Saturday, August 13, 2005

SHF #11: Coffee

eclairs, originally uploaded by emily loke.

When I first learnt to appreciate coffee’s potent ability to prolong my waking state, I was extremely abusive of it: chasing three espresso shots with three tequila shots was my way of kicking off a night of clubbing. I can’t imagine where the inspiration for that combination came from, or how I could ever think that was a smart thing to do, but I was thankfully young enough then for me to now write it off as one of youth’s many follies.

The next stage in the relationship was less abusive. As my passion for clubbing mellowed out, so did my lifestyle and my drink of choice. Since espresso was all of a sudden too overwhelming for me, it was no wonder that when I discovered ice-blended maraschino-cherry-infused mochas it was love at first sip –they were the perfect drink to nurse while one was deep in conversation about boys. Though the buzz that the hint of coffee generated was nothing compared to the fluttering of teenage hearts, everything about the drink (from its pinkish hue to its innocent sweetness) made it the closest consumable thing to love for me. Even now, I can’t think of a more perfect beverage to be in love over.

Today, for coffee and I, our relationship is all about acceptance. I haven’t progressed past the puppy love stage of my coffee drinking, but my stunted growth in the relationship department doesn’t bother me: I’ll proudly admit to not wanting coffee without chocolate, sugar and cream. Life is just too short to not give yourself what you want.

A Note: Before I forget, thanks so much to this month's host, Ronald, for being so gracious about accepting my tardy entry.

Black Forest Éclairs
(but only because the recipe for Black Forest Ice Blended Mochas is copyrighted.)

Choux Pastry

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbs sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs


2 cups whipping cream
¼ cup maraschino cherry syrup
1 tbs instant coffee powder
½ cup icing sugar

1. In a saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil on medium heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss in the flour, cocoa powder, salt and sugar, and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon till mixture leaves sides of pan. Remove from heat and cool till just warm to the touch, about 10 mins.
3. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, till mixture becomes a smooth but slightly sticky paste, then transfer to piping bag with a 1 inch nozzle.
4. Pipe éclairs about 4-6 inches long, about 3 inches apart, and bake for 35 minutes.
5. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.
6. Slice off top of éclairs and hollow them out.
7. In a mixing bowl, dissolve the coffee crystals in the maraschino cherry syrup and then add the whipping cream.
8. Beat on high till mixture becomes whipped cream and then transfer to a piping bag with a star nozzle.
9. Pipe cream into the bottoms of the éclairs, and then cover with the tops.
10. Garnish with icing sugar or melted dark chocolate, if desired.