Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Want to see what I got for Christmas?

Hubby and I usually don't exchange gifts at Christmas and if we do it's usually something small like a CD. This year he surprised me with an espresso maker! It's not an expensive one, but for the money (about $27) it kicks butt. I have been practicing and can now make my own Starbucks at home. I can make a Caramel Machiatto(spelling?) and a Cafe Mocha. Ok, so they don't taste exactly like Starbucks but I've gotten very close and hopefully over time I will get my measurements down perfectly. Am I going to give up going to Starbucks? No way, I'll still grab one here and there when I'm out but making your own at home is so much cheaper. With all the drinks I've made so far I am pretty sure the machine has already paid for itself. I do need to find an appropriate cup to steam/froth the milk with because what I have is not big enough and my froth runneth over. Ok, here's some pictures. I made the caramel sauce too and I'll give you the recipe.

This makes a gigantic mug of coffee, so adjust the measurements if you want to make a smaller version.
Step 1: Make espresso (duh). I make enough to come to the line with the 4 on it. I guess that means four shots. My machine was missing instructions. Step 2: take about 3/4 cup of milk and steam and froth it using the thingy on the side of the machine or use a handheld frother and your microwave. Add 1 ounce of vanilla syrup to your gigantic mug and add the hot milk holding back the froth with a spoon. Stir and then spoon your froth on top. (I use 1% milk but skim or 2% will work. I read online that whole milk doesn't froth well.) Step 3: Pour your espresso through your foam and drizzle the top with caramel. My caramel drizzle isn't pretty but it will be when I get my grubby hands on a plastic bottle with a tip on it.
The caramel recipe is easy and came from Martha Stewart's Baking Cookbook. I cut her recipe in half and kept covered in the refrigerator it lasted a good week. The caramel sauce will be really runny until it cools and will get even thicker in the refrigerator. It's an excellent consistency to use in a plastic squeeze bottle.
Be careful when adding the cream because this stuff is blister hot.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan and cook on high until the mixture turns a nice golden caramel color (like the color in the finished coffee picture). Remove from heat and slowly pour the cream down the side of the pan while stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring and it will come together. Pour the caramel sauce into a bowl to cool. After it cools, cover and store in the refrigerator where it will thicken. If you want to put it in the fridge to cool quicker, leave it uncovered and stir it periodically and then cover it when it's completely cool.


  1. VERY VERY COOL!!! I think you're turning into a coffee chemist!

  2. Yum!
    If I lived closer I would swing by for you to make me one!
    Thanks for sharing!


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