A day before the election, I've decided to come out as a latte-sipping liberal.
It's somewhat amusing that this has become a slur. In my America, we take the best way of doing something and embrace it, or try to improve upon it. Boiling the hell out of your coffee or dripping your coffee through a filter will get you some coffee-flavored liquid and plenty of caffeine. But better ways have been invented, so why not make espresso? You don't need a fancy machine, as a friend showed me.
This is how we make coffee at home; it's basically Italian coffee. And we really like it.
And since I like milk in my coffee, I also simulate "lattes" at home. Since I am no baristi, I have no idea what I'm technically making. It's a mix of milk and coffee, the percentages vary, and I drink them hot and cold.
But at the local coffee shops, I often enjoy what they're calling a "pumpkin spice latte." In the fall, this shows up on the menu all over the place. What is it? Just as Mock Apple Pie contains no apples, this contains no pumpkin. It's just the spices. Thus the name, "Pumpkin Spice."
Since I like this flavor even out of the fall season, I want to figure out how to make it at home. The flavor itself is easy. It's dominated by cinnamon, with clove, ginger and nutmeg in the background. I found a decent recipe on-line here. Essentially:
Simmer to make simple syrup. Add:
You simmer for 5 minutes and then strain out the grit using cheesecloth. Finish it up with:
Store the mixture, and use it at a ratio of about 1 Tbsp per shot of espresso in your beverage.
I tried this recipe, substituting Splenda for the sugar (I used the kind that measures correctly for baking). The aroma and flavor were perfect. But I didn't have cheesecloth, and nothing else I tried really filtered the stuff at all. A coffee filter was useless, as was a wire strainer.
I made a latte this morning with the gritty mixture, and it tasted right, but the gunk at the bottom was gross. The Splenda also had a tendency to form a thick syrup that held the grit. This was fine, until I got to the bottom of my mug, and then it was gross. So I'm still working on this one.
But not so fast on the "mock pumpkin spice" -- here's a recipe that uses pumpkin pie filling. And what's more, it's a crock-pot recipe that can be scaled up for parties. I can imagine a more "festive" version of this in which you add a shot of Canadian whiskey to each cup of coffee. That would be a Pumpkin Spiked Latte.
There are definite possibilities here.Posted by James at November 3, 2008 9:06 AM