Posted in Drinkables, Liquid Refreshment, Sweets for the Sweet

In Which the Blogger Takes the Mocha Concept Out for a Double-spin…

It's a bunch of Japanese and Mexican flavors...in a Union Jack mug.
It’s a bunch of Japanese and Mexican flavors…in a Union Jack mug.

Caffe mocha, that staple of many upmarket coffee bars is, in essence, a mixture of espresso, milk, and chocolate syrup.  Modeled after the bicerin (coffee + drinking chocolate + milk), a specialty of Italy’s Piedmont region, it is certainly richer than a standard-issue latte and appeals to both caffeine junkies with a sweet tooth and those who are, for all intents and purposes, chocoholics craving for stimulation.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but there is a way of making mochas at home without the benefit of either a coffee maker or an espresso machine.  Heck, all you need is a packet of brown or white instant coffee, chocolate, milk, spices, a saucepan, and a ready arm with a whisk.  Coffee sacrilege?  Perhaps, but improvisation in the kitchen has led to some delicious, warming, and totally bespoke drinks.

Shown above is my Jap-Mex Mocha.  This particular beastie features Japanese milk chocolate (Meiji Milk, to be exact) whisked into a mix of milk and water and spruced up with cinnamon and black pepper, evoking old-school Mexican hot chocolate.  Toss in a packet of coffee, and you get a deliciously creamy coffee concoction with a bit of a snappy bite.

Jap-Mex Mocha

  • 25 grams Japanese milk chocolate, broken
  • 1 single-serve packet instant brown or white coffee
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • dash of black pepper

In a saucepan, bring the milk and water to a boil.  Add the broken chocolate and whisk vigorously until it has all melted.  Remove from heat and add the coffee and spices.  Whisk vigorously until frothy.  Pour into a mug to serve.  Makes 1 coffee.

Vanilla bean and white chocolate make this both decadent and soothing.
Vanilla bean and white chocolate make this both decadent and soothing.

A second variation makes for a more subtle drink.  It features vanilla bean and white chocolate and pretty much mimics the qualities of an Antipodean flat white in the sense that it is milkier but it’s a whole lot less foamy than the drink at the top of this post.

Here’s an idea you might want to try: if you use vanilla beans for baking, don’t toss out your used pods. Bury the lot in a jar of granulated white sugar. This both flavors the sugar and preserves the pod-skins for another use.  The used pods, in particular, are perfect for this particular drink.

Vanilla Flat White

  • 1 used vanilla bean
  • 1/4 cup grated white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 single-serve packet white coffee

Combine milk and water in a saucepan.  Add the vanilla pod and the white chocolate.  Put the saucepan on medium-heat, whisking the mixture to help the chocolate melt and to press any remaining vanilla seeds out of the pod.  Bring to a boil and remove from the heat.  Remove the vanilla pod and add the coffee.  Whisk until the coffee has dissolved.  Pour into a mug to serve.  Makes 1 coffee.

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Author:

Midge started her career in PR writing at seventeen when she began drafting documentaries for a government-run television station in the Philippines. Since then, she made a career in advertising and public relations which ended earlier this year. These days, she works for a corporate governance advocacy in Makati. Aside from what she does for a living and her poetry, she has turned her home kitchen into a personal culinary lab and is currently working on another novel.

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