Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Iced Coffee for a Heat Wave

The weather casters are calling for another heat wave later this week. I think I heard the heat index here on Friday is going to be 110. Ouch.

I stopped drinking "pop" for the most part a couple years ago. (I do occassionally still drink a diet pop if I am at some sort of gathering where it is served.) Somedays at work in the afternoon, I am looking for something to change up my water drinking that doesn't have artificial sweeteners. I like to drink a cup of herbal or green tea, but it's just too hot now. I have taken to brewing a cup of green tea and leaving it to cool, then pouring it over nice. This is good, but sometimes you want something with a little more kick.

Earlier this year, I ended up with a couple packets of Starbucks VIA as free samples. I LOVE Starbucks coffee. Not the froo froo stuff with all the whipped cream and caramel syrup, but the real deal coffee. Especially the dark roast stuff. De-licious. But anyway, these little VIA packets are great for iced coffee. That's actually about the only thing instant coffee is good for. But when I went to buy them at the grocery store I got sticker shock. They came out to something like a dollar per packet. No, thank you!

It crossed my mind to just pour some of the coffee my coworker brews, which we affectionately dubbed "The Gulf Oil Spill," over some ice, but I found this article yesterday: How to Make Iced Coffee. My suspicions are confirmed--you can't just pour brewed coffee over ice. It makes it nasty. I definitely want to try the cold brewed method in the article.

And, then last night, I found the ultimate answer to the iced coffee in a heat wave--affogato. I was watching that show on the Cooking Channel, Extra Virgin. I love that show. Debi Mazar is so sassy! And that husband of hers... he speaks Italian and cooks. What more do you need???

Anyway, they made affogato, which is a scoop of vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over it. Debi Mazar described it as "It's hot. It's cold. It's sweet and it's bitter." Sounds like it's just what I'm looking for.

Of course, it's probably delicious made with only vanilla ice cream and espresso, but you can always gussy it up a bit. I drizzled caramel syrup over mine and it was awesome. Here's a fancy recipe for affogato from Martha Stewart's website that has whipped cream, frangelico and biscotti. Sounds wonderful!

Affogato - from Marthastewart.com
(makes 4 servings)

1 pint vanilla ice cream
about 1 cup hot espresso
Sambuca, Grand Marnier or Frangelico (optional)
whipped cream (optional)
espresso beans for garnish (optional)
biscotti (optional)

Divide ice cream between 4 serving bowls and pour about 1/4 cup espresso over each. Garnish if desired and serve.

One tip I learned making mine was you have to make sure the ice cream stays cold. It took me forever to scoop out my homemade vanilla ice cream (it freezes harder for some reason than store bought... need to work on that), so I stuck the bowls back in the freezer for a few minutes after I had the ice cream scooped out. Once you pour the espresso over them, they will melt very quickly. And part of the experience is getting that very cold bite of ice cream with the hot espresso.

I don't know how easy this would be for an afternoon pick me up at work. It would be kinda hard to come by some espresso at my office. And I doubt I could get by with the Frangelico at work either... Maybe I should just stick with the iced green tea and save this for the weekends.

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