No one can imagine Tiramisu made without coffee, but did you know that coffee is a great enhancer for many other types of dishes? The acidic, earthy tones of coffee boost flavors in both sweet and savory dishes, which makes cooking with coffee a wise choice in the kitchen. Coffee gives your dish that special, added depth of flavor. So whether you brew a cup fresh or use what’s left over from your morning pot, consider using coffee as your “secret ingredient” next time you head for the kitchen.
Cooking With Coffee to Make Sweets
There’s no need to have a special recipe to add coffee to your next dessert
. Simply replace the liquid portion with the same portion of coffee, and Bam! You’re cooking with coffee! Coffee compliments most dessert dishes, especially those made with chocolate: cakes, puddings, fudge, muffins, pies and ice cream. Use coffee in place of water, or as a replacement for milk.
For a powerful taste booster, try using coffee grounds when you bake. Coffee grounds are especially delicious in recipes that feature nuts: coffee cake, pecan pie, muffins, or cakes. For baking, use grounds that have already gone through the brewing process, and because coffee grounds are so strong, use them sparingly. Mix the grounds into liquids, or replace a small portion of flour with them. You can also use instant espresso
if the recipe has a smooth finish, like ice cream, or when you want a stronger flavor than just liquid coffee will provide.
Cooking With Coffee in Savory Dishes
For centuries, chefs have used coffee in Mexican chicken, beef, or pork mole dishes, and cooking with coffee and chipotle makes for an excellent combination. But the reality is that coffee goes well with all sorts of meats.
From rubs to sauces, consider cooking with coffee to intensify other savory meat dishes
. Add a small amount of coffee grounds to your rub mixture for grilled pork or beef, and for deeper flavors – with or without BBQ sauce. You can add it to: pork loin, steak, ribs or pot roast, as well. The acid in coffee paired together with the earthy, soft flavor makes an excellent addition to the liquid in any meat you plan to braise. Just use coffee in the same quantity as you would usually use wine.
Save Your Leftover Coffee for Cooking
Refrigerate your leftover coffee and coffee grounds
so you will have a fresh supply on hand the next time you plan to cook a savory dish or prepare a dessert. Just remember this simple rule for cooking with coffee: proportionately use liquid coffee to replace liquids in cooking, but grounds are stronger, so use them sparingly. Experiment by cooking with coffee and expect to have someone ask you, “What’s your secret ingredient?”