World chocolate day may come around once a year on 7 July, but we all know that when it comes to celebrating chocolate, this is usually done all year round. Created from the marvellous cocoa bean, chocolate has given us many options and tastes over the years, becoming a favourite in households. And what is even better is the way this delicious bean pairs so perfectly with another…
“Coffee and chocolate have been paired together for years, with different chocolates complementing different coffee tastes,” explains Matthew Dees, senior brand manager for Jacobs. “And it is not only the pairing of chocolate while drinking coffee that sees these two flavours working together, but also when they are used in different culinary approaches to bring out various flavours in both food and drink.”
Thokozane Radebe, brand manager for Douwe Egberts, concurs and adds that the growth of instant coffee over the past few years allows for this pairing to be used easily in the home and in so many ways due to convenience and improved coffee taste. No longer is instant coffee thought of as the substitute to a good cup of coffee, it has become THE good cup of coffee. Coffee brands such as Jacobs and Douwe Egberts work timeously to improve taste, aroma and most definitely quality of their instant coffee ranges, giving consumers various blends and options to enjoy.
When it comes to combining with chocolate and instant coffee, there are a variety of culinary techniques that even a home chef can master for dinner time or when craving something quick and tasty on cold, lazy days watching telly on the couch:
- Mocha is a classic combination of coffee and chocolate. By adding a spoonful of instant coffee to hot chocolate or chocolate milk, you can create a creamy and decadent mocha drink. The coffee enhances the chocolate’s flavour and adds a subtle hint of bitterness, balancing the sweetness.
- Instant coffee is incorporated into various chocolate-based desserts to intensify the chocolate experience – adding a small amount of instant coffee powder to brownie or brewed instant coffee to cake batters deepens the chocolate flavour. Instant coffee can also be dissolved in hot water and used as a coffee syrup to drizzle over chocolate desserts like ice cream, mousse, or pudding.
- Instant coffee can be combined with cocoa powder, spices, and herbs to create a flavourful coffee-chocolate rub for meats. This mixture can be used to season steaks, ribs, or roasts before grilling or roasting. The coffee imparts a smoky, slightly bitter note that complements the richness of the chocolate and enhances the savoury flavours of the meat.
- Coffee-chocolate BBQ sauce is a new must-have addition to savoury dishes. Combine brewed instant coffee, cocoa powder, tomato sauce, brown sugar, spices, and a hint of chili for a bold and smoky sauce that pairs perfectly with grilled meats. The coffee adds depth and complexity to the chocolate, resulting in a barbecue experience like no other.
- The use of instant coffee when making homemade chocolate truffles can create a delightful combination of flavours. Simply dissolve instant coffee in a small amount of hot water and add it to melted chocolate along with other truffle ingredients like cream, butter, or liqueur. Roll the mixture into small balls and coat them in cocoa powder or melted chocolate for an indulgent treat.
“The versatility of instant coffee together with the taste of chocolate can create different and enticing culinary creations, as the two flavours work together to bring a balanced, complementary sweet-bitter taste to different dishes,” explains Dees. To ensure an enhanced taste make sure to choose a quality instant coffee with an already flavourful blend. Radebe recommends experimenting with different blends and different chocolates to see which blends and which flavours bring out the best in each other.
For indulgent ways to combine coffee and chocolate this winter, why not give the following recipes a try?:
Pure indulgence chocolate latte
- 4 cups of brewed Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence coffee
- 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup
- 1 cup of your favourite milk
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream
Step 1: Mix 4 cups of brewed Douwe Egberts Pure Indulgence coffee with the milk and chocolate syrup in a medium saucepan over low-medium heat.
Step 2: Add the sugar and vanilla essence.
Step 3: Stir often for 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Step 4: Pour the coffee into cups and top with whipped cream.
Chocolate cake with espresso
© DORLING KINDERSLEY PUBLISHING COMPANY GMBH, MUNICH, MAY 2015
You will require two 20cm springform cake tins.
- 100g soft butter, plus more for the cake tins
- 275g of sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 200g of flour
- 75g of cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 125ml of brewed, cooled Jacobs Freeze Dried Instant coffee
- 125ml of milk
- Vanilla Extract
For the buttercream
- 125g of cold butter, diced
- 25g of cocoa powder
- 125g powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoon milk
- Good quality dark chocolate for garnishing
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180° C. Grease the cake tins and cover the bottom with baking paper. Beat the butter and sugar with a whisk until frothy.
Step 2: Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each egg thoroughly before adding the next one. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a second bowl. Stir in the cooled coffee, milk and vanilla essence in a third bowl.
Step 3: While stirring, add the flour and the coffee mixture to the butter-egg mixture and mix everything into a smooth dough. Fill the dough into the two cake tins.
Step 4: Bake the cakes at 180°C in the oven until golden brown, approximately 30-35 minutes. The cakes are ready when they spring back to light finger pressure and no more dough sticks to a stick, when placed into the cake. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the cake tins for a few minutes, then remove and allow to cool on cooling trays. For the butter cream, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the cocoa powder and simmer for 1-2 minutes stirring, then remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Step 5: Add the powdered sugar to the cocoa butter and mix thoroughly. Stir in the milk one tablespoon at a time until a smooth, shiny mass has formed, allow to cool (it will thicken). Spread half of the buttercream on to one of the cakes. Put the other cake on top and spread the rest of the cream on to the second cake. Finally, use a peeler or grater to remove pieces from the chocolate. Garnish the cake with the chocolate shavings.
Store: This cake will remain fresh for 4-5 days, if stored correctly in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place.
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