Saturday, 20 October 2012

Espresso Filter Coffee, Cafe Bombon and Chocolate filled chocolate Biscuit/ Bourbon Biscuit

                    'Gomathi', that was the first cow that came into our house back in the 90's, heavily pregnant and I still remember the day when we saw the birth of her calf Lakshmi and her baby steps. It was magical to watch a new born, trying hard to stand on its four legs even though it stumbled many times, tempting us to go and help her, instead within days she was kicking and running amok and exploring the surroundings and infecting everyone with her excitement. Along with her, we too were nourished with the colostrum milk that was made into "seempal" every singly day until the milk turned clear and thereafter, there was never a shortage for fresh and thick milk or curds and litres of ghee was always in stock in our pantry. The aroma of the drumstick leaves fried during the end process of making ghee would always invite my son to the kitchen, who was a little kid back then to come and ask for the ghee rice that I made  by mixing some rice in the kadai in which the ghee is prepared and drained. Even after years when the cows were no longer there, he still kept asking for the ghee rice with fried drumstick leaves.

                  Over the years we saw many cows and calves in the shed, until one dreadful day, when my mother  saw a cobra posing with its hood spread, ready to strike the shivering and frightened cow which had moved to the corner of the shed out of fear and the snake was momentarily distracted by the continuous barking and intervention of a beautiful and wonderful black pomeranian which was trying to protect its close pal the cow, these two animals were always seen together licking each other's nose and caring. This lovely dog had previously saved a family by ripping the head of a snake until it was dead, but this time the snake won and the dog died saving its best friend, while the snake too was beaten to death soon. That visual shook my mother a lot and decided to give away the cow and she was the last cow and the last time when we had good coffee or for that matter, pure milk and ghee too.

                Those were golden filter coffee days when we loved our morning drink more than anything else, thanks to the cows and the best blend of freshly ground coffee called A1 peaberry mix, that my better half used to buy from Cafe' Coffee day. The first coffee that was made using the fresh coffee powder and the fresh milk will always result in a lot of aah, aah!'s and oh, oh!'s. If you think you are having the best filter coffee made using milk from the carton, then I bet you are not. A good blend of freshly ground coffee beans and fresh and thick cow's milk makes the best filter coffee, you will have to try it to believe me. That is why it was so easy for us to give up drinking coffee something that we adored so much, when we did not have any more fresh milk and the filter coffee made with packet milk only made me cast away my coffee filter for ever and switch to tea.

        One thing that my better half went crazy about, throughout our  Europe tour in 2010, was the small shots of dark and bitter espresso drink that he had there almost every three hours or so. He loved it so much that when we came across this Lavassa Espresso coffee here in Chennai, we bought it, without even giving a second thought on how we were going to make an espresso without the espresso machine. I decided to give life to my cast away coffee filter, but the decoction lacked the feel that an espresso has and when I added my low fat milk, we thought we will never get over this nightmare! but just then I remembered my condensed milk and decided to give it a whirl and that was moment when our golden filter coffee days were reborn. The aroma of the espresso and the thickness of the condensed milk rendered that richness to the coffee, which was missing all the time. Since then, we are completely smitten by this aromatic coffee that it has become our weekend indulgence and something that we all look forward to every sunday morning.

                              This is not a daily drink unless you don't mind the calories or the heavily priced espresso. Cafe bombon is espresso with condensed milk served in certain European countries , made using espresso maker and the condensed milk is usually left unstirred with separate layers and served with a stirrer. This is something that I came to know later and I had absolutely no idea that there was even drink called cafe bombon! However this is espresso filter coffee made with our indigenous coffee filter, without an espresso machine, completely aromatic, rich, sweet, bitter and frothy almost like our kumbakonam filter coffee. I say 'almost' because, nothing can surpass a coffee that is made with fresh cow's milk and freshly ground coffee beans.

Ingredients for Espresso Filter Coffee
Espresso powder     4 -5 Tbsp
Condensed milk       3 1/2 Tbsp
Water                         1 1/2 cup

Add the espresso powder in the coffee filter and pour boiling water over the powder  and after a few up and down pressings using the filter, close and leave it aside until the decoction is extracted at the bottom. ( gently tap on top, this will hasten the extraction of the decoction)
For one cup of decoction, add 3 1/2 tbsp of hot condensed milk and serve as cafe bonbon with a stirrer  or a spoon.  To make filter coffee use two stainless steel glasses and pour the coffee vigorously from one glass to another until it froths up. (The coffee should be hot to create foam)
If you know how to use a coffee filter then follow your own method.

                    For the Chocolate biscuit, I adapted my garibaldi biscuit recipe and filled it with chocolate ganache. I can't call it a bourbon biscuit because I haven't used any bourbon, but from the look of it I guess you can call that and taste wise, I won the appreciation of a good number of teenagers even though my first batch of biscuits were as big as a dog's tongue! ( blame my cutter).  I made another batch of thin biscuits that was more visually appealing and yes, besides its size and shape, it tastes great.

Flour                           200 gm minus 2 tbsp
Cocoa Powder            2 tbsp
Butter                          50 gm
Dark brown sugar      60 gm
Baking powder           3/4 tsp
Salt                               1/4 tsp
Milk                             5 tbsp

Dark chocoalte           100 gm
Golden syrup              1 tsp
Milk                             2 tbsp

Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and sift.
Whip butter and sugar until light, add the flour and the milk and make a dough just until everything is combined.
Roll out the dough into a sheet of desired thickness by keeping it in between two plastic sheets. Cut out desired shapes and poke holes on the biscuit. Brush a little milk or water on the surface and sprinkle some sugar crystals on top. Bake the biscuits at 180*c for about 15 minutes, for a slightly thicker biscuits bake for another 5 minutes.
For the ganache
Combine chocoalte pieces, golden syrup and the milk and melt on a double boiler. Stir until smooth.
Leave it to cool completely before use.

                                                               My old Coffee filter
You can use granulated white sugar instead of dark brown sugar,but make sure to powder it before use. I made my first batch with white sugar only.
You can skip the golden syrup or use honey or 1/2 tsp of liquid glucose in ganache.

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Hiya all,
Finally on this day of october the 1st, 2012, I have decided to include the comment form, after a long gap of two years. But, I am going to be a bit selfish here and keep all those nice and lovely things that is said for me and only me to cherish and will be sharing any queries that requires clarifications and your experience about the food if you have tried my recipes. So, drop in a word if you have anything to say and thanks a lot for stopping by.
"Have a nice day"

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