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Our Crazy Coffee Culture

August 21, 2014

I'll have my coffee in a cake!

Cafe Latte cupcakes with chai cream* – I’ll have my coffee in a cake!

Both coffee and black tea do not sit well with me. I am a herbal tea drinker from way back, despite loving the taste and smell of coffee, a short black would keep me awake for a week! My coffee-making skills, or lack thereof, are renowned in my circles! Our friends will come for a dinner and then make a quick departure before coffee is served. In our house, its instant or nothing! I used to keep ground coffee in the freezer and use a coffee press for visitors but it was used so infrequently that it would be frost-bitten!

As a non-coffee drinker, I am amazed at the big business of coffee. In the 80’s, being a wine snob was de rigueur. I was pretty good at that. Nowadays, a being a coffee snob is a social obligation. And I missed the bus! Thinking about coffee is no longer about whether you have it with milk or without. There are so many variations of coffee that it’s exhausting. Indeed, most urbanites have a favoured barista on speed dial next to the dentist, doctor, hair stylist and plumber, and all have a preferred way to drink their coffee.

Despite our coffee snobbery, a Euromonitor International market analysis claims that 75% of the coffee we drink at home is instant coffee and not the brewed in fancy pod or espresso kind. Even though department stores have a bigger coffee machine department than menswear section!! But the same report also claims that Australasia is ‘’first in the world in terms of per capita spending in specialist coffee shops’’ which is BIG business.

It has taken me several years to succumb to the hype and buy a “pod” coffee machine and as a non-coffee drinker, I’m still questioning my motives. I think the impetus was when we invited a friend home, for a post pub-dinner coffee, and he declined, saying he would rather have a drip filtered coffee there!

When I was deliberating on a $40 (marked down half-price) pod machine in the shop, I overheard someone talking: “If you are spending $150 on an espresso machine you are probably not that interested in coffee, which means that you are probably not very good at making it. Unless you spend $1000 on a good machine and $300 on a good grinder & good fresh beans then don’t bother.” I grabbed that machine on special, and slunk out of there!

In hindsight, I should have done some more research, as finding the right size capsules for that bugger is near impossible. No wonder it was marked down! And there are no other capsules that are compatible!! Gahhhh……  to all my friends out there, be heartened to know my commitment in providing good coffee for you!

I do love using coffee in cooking. I enjoy iced coffee and mocha flavoured things. Recently I have been using dandelion tea and chicory as a coffee flavouring to circumnavigate my caffeine intolerance. But I don’t tell anyone!

And it’s no secret that I loooove spice! Especially cinnamon and cardamom and ginger! And co-incidentally these spices make up the base for a well-loved spice mix called chai masala.

Chai, itself is actually the Hindi word for tea and is traditionally prepared by a decoction of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ground ginger and black peppercorns with black tea leaves & milk. But given our fascination with caffeine,  it is now fashionable to use coffee instead and call this a chai latte instead.

The star of this recipe is the chai cream which I have based on my dairy-free whipped cream recipe. You will need to start the cream the day before. I have infused the milk with spices and the longer it sits the stronger it will be. The cacao butter gives this a lovely chocolatey fragrance without the overpowering chocolate flavour. Feel free to just use more butter, or chocolate if you want mocha.

60g coconut flour
40g tapioca flour
1 teas bicarb soda
1 teas baking powder
100g rapadura
60g cacao butter
5 eggs
70g nut milk
120g cold strong coffee (or substitute 120g dandelion tea + 2 teas instant decaf)
80g butter
1 teas apple cider vinegar
Mill the cacao butter on SP 9 for 10 seconds. Add the butter, milk & coffee (or tea) and warm on SP 3 at 50°C for 1 minute. 
Add the remaining ingredients,except the apple cider vinegar, and mix on SP 4 for 10 seconds until well combined.
Stir through the apple cider vinegar and pour into muffin tins. Bake at 170°C for 20 minutes. When cool, pipe the cream on top and dust with grated chocolate.
150g nut milk
1 star anise
3 cardamon pods
2 cinnamon sticks
pinch ground ginger
2 cloves
2 tabs rapadura or coconut sugar (or stevia)
150g unsalted butter or ghee
1/4 teas lecithin (optional)
Infuse the milk and spices and sugar at 70°C on SP 1 REVERSE for 8 minutes. Strain the spices out and add the butter and cook for a further 4 minutes at 80°C on SP 3 with the MC tilted. Blend on SP 8 for 30 seconds. Return the cinnamon stick and cardamom to the mix and pour into a glass jar or dish and refrigerate overnight. 
When ready to whip, fish out the cinnamon & cardamom, return the “cream” to the TM bowl with butterfly and whip on SP 4 until increased in volume. Alternatively, whip the cream in a stand mixer to get light fluffy whipped cream.
  • Make sure the cream is very cold and the TM bowl or mixer bowl is cold.
  • Don’t use salted butter – it will be awful!
  • The cream should not separate and look like normal dairy cream after resting.
  • *Nut cream will whip quicker than dairy cream so keep a close eye on it – this picture shows the cream slightly over-whipped.
  • The lecithin will help keep the cream from “falling” for longer but is optional.
  • I made the cream and it lasted for 2 days before “falling”

Are you a coffee snob? Take this test to find out!!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. crescentmoonramblings permalink
    August 22, 2014 7:44 am

    Many years ago I ODed on coffee when Gloria Jean’s was established at the local shopping centre. Now I can’t bear the stuff and have not had a sip for ten years. I do love the smell of fresh roasted beans occasionally though. I’m not so enamoured with the smell on people’s breath. Coffee drinkers get a wet dog smelling breath, it’s vile.
    I’m with you Sarah, dandelion, chicory and chai spices are my go to drinks along with green tea.

    • August 22, 2014 9:32 am

      Funny that you say that because my best friend from uni swears that I used to drink coffee like a fish but I just cant remember it! I knew I used to drink coffee as a teenager but not excessively! And I cant remember it keeping me awake at night either!!

      • crescentmoonramblings permalink
        August 22, 2014 5:01 pm


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