucepan, stir the coffee into the half and half and set it over a low flame. Bring it to a simmer. Remove the milk from the heat, cover it and let it steep for about 10 minutes. Strain the coffee-infused milk through a filter into a second saucepan. Stir in the sugar, corn syrup and glycerin. Stir the mixture over a medium flame constantly until it reaches the boiling point. Turn the heat down, cover the saucepan and let it cook for three minutes, being careful not to let it boil over. Remove the cover and let the fondant mixture continue to boil without stirring until it reaches 240 F. Stir in the butter. Immediately pour the fondant onto a wet marble slab or heavy glass platter. Use a wooden paddle or stirrer to start scraping the fondant from the edges into the middle, stirring it constantly as it cools. It will gradually thicken and hold together like silky dough. When it is cool enough to handle, shape pinches of the foundant into small, flattened balls and set them aside to finish cooling and dry.
Melt the chocolate over hot water. Stir in grrated beeswax to help it keep its shape and give it a rich gloss. Dip each fondant into chocolate, turning it with a fork to coat them completely. Transfer the chocolate covered fondants to a plate to cool and firm up.
Suke Kuto Infused Skyy Vodka
Skyy Vodka's trademark blue bottles show up at all the best parties. Skyy creates many of its own infusions, but we couldn't resist pairing it with one of our own favorite coffees of distinction. 1000 Faces Suko Quto
is an Ethiopian coffee from the Sidamo region. The heiroloom variety bursts with juicy fruit flavors that make it a natural partner to the silky vodka. This may be the easiest pairing of all.
- 750ml Skyy Vodka
- 2 oz. Suke Quto coffee, whole beans
Pour the coffee beans into a large jar with a tight-fitting cover. Pour the vodka over the beans, cover the jar and turn it over once or twice to mix well. Set the jar in a cool, dark place for 2-3 days. Turn it over 2-3 times a day to ensure that the vodka all comes into contact with the coffee beans. At the end of 2-3 days, taste the vodka. If the flavor is not intense enough, allow it to infuse longer. When the flavor meets your approval, strain the vodka through a coffee filter and enjoy.
DIY Coffee Collaboration Tips
Inspired? We hope so. We choose all of our coffees for their distinctive flavors and cup qualities, and we'd love for you to make use of them in as many ways as possible. If you feel inspired to create your own coffee collaborations, consider these tips to help you choose your ingredients well.
- Work with the finest ingredients. Your collaboration is only as good as its components, so always choose the best quality ingredients to use. If you've got a local favorite food, think about ways it might work in tandem with coffee.
- Savor the coffees you're considering. Really settle in and try to distinguish the flavors and qualities that stand out and make it special for you. Those are the qualities you'll want to highlight when you start collaborating.
- Consider how the unique qualities of the coffee and other ingredients complement and contrast with each other. If you want to bring out sweetness, look for coffees that feature chocolate, maple and honey in their profiles. If you want a contrast for sharp, spicy flavors, consider coffees with bold fruity, spicy and peppery flavors.
- Be a little daring. Go on, be bold and explore. If you've got a food passion, from donuts to sausages, try blending it with your love of coffee. You'll be amazed at the way coffee complements so many flavors in so many ways.