Friday, October 12, 2007

Mini-Recipe: Cinnamon-Hazelnut Caffe con Panna

I'm loath to call this a recipe, since it's simple and not particularly unexpected, and the instructions are just "best practices", not required procedures. That said, it was so delicious and satisfying that I just had to post it.

Cinnamon-Hazlenut Caffe con Panna
Serves 1 as a beverage or a dessert

1 rounded Tbsp hazelnut-flavored coffee beans, ground
8 fl. oz. boiling water
1 fl. oz. unsweetened heavy cream, whipped (appx 1/2 cup whipped if made with a nitrous oxide whipper*, or 1/4 cup if whipped manually)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
sugar, to taste


Prepare the coffee: Place the ground coffee beans and half the cinnamon (1/8 tsp) in a french press coffeemaker. Add boiling water, and put the lid on the coffeemaker. (Do not press the plunger yet.) Allow to steep 4 minutes, or until the coffee reaches the desired strength. Press the plunger to strain out the grounds.
(Alternatively, prepare the coffee using the method of your choice, adding 1/8 tsp cinnamon to the ground coffee beans.)

Assemble: pour the coffee into a coffee cup or mug. Sweeten to taste. (If your're drinking this as a beverage, use less for a slightly-to-moderately sweet result. If this is your dessert, use more to make it very sweet.) Top with whipped cream, and sprinkle with remaining 1/8 tsp cinnamon.

This can be done with a variety of coffee flavors and spices. Vanilla coffee with pumpkin pie spice is particularly good. Also try unflavored coffee with a mix of cinnamon and cocoa. I've also done it with cinnamon and chocolate syrup.

The quality of the ingredients really matters for this recipe. Choose a good-quality, flavorful coffee. I like the smoothness of Eight O'Clock (correction: Chock Full O' Nuts) coffee, but if you like a bolder, harsher coffee, honor your own preferences. This recipe would also be delicious with 2 fl. oz. espresso substituted for the prepared coffee. You could use sweetened whipped cream if you really want to, but I think that sweet coffee with unsweetened cream gives a more pleasing contrast. Try it both ways and see which you like best. I recommend using home-made whipped cream (made in a nitrous oxide whipped cream maker*, or by hand using a mixer or whisk), rather than commercial canned whipped cream. The commercial kinds contain stabilizers and sometimes preservatives, and I don't think they taste as good.

Do not, under any circumstances, substitute a "frozen whipped topping" like Cool-Whip. It will not be the same.

* Disclosure: the Amazon product links go through my affiliate account, meaning that if you click to those links and then buy them, I will receive a commission. (As of this writing, I haven't received any amazon commissions at all.) I only include links for products I have tried myself, but if you're uncomfortable accepting a recommendation when there is profit involved, then just go to (or elsewhere) and search for the item, and I won't get the commission. That's okay. :)

1 comment:

sheissparkling said...

Mmmmm this sounds so good!!! ;-)