Friday, June 10, 2011

My Favorite Recipe...Cafe Con Leche

I doubt it is a secret that I enjoy coffee.  I want to share with you my favorite way to enjoy this hot cup of yumminess...

This method of coffee-making is derived from the time my parents lived in Spain.  Therefore, we lovingly call it, Spanish Coffee.  It may not replicate this country's exact version, but it is what we (my family) have created to match closely. 
 
Stove Top Espresso Maker and Milk Frother


In order to experience this lovely treat, it is imperative to have an espresso maker.  We use a simple stove-top espresso maker that can be purchased at any store selling kitchen products.  You must also have a milk frother or whipper.  If you are close to an Ikea...they sell them for next to nothing in enormous quantities!  I would however make this one recommendation.  If you want to make stove-top espressos often, spend the little bit extra on a stainless steel maker.  It is only a few dollars more, but the taste is so much better than the cheaper models.  Also, the cheaper makers pit and stain quite easily and have to be replaced often.  The stainless versions last and last and last!

One really important factor in having a tasty drink is the coffee that is used.  The optimal way for me to make this is with coffee from Spain.  I depleted my supply that was stashed away in my freezer long ago, and have had to resort to finding a suitable grocery-store replacement.  Currently the coffee of choice is Folgers Black Silk, or I have used a blend from my local coffee shop and grounded it into espresso myself.  I do not grind the Black Silk.  I use it as is. 

Follow the directions for the stove-top maker...which is super simple.  Add water and add coffee...turn on stove, wait till it brews...Wa La!  While it is brewing, which takes no more than five minutes, it is time to work on the milk. Now we are a bit indulgent in this area.  We do about 2/3cup of  milk and 1/3 cup of  half and half.  It makes for a nicer froth and richer taste.  Make sure you put this in a microwave safe container and that you give yourself plenty of room in your container to froth the milk.  In a good microwave, this only needs zapped for about 1 minute and 20 seconds.  Sometimes, a skin will form on top after microwaving.  Simply take a spoon and skim the surface to remove.  Just make sure you check before frothing because it will stick to the whipper and be difficult to remove.  When it is time to froth, mix until soft peaks form in the milk foam.  This should only take 30 seconds or so.  You are not trying to make butter....so don't froth forever!  You will find the milk will only froth so much.  Ideally, when you are done, it will appear as if you have almost doubled the amount of milk. 

Now, the fun part!  Pick your favorite cup.  I do not recommend a mug, because you will not be drinking a ton of this.  It is pretty strong and is more of a cup kind of drink.  Us gals prefer the pretty stuff...

The next step is all about preference.  Depending on your taste, pour as much or as little of the espresso into the cup.  I generally take a half cup.  Then, I pour the milk to fill and spoon the froth on top!  If you like things sweet, by all means, add some sugar.  I would add this before adding the milk.  I take mine without sugar but it is fine to sweeten.  If you want this to taste like a coffee-shop coffee, you could add flavored syrup or anything you would normally add to your drink of choice.  I take mine as is...no extras.  
Now, find a cozy seat!  It is time to enjoy. It really is quite simple and the taste is so good!  Once you have done it a time or two, the whole process takes five minutes.  Most of that time is spent waiting on the coffee to brew!  Oh and yes, it looks as good as it tastes!


I hope you enjoy this treat sometime! 
~B Charmer


2 comments:

  1. I will definitely try this.:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yum. :)

    As we move into summer time, my favorite coffee beverage is chilled. Grab a pitcher and add 6-8 cups coffee. Combine with 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Delicious.

    ReplyDelete

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