Feb 28, 2011

Simple Cafe con leche

From the kitchen of: Isabel Canfield

Café con leche is as simple as it sounds. It’s actually not as tedious as you think it may be. It does though take a few tries to master, but once you get the right ratio and sweetness, it’s the perfect cup to wake you up in the morning. When Jared and I came back to the States after drinking café con leche every day in Spain, we wanted to learn how to make it on our own without spending tons of money on a espresso machine. So with two important inexpensive items, Bialetti espresso maker and our BonJour hand-held frother, we were in business.

Ingredients:
coffee
water
milk
sweetener (of your choice)

Directions:
1. Fill the base with cold water. Be sure to not exceed the level notches indicated inside the bottom part.


2. Scoop coffee into filter. I normally purchase coffee beans and grind the beans at home. You can easily just buy the beans already grounded. The most important thing is to use good coffee. Scoop ground coffee into the funnel shaped filter, don’t press down. Because mine is a 9-cup Bialetti, I only filled it halfway. That’s a lot of espresso for two people! Place the filter into base that you just added water in.

3. Place on stove. Screw strongly the top of the coffeepot to the base. Place it on the stove at low heat. Let the espresso maker work its’ magic. The water will boil up into the top chamber. This process takes a little while, 10-15 minutes or so. Just keep an eye on it. The top chamber will fill up with espresso and you’ll hear air spurting indicating it’s done.

4. Heat up the milk & froth. After the coffee is ready, it’s time to heat up the milk. Take your coffee mug and fill it halfway with milk. Place in the microwave to heat up for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Once the coffee is nice and hot, add sweetener to your liking. Please note that I transferred the milk to a mason jar so you can see how it should look like. Use a good hand-held frother like BonJour to create the foam.


5. Add the hot espresso. After you’ve gotten the milk to the right frothiness, slowly pour the hot espresso. If you like it on the stronger side, pour an equal amount of espresso to the milk. If you like it a little less strong, like I do, go a bit easy. After you’ve poured the espresso, use the frother again really quickly to mix the espresso and milk together.

Café con leche is a light and refreshing coffee beverage. If you’re hosting a brunch and you want to serve something other than a pot of coffee, try serving café con leche instead. You can make this to serve and can even add flavored syrups like Torani. This will really impress your friends + family.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post! You won’t want to miss out on a fantastic giveaway! Hint hint, it’s related to this post.

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