You certainly can – and you can create much, much more than a coffee cake. (Not that there’s anything wrong with coffee cake – coffee cake is good. Here’s a recipe for it: https://www.neighbourhoodcoffee.co.uk/coffee-and-cake-which-coffee-for-which-dessert/) In fact, there are all sorts of cakes and cookies that are all the better for the inclusion of a strong cup of Joe. More on that later…
Coffee, sugar and molasses with a dash of chilli powder or paprika makes for a really good meat marinade. Bacon marinated in a bath of it – we mean ground beans, not liquid coffee – is all-the-richer for the coffee once cooked. You can also grind coffee beans with pepper corns, salt and a dried green herb of your choice and that’ll make a decent rub for a joint of beef.
Coffee really works well with beef – try a cup of it in your next chilli con carne – it’s flavour works very well in the long, slow cook. The same applies when you’re making a beef stew. Here’s a recipe for using coffee in soup: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/250238/smoky-black-bean-soup/ – we’ve not tried it, but do let us know if you do and you like it. You can also use a cup in a veggie chilli for added depth of flavour.
As long as you have an imagination and know your way around a kitchen, you can get quite creative with coffee. Try substituting it for the liquid you’d normally use in your recipes. Bread, for example, can be made using coffee – perhaps try following a recipe first and then get more adventurous. This black bread one from Jamie Oliver is a corker: https://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/bread-recipes/black-bread/.
One thing you’ve probably not thought of is this one:
Baked carrots on coffee
- Enough decaf beans to cover the bottom of a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or pan. Get these: https://www.neighbourhoodcoffee.co.uk/shop/colombia-i-cant-get-no-caffeination-2/
- One clove of garlic, crushed
- A decent handful of thin carrots – or cut some fat ones into long batons
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Heat your skillet on the hob until it’s really hot
- Throw in the coffee beans and turn off the heat
- Swirl the beans round the pan for a couple of minutes until you see they’re getting a little oily
- Toss the carrots in the oil, garlic, salt and pepper
- Place the carrots in a single layer over the coffee beans and cover (with a lid or with foil)
- Bake in a preheated very low oven (110 degrees or around ¼ gas mark) for around three hours – when your fork goes through them, they’re ready to eat. The carrots, that is – throw the beans away!
And then there are cakes and biscuits galore! Probably the most famous coffee cake is tiramisu which means a ‘pick-me-up’, probably due to the coffee. What’s nice is that you can change the flavour of the tiramisu, depending on the coffee you use. We like the toffee-apple-caramel flavour of ‘I ain’t afraid of no roast’ but experiment away and find your favourite. There’s something quite nice about having your own tiramisu, about it becoming something of a family legend. Choose your coffee wisely and you may well have it.
Last but not least – just enjoy a cup of delicious coffee when you’re in the kitchen – whether you’re cooking or not. Cheers!