My oven is officially out of commission. It broke late on Monday night and had to be unplugged because it was heated to 500 degrees and wouldn't turn off. It likely won't be back up and running until at least Thursday night. Part of me hopes that the cooking gods are smiling down on me and will bless me with a new oven, although I'm sure that's the last thing that my landlord wants, and I'm a little bit afraid of my gas range being replaced with an electric one.
For a long time, I didn't have this recipe written down and would just toss the ingredients in the blender without really measuring anything. Most of the time, the drink would taste good, although when it didn't taste quite right, I never knew how to fix it.
To eliminate the inconsistency, I followed one of Ina Garten's tactics of writing a recipe (albeit on a folded up piece of notebook paper) and then having someone else make the recipe to ensure that it can be easily duplicated. C was willing to take on the task of testing this recipe, as coffee has become one of the things that he makes pretty frequently. I showed him where the measuring cups and spoons were kept (he looked like he was venturing into a foreign land at first), and he got to work. Happily, it tasted exactly like the coffee that I had made earlier in the day, and so the recipe was deemed complete.
This recipe is vegan because it is made with almond milk and cocoa powder, and consequently contains no dairy. I was lactose intolerant as a kid, and, as a result, I still like to limit the amount of dairy that I consume. Cutting dairy out of coffee was essential for me, especially considering the amount of coffee I used to drink during law school. Almond milk is my favorite non-dairy substitute because it only has 60 calories and 0 grams of saturated fat per cup, and it allows me to avoid soy, which is thought to increase the chances of developing breast cancer. You can certainly use low-fat, nonfat, or soy milk in this recipe though if that's what you generally drink.
In this recipe, I use "cold-press coffee," which is made using an unheated brewing process that cuts down substantially on the acid level in the coffee (your stomach will thank you). I purchased the Toddy Cold Brew Coffeemaker over a year ago and really use it a lot during the summer. During the winter, I generally only drink hot coffee (especially during the long Michigan winters - we'll see how things go in DC). After a few warm days in the spring though, I'm all ready for cold coffee and the Toddy reemerges. I use a $5 can of Trader Joe's "Joe's Dark" coffee to make a batch of cold-press coffee, which stays fresh in the refrigerator for a week or two. I splurge on Peet's coffee during the winter, but with the cold press system, you really don't need to buy expensive coffee. I found the initial investment in the Toddy system more than worthwhile, especially considering the amount of money that I used to spend on Iced Coffees at Starbucks.
Vegan Iced Mocha (Makes 2 servings)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/3 cup cold-press coffee
2 teaspoons agave nectar (or honey)
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but a good way to help balance the blood sugar)
4 ice cubes (adjust depending on how frothy you like your iced coffees)
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until the ice is completely crushed and incorporated. The drink should have a frothy appearance on the surface.
2. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!
Starbuck's Iced Mocha or Mocha Light Frappuccino):
Serving Size 107 g