Sep 2, 2009

Top it off with coffee..or is it milk?

I have noticed-- and not suddenly-- that I haven't been writing about deserts. Part of the reason is, I don't make much. And whenever I do have sweet tooth, I am happy to nibble on a bit of chocolate. But I was not like this forever. As a kid I was so totally into extremely sweet deserts. I could literally live off deserts. Anyways.. these days I am making much more of it, as I am living with R who does not have ever have a sweet tooth-- he never lets his body crave for sweet. He dumps so much of it into the system :)
A few weeks ago I visited an old acquaintance of mine and she treated me to this interesting type of  coffee.  I liked it..but I felt that it would make such a fantastic--not very unique probably--desert. So here it  is. Very simple--not very calorific. But you will see you can go crazy with this one and make it as dynamic and/or calorific as you want it :)

1 cup of unflavored milk-- you can use whatever variety you prefer.  I am lactose intolerant. So I use  low fat lactate milk.
2 tsp of instant coffee powder. I am a believer in Nescafe.
2-3 tbsf of sugar-- again brown, white. Whatever you have. You can also choose to pass on this one, or reduce the quantity as per your needs. I made mine sugarless and R's with sugar. You can also use sugarfree.
2 scoops of ice cream- I like chocolate, french vanilla, or mocha flavors. I would recommend French Vanilla. Kind of neutral and so will soak up the coffee flavor. You can also use whipped cream along with or instead of the ice cream. The last one for those of you who have an extra sweet tooth. But remember to run the next day :)
10-12 unsalted nuts-- again anything you have at home-- walnut, almonds, pistachios, pine nut. Assortment of nuts with some raisins thrown in. Would be awesome.
Ice cubes
brown sugar/ coffee powder/ chocolate powder for garnish
What do you do?

On a flat plate pour the coffee powder, 1 tbsf sugar and a bit of water--just enough to wet the mixture. Take a spoon and slowly grind the sugar and coffee powder with circular motion of the spoon against the plate till a thick paste forms. Add a little water if you feel like making the paste slightly thinner. I do it. Put the remaining sugar (or its equivalent) and the milk in a cocktail shaker with 6-8 cubes of ice.
You can also use a blender or food processor--whatever you have at hand--but use fewer ice cubes. The blender will mix the entire ice into the mixer making it watery. We don't want watery..we want our deserts to be creamy :). I would suggest just going with 2 cubes..enough to chill the drink. If you don't have a blender you know you can make a makeshift cocktail shaker with two glasses-- one covering the other (snugly or its going to all spill over). Kind of like a boston shaker :).

Shake well. Really well. Fill up 1/4 th of two tall regular glasses with ice. Skip  the ice it if you don't want it. Strain the shaken milk on top. Now is the fancy part. Carefully pour--almost like smear the coffee paste on top of the milk in the glass. You will see the brown paste  percolating down through the white milk. At this stage I start to feel like taking the glass and drinking straight of it. But wait! not yet. 
Scoop the ice cream on top of this.  If you are using whipped cream-- here is when you do the action. 
Follow by the nuts and then by sprinkling brown sugar/ coffee powder/ chocolate powder (whatever you want) for garnish. I like coffee powder.
You have your desert..personalized :) you can use a combination of half and half and milk, cream-- heavy, light..but try limiting the white component of your drink to two cups. This is what I like about making something. You can be as dynamic as you want. And I follow this rule of thumb-- if you are only putting in goodies into a basket--it can't go bad, right? I mean how wrong can you go with milk, coffee, sugar , ice cream, nuts and ice??? :)

Okay, a bit of a trivia for all of us snobs who do are a little crinkly nosed about instant coffee. At the coffee plantations in Ethiopia, of all places, they serve Nescafe.

Happy eating and Healthy living

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