Updated: Dec 24, 2020
PHOTO: Gina Mills
Coffee recipes to lift your spirits and indulge 2020's appetite for home-comforts!
This year, when we think of Christmas, let’s be honest, we’re mostly going to be thinking about good food and drink at home, as spending time with family is going to be limited (thanks Covid!).
Indulging in luxury food and drinks we normally wouldn’t spend the time making, is going to be one of life’s little pleasures this festive season.
As we are obsessed with good coffee here at Bean Smitten HQ, we thought we’d bring you some coffee recipes with a Christmas twist to try at home.
When we started looking, there were hundreds of sweet coffee recipes, but hardly any savoury ones. We did find one, which involved duck, but it sounded too tricky to make. So if anyone knows of a good one, please let us know!
We ended up settling on these 8 coffee recipes as they are relatively easy, quick and delicious (I doubt anyone wants anything too hard and complicated this Christmas). They involve snacks, breakfast, desserts and of course the obligatory cocktail! We decided to split them down the middle and have Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog, to spread the joy out over the festive period.
If you’re starting to tremble at the thought of all this caffeine, don’t worry, all of these coffee recipes can be made with our delicious Peruvian Decaffeinated Coffee (which is decaffeinated using the natural sparkling water method, no chemicals involved), if a caffeine free version is needed.
The Bean Smitten Team have tried out some of these coffee recipes and are pleased to report they came out pretty well!
Christmas Morning Coffee and Pecan Crumble Muffins
PHOTO: Gina Mills
Let’s start with Christmas morning. We all know it can be a frenzy of wrapping paper, squealing children and last minute prepping of the Christmas dinner, personally the last thing I want to have to think about, is breakfast. Enter Karen Burns-Booth’s Christmas Morning Coffee and Pecan Crumble Muffins!
This is a great little recipe, based on Karen Burns-Booth’s recipe – see it here , that you can do the day before, or even a week or so before (and freeze them! Just get them out the night before to thaw out and then Christmas morning, pop them in the oven for a few minutes to warm slightly).
They’re best served with a pot of coffee, of course!
Now I’ve tried this recipe out a few times and along the way I’ve tweaked it slightly to suit my tastes. Overall, I found the notes of these muffins subtle – with a hint of espresso, a hint of cocoa. Therefore, as I love strong flavours I added a few Christmas spices and more coffee than the original recipe states, to suit my strong palette. Go big or go home, right?
The first time I made this recipe, I put in chocolate drops – fail – I do not recommend putting in chocolate drops as the batter is runny. They immediately sunk to the bottom (but feel free to put them in if you wish, just be prepared for them to all be sitting at the bottom. Careful they don’t burn. I say this, as it happened to mine).
After a couple of tries, I have settled on the following recipe:
PHOTO: Gina Mills
150g of self-raising flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tbsp of cocoa powder
1tsp ground Cinnamon (I put a 1.5tsp in, as I love cinnamon, but it can make them strong tasting to others)
1/2tsp of ground ginger
A sprinkling of ground Allspice (err on the side of caution, you’re looking for a small hint of this)
150g of soft brown sugar (I used dark)
A double espresso shot (I used our Christmas Blend)
3 eggs, beaten
100g of butter melted
CRUMBLE TOPPING INGREDIENTS
This is from the original recipe. I found it produces quite a lot of crumble topping. Three batches of these muffins and an apple crumble’s worth to be exact! Just letting you know you’ll have plenty of excess!
90g of plain flour
A sprinkling of rolled oats (*I added these, as I love oats in a crumble)
50g of butter
50g of caster sugar
50g of pecan nuts, chopped (these are very satisfying to chop up – you’ll see what I mean when you do it) *I ended up adding a lot more chopped pecans on my third batch of these muffins as I wanted more of a crunch and really wanted to taste the pecan.
PHOTO: Gina Mills
(exactly how Karen Burns-Booth does it)
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
2. Make the crumble mixture by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add the sugar, the rolled oats and the chopped pecans – set aside.
3. Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and then add the wet ingredients – mix well, but do not over mix – it’s fine for the batter to be lumpy.
4. Spoon the batter into the paper cases. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the top and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes or until the muffins are well risen, the crumble topping is golden brown, and the skewer comes out clean (*all three batches of my muffins came out before the 20 minutes was up. I checked them after about 12/15 minutes and they were done – but this could be because my oven is a bit squiffy sometimes – so maybe check them after the 12 minutes and see how they’re doing).
5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. Like I said above, these muffins can be frozen – just defrost overnight and reheat in a warm oven before serving, don’t forget the pot of coffee!
I found adding the cinnamon, ginger and allspice gave them a lovely Christmassy taste and the double espresso shot really gives it that obvious coffee hint that I wanted. The extra chopped pecans I put into the crumble topping gave them a good extra crunch and an amazing full-on taste of pecan, which I have to say, goes lovingly hand in hand with the espresso and cocoa notes. A MASSIVE thumbs up from me (and my husband and daughter who were my guineapigs).
I’ve already got some in the freezer ready for Christmas morning!
Thanks to David Gall for making me some waffles with his waffle maker for this! PHOTO: Gina Mills
This has to be one of THE most exciting and versatile things to make!
I say versatile as it can go with quite a lot of things when you think about it.....And exciting, because I never knew syrup was so easy to make! I want to use this espresso syrup on everything!
Personally, I have used it for the following so far – drizzled over breakfast waffles (with crispy bacon and powdered sugar – think salty and sugary) served with a coffee on the side; as a glaze for the roasted nuts (more to come on this); drizzled over freshly popped popcorn – it makes the popcorn sticky, so then grind some sea salt on the popcorn to give it that sweet and salty, and now espresso, flavour – making a great snack!
I am now fantasising how amazing it would go drizzled over vanilla or chocolate ice-cream…..
Sorry, I digress – here is the recipe I made up:
90g of soft dark brown sugar - (you could use caster sugar for this, but I’m finding soft brown sugar goes SO well with coffee. Like they’re made for each other. Plus, I still had some left over from all the “Christmas Morning Espresso and Pecan Crumble Muffins” making.
Approx. 20-30g of water – I say approx. because I flew by the seat of my pants with this one and just put a little water in, swished the pan around and found it covered the sugar perfectly. So maybe start small and add a little extra if required.
3 tbsp of espresso (I used our Christmas Blend)
1. Put the sugar and the water in a pan, swish the pan so that the sugar and water mix, then put on the hob, medium heat.
2. Keep occasionally stirring and keep an eye on it. If it bubbles up, stir it and turn it down slightly. You are looking for it to thicken slightly.
3. Once thickening, add the espresso and carry on stirring (I tasted mine after adding 1 tbsp of espresso and then again after I had added a second. I settled on 3 tbsp of espresso for my personal preference, therefore I recommend you do the same in case you don’t fancy it as strong, or feel free to add more espresso if you want it stronger.
4. Once its at the consistency you would expect and want for syrup, take it off the heat and allow to cool (it thickens slightly more once cooled, so don’t make it too thick on the heat, otherwise once cooled it won't be runny enough to drizzle. I had mine on the heat for approx. 10 minutes.
5. Once cooled, drizzle over everything! I kept mine in a jam jar that I had in the cupboard (washed out and dried), as they’re great for things like home-made syrups!
Roasted Glazed Espresso Nuts
PHOTO: Gina Mills
These make a great, moreish snack at Christmas time. They’re crunchy, sweet and salty and the espresso syrup gives them a lovely candied glaze.
A bag of natural mixed nuts (I used almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts in mine.) – how many to use depends on how many nuts you fancy.
Espresso syrup (pre-made – see recipe above!)
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Line a baking tray with foil.
2. Toss the nuts in a little Olive oil beforehand and then lay out on the tray. Bake for 5-10 minutes, keep checking on them. You want them lightly roasted, not too much, as they’ll be going back in again with the glaze on them in a minute.
3. Remove from the oven and put them into a small bowl with a few tablespoons of the Espresso Syrup - toss around with a spoon until they’re totally covered.
4. Return them to the tray, spread out. Grind sea salt onto the nuts, the syrup will help the salt stick. Then put them back into the oven for approx. 5 mins. Again keep checking them, as if there’s any excess syrup laying on the foil it can burn, left to it’s own devices - I know from experience with these!
5. After 5 minutes, the nuts should look nice and glazed and sticky. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. I ended up removing them from the tray to cool on a separate cold plate, as I was paranoid the bottoms of the nuts would burn on the tray.
6. Once the nuts are completely cold, they should be hard, glazed and crunchy. Candied, salty nuts with a hint of espresso. YUM! Hand me the bowl of them! It’ll be empty by the time you ask for it back!
PHOTO: Darren Tickner
There are loads of recipes out there for this classic Italian desert, Darren has a quick and easy take on it.
It’s super quick to make and there’s no cooking involved. Who doesn’t love the combination of espresso, chocolate, whipped cream and mascarpone? They sing in your mouth when they’re all together!
You can make this ahead then chill in the fridge until required. Darren made it at home. Here’s how he did it…
500ml whipping cream
75g caster sugar
150g sponge fingers
250ml of strongly brewed coffee (Bean Smitten Classic Blend)
2 tbsp cocoa powder and a few whole coffee beans to decorate
1. Brew coffee according to your favourite method (I like stove-top) and pour into a shallow dish to cool.
2. Combine the cream and sugar in a large mixing bowl and whisk until the mixture stiffens.
3. Gently fold in the mascarpone.
4. Add the marsala to the cooled coffee and dip the sponge fingers in, turning for a few seconds so that they are evenly soaked, but not soggy.
5. Layer the sponge fingers into the base of a large glass serving bowl or break up the fingers and place into individual serving glasses.
6. Spread the mascarpone mixture on top of the sponge fingers.
7. Sift the cocoa powder on top in an even layer and decorate with coffee beans serve and enjoy!
If you don’t have marsala, simply leave it out or, substitute another liqueur. I have had good results with sloe gin.
Try making this with your favourite single origin coffee and notice how it impacts the flavour of the dessert.
Go upmarket and replace the cocoa powder dusting with grated single origin chocolate bar.
Try pairing liqueur, coffee and chocolate and take your tiramisu to a whole new level!
We hope we’ve inspired you to try these coffee recipes out over the festive period. I can hear the clicking of a computer mouse now, booking a home delivery slot for the ingredients! Tag us on social media if you successfully attempt any of these recipes! We’d love to see them!
All that’s left to say is have a Happy Safe Christmas!
Look out for Part 2 of this blog, for more moreish festive coffee recipes!