Tag Archives: coffee

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

16 Sep

It’s autumn again! Time for bright leaves, scarves, and pumpkin spice.

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I looked online and found an article that said even with soy milk and no whipped cream, the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte is not vegan (it includes condensed milk). I emailed Starbucks and asked if this was still true for the 2012 PSL. It took them three days to email me back, to say that they couldn’t give me the information I asked for. I was frustrated; even if they didn’t want to share their super-secret ingredients, Starbucks could have simply said, no it’s not vegan don’t eat it. Also, isn’t milk an allergen? Isn’t it illegal to not share that information? Frustrating. I’m usually an avid Starbucks fan and I’m usually impressed by the quality of their service, not so much this time.
So I’m assuming that the legendary PSL that I lived on during the last few seasons is not vegan, even when ordered with soy, no whip.
I continued researching and found a vegan PSL that I could make at home for significantly less money. I made a blenderful, it was good. Very good. Somehow frothy and spicy and satisfyingly autumn-y. The next morning I went downstairs to warm up the second half of the batch, to discover that my non-vegan roommate drank the rest. He didn’t even bother to heat it up, he said it was great cold. That day he asked for another blenderful.
So even if you’re not vegan, you’ll enjoy this recipe. It has actual pumpkin and real ingredients in it, not a flavored syrup. You can use whatever type of milk and sweetener you have on hand. The mixture keeps well in the fridge for a few days, although you’ll probably drink it all before that.

Ingredients:
*This recipe only makes about two large mug-fulls. Double or triple as necessary.*
– 1 cup strong brewed coffee. (I have an espresso machine so I’ve been using two shots of espresso instead.)
-1/4 cup canned pumpkin purée (I used Libby’s, one can is good for a few batches.)
-1 cup milk of choice. I used unsweetened almond milk.
-4 tbsp vegan (or not) sweetener of choice. I used a mixture of light brown sugar and white sugar. (I love the brown sugar in this! I think honey would work well too, any sweetener will do. Adjust the amount of sweetener to what you like, I have a pretty strong sweet tooth.)
-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice. (If you don’t have this, I used extra cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. I liked the extra ginger a lot but it depends on how spicy you like it.)
-1-2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)
-2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:
Toss it all in a blender and blend for about 30-40 seconds. Taste. Add spices, sweetener, more milk, or more pumpkin according to taste. Get it how you like it. Pour yourself a mug, pop it in the microwave for a minute to get your PSL nice and hot.
Enjoy.

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Research
The article about how the Starbucks PSL is not vegan: It’s Not Vegan
The original vegan PSL recipe I worked from (check out this blog, the recipes are great!): Blog Recipe

Tiramisu

12 Sep

This recipe I developed over LOTS of expensive trial and error, and I have lost and refound it several times. I’m finally getting it online so I never lose it again. This is a yummy not-too-complex tiramisu recipe. I hope you enjoy it!! Be sure to read the entire recipe before starting!

TIRAMISU

INGREDIENTS:

6 egg yolks
¾ cup white sugar
2/3 cup milk
2 pints heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract [pure vanilla, not imitation]
1 pound mascarpone cheese [next to the ricotta in the grocery store]
A pot of strong brewed coffee, room temperature
Bailey’s Irish Cream
2 (3 oz each) packages of ladyfinger cookies [Stella Doro- Margherite, in the cookie aisle]
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
A large pan, 7 x 11 inches ( a large lasagna pan)
Electric mixer

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until well blended. Whisk in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil gently for one minute, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cover tightly and chill in refrigerator for one hour. This will make custard.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat the heavy whipping cream with vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. [Use a hand mixer/ electric beater] Set whipped cream mixture aside.
  3. Whisk mascarpone into custard mixture until smooth. [Use hand mixer/electric beater]
  4. In a small bowl, combine some of the coffee and Bailey’s. The mixture should be a little more coffee than Bailey’s, but it is to taste. [I pour the mixture onto a large plate with a lip.]
  5. Dip both sides of each cookie in the mixture. DO NOT let the cookie get too soggy- it will soak up the coffee quickly. As you dip each cookie, arrange in the bottom of a 7 x 11 inch dish. [A large lasagna pan]
  6. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers, then half of whipped cream over that. Get these layers as thin as possible, which is difficult. It helps to spoon each mixture into its own Ziploc baggie and cut the corner, and use it as a pastry bag.
  7. Sprinkle the first whipped cream layer with cocoa. Repeat another layer of coffee soaked ladyfinger cookies, mascarpone mixture, and whipped cream and sprinkle the top with cocoa. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Serve cold.

Remember!! Tiramisu is best 48 hours after it is prepared. This allows the flavors to soak together. Make it at least 24 hours before you plan on serving, it will taste weird if you eat it before it sets for 24 hours.

Caffeine in Florence

15 May
So when I went to Italy, I was super excited and expecting something completely different when it came to the coffee. I was right to be excited, it was awesome. But different from what I expected. After my trip I decided that I will, in the nearish future, buy a super-high-tech espresso machine. And fresh coffee beans.
morning: cappuccino
lunch: cappuccino if early, espresso Italiano if later in day. Espresso is taken like a shot of alcohol, and is about 1.50 euro wherever you are. Mix a packet of sugar in it. [Btw they don’t have any fake sugar like Splenda.] If you add any more, you might as well get an espresso Americano. Which, I learned on my trip, is watered down espresso >.<
dinner: wine, not espresso.
Hot Chocolate is acceptable to drink any time. When you go to Florence, definitely try the hot chocolate. Its like drinking candy, only not overwhelming 🙂