Monday, January 17, 2011

Caramel-Mocha Frappe

As requested by one of our loyal blog follower, we are preparing an easy-to-makeCaramel-Mocha Frappe recipe which could be done in the comforts of one's home. This is a follow-up recipe to the "Raspberry-Mocha Frappe" article we did last December 2010, which ranks among the top viewed post of this young blog.

Caramel-Mocha Frappe is one of the all-time most ordered drink for both international and local coffee chains. CARAMEL in simple definition is "burnt sugar" or sugar heated with a little water until golden brown. The darker the color, the bolder and less sweet it becomes (milk, cream, or butter is added to enhance the viscosity and richness of the caramel). "FRAPPE" could be interchanged with Macchiato, Latte or Frappucino, depending on the dairy dose and equipment used in preparing the drink.

The ingredients are as follows (to make a 16-oz finished drink):


3 tablespoons Stasero Frappe Base (this premix contains sweetener and creamer/"dairy" part already)*
2-shots Far Skyes Premium Roast Arabica espresso (roughly 30ml per shot x 2 = 60ml)**
15ml Stasero Caramel Syrup
15ml Stasero Caramel Sauce (for garnish)

     * should you opt to use fresh milk, substitute 3 tablespoons Stasero Frappe base with 60ml fresh milk
   ** other espresso blends could be used, I just happen to have that ready in my espresso machine


Step 1: in a blender, combine the Frappe Base, Espresso and Caramel Syrup - blend for 10 seconds.

Step 2: using a 16-ounce cup, fill it with crushed, cube or tube ice. Pour into the blender with the mix and blend again for 15 seconds.

Step 3: Pour into 16-ounce cup and garnish with whipped cream (optional) and top with Caramel Sauce!

Sipping this drink in the comforts of one's home is a fine  luxury, considering the amount of time, gas and money saved than leaving the house just to get your caffeine fix. A real Home Run!!! Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Caffeine on a High!

In one of our frequent-friendly chats with renowned Coffee Master and Philippine Coffee Trailblazer Robert S. Francisco, President and CEO of Boyd Coffee Company, Inc., (the FIRST coffee roaster in the Philippines to gain HACCP certification) he mentioned that world coffee prices soared 100%. What impact this would have in our daily cup of joe is left to be seen in the months to come... Overseas however, several US companies like Folgers and Starbucks have taken the lead in jacking up their coffee prices by an average of 10%.

According to Robert, the main factor for the price surge is the growing demand for coffee, combined with a rough harvesting season for the past 2 years. Simply put: "Coffee Production Did Not Rise To Meet Demand."

Here's hoping that the global impact wouldn't make a major dent in coffee prices in the Philippines, to the extent that coffee consumption per individual will be compromised. Worse, unethical local roasters will adulterate their existing blends to maintain their desired profits - the biggest loser being the consumers!

Given this global problem, it pays to have a reliable coffee roaster by your side - making sure the quality is second-to-none, FROM FARM TO CUP.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cooking for Kids - Spaghetti Carbonara

I've always been skeptical about cookbooks ... more so cookbooks for kids. You know, those with great pictures yet mediocre recipes?!?!  Name it, I've been victimized countless times since my childhood days. Recipes were either too hard to follow, ingredients were almost impossible to source or substitute, and the finished product was a complete disaster!

This Christmas, one of the gifts my son received was a COOKING FOR KIDS set which includes the KID'S FIRST COOKBOOK. The author Nancy McDougall claims this is "the best ever step-by-step cookbook for kids, containing delicious recipes ideal for 5-12 year-olds." Though doubtful as ever, my wife and I decided to put the recipe to the test by making my 6 year-old prepare a well-known recipe in our kitchen -- Spaghetti Carbonara.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

1 small onion
1 large clove of garlic
6 oz smoked bacon or pancetta
2 tbsp olive oil
12 oz fresh or dried spaghetti
4 eggs
6 tbsp creme fraiche (we used half-and-half instead)
4 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Peel and chop the onion and garlic. Cut the bacon or pancetta into pieces

Step 2: Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry, stirring for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook for 10 minute, stirring frequently.

Step 3: Fill 2/3 of a large pan with water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions.

Step 4: Put the eggs, half and half, Parmesan, and pepper in a bowl. Beat with a whisk or fork.

Step 5: Drain the spaghetti noodles thoroughly in a colander. Pour in the pasta into the pan with the onion, garlic, pancetta or bacon and toss well.

Step 6: Turn off the heat, then immediately add the egg mixture to the pan and toss thoroughly so that it cooks and coats the pasta.

Step 7: Season to taste, then divide among 4 bowls. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve immediately. 

The verdict -- My son was just happy and pleased by the result of his first venture into cooking, and the guests we served this dish to rated it an A+. With proper adult supervision, all kids can do majority of the kitchen recipes in this book without being disappointed at the end result;  thus,  we are bound to try out one recipe per week in the months to come. Happy New Year!