Saturday, March 3, 2012

Café au Lait

I've always wanted to be a barista, but after applying to Starbucks and other coffee shops multiple times (and never even being asked to an interview) I'd almost given up hope. 
But, who says I can't be a barista right here in my own kitchen? I found this yummy book called 'Coffee; scrumptious drinks and treats' by Betty Rosbottom and now I'm experimenting with my own lattes and such on my own. It inspired me to say the least, and I've been running rampant with the coffee maker (and tea) latelyWho needs Starbucks with all their sugar and syrups? 

So this is my version of Café au Lait (French for 'coffee with milk'). It's ingredients - as you may have guessed - is simply coffee and milk! Strong hot coffee and scalded milk to be exact. This is a simple latte that is very popular in France and has become part of American coffee shops as well. 

Since I've started making this, I have fallen in love with scalded milk. It is so smooth and creamy and has an all around better texture than anything else I've ever had! I'm never heating my milk in the microwave again!

The ratio of coffee to milk varies by taste. I've tried two parts milk, one part coffee as well as vice versa, but personally, I prefer just half and half.

So here it is... My version of 

Café au Lait

1 cup milk
1 cup strongly brewed coffee*
Sweetener to taste

To scald the milk, pour into a saucepan and heat till steaming. Stir slowly and consistently on low heat till the milk reduces and small bubbles form around the edges (about 5-8 minutes). The trick to scalding is to get it almost to the point of scorching (burning on the bottom) and keep it there. Because of this, you'll want to keep the bottom scraped well. Add coffee and keep on heat for a few minutes more. Add sweetener. Pour into a mug and sprinkle top with your choice of spices or the like (I used raw cocoa powder). 

*For a Tea Latte, just brew 1 tea bag in 1 cup of water for 10 minutes (black teas work best!)

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