Although I am in denial that colder weather is here and winter is coming, I have to admit that autumn sets the perfect scene for a nice, toasty, yummy mocha. It just so happens that this latte lover has the good fortune to live close - extremely close - to a new coffee shop. Well, I say new, it's actually been open since spring of this year, but as I was busy doing things like being crazy pregnant lady and then having a baby and such I didn't really notice anything new, old or other. Now that we've somewhat settled into our groove, I find that a short little stroll to Kaelin's Coffee House fits in nicely either with or without the other two kiddos.
Now, I could go on and on about how fabulous Kaelin's is. I mean, the coffee is excellent, the atmosphere is that of a true coffee house, and the menu is eclectic and expanding. I can treat the kids to a pastry or a fruit and greek yogurt smoothie. On Sundays, they've just added a breakfast/brunch buffet that I have yet to try. But, honestly, the thing that has kept me coming back so far is their Mocha. Now, I consider myself somewhat of a Mocha connoisseur; I've had one from pretty much every shop in town and have attempted several versions myself at home. Something is just a little extra special about this one. Trust me, I plan to investigate further, but as of now, my theory is this: it's the fresh whipped cream. Yes, they make their own. No canned or containerized whip for them. The manager told me the first time I was there that she had just made some the night before…and I can't for the life of me remember what she told me she put in it. Vanilla, hazelnut, cinnamon? All of the above? I don't know, but it was delicious. So, in my ever-continuing quest for the perfect mocha, I have been experimenting with making whipped creams at home. Here is my best bet yet for the perfect mocha with fresh whipped cream.
- 2 ounces freshly brewed espresso
- 6 ounces steamed milk
- 1 heaping tsp unsweetened cocoa
- 1 heaping tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 drops of pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp water
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 drop pure vanilla extract
- Dash of cinnamon
Mix unsweetened cocoa, sugar and vanilla. Combine with water and stir to make a heavy smooth syrup. Add espresso. Add milk.
To make whipped cream:
Start with very cold whipping cream. I’ve seen loads of instructions that say you can make whipped cream using a whisk. I tried that. About 5 minutes in, I was getting nowhere and my arm hurt, so I gave up. I use the whisk attachment on my electric mixer, but regular beaters work fine too. Beat cream until soft peaks form, then add sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Beat for a few more minutes until stiff peaks form. Don't give in too early, but don't make butter either! Top espresso mixture with whipped cream to taste. In this case and in my opinion, more IS better. Leftover whipped cream can be saved covered in the refrigerator for about two days.