Your morning mug is not the only use for your coffee; you can incorporate ground coffee into many different sweet and savoury dishes. Steak rub, desserts and even stews, coffee can perk up the flavour of pretty much anything. A single roasted coffee bean has more than 800 aroma compounds and it can be matched with foods from avocado to pork.
Think about how coffee is made – it is roasted. This gives dishes depth and complexity. If you add coffee to gravy, for example, it gives thickness and flavour. It’s not just good for our food; it’s also good for us. Coffee beans are loaded with antioxidants and studies show that in moderation, the caffeine from coffee beans can improve your memory and boost metabolism.
There is no denying, coffee is delicious- especially when mixed with sugar, spice or all types of chocolate. The dark, complex bean lends strong flavour to pretty much any dish. Here are some ideas of things you can do with leftover coffee grounds to add some extra life and depth into your dishes.
Coffee provides the perfect grounds for adding colour to a dish. If you’re looking to create an appealing dark and deep looking colour to a dish, coffee can provide just that. Red-eye gravy is a perfect example; this traditional American sauce can be made from meat drippings and black coffee. The dark gravy looks just as rich and smoky as it tastes, thanks to the coffee ingredient.
Coffee gives layers of flavour to any braised dish and gives it additional richness. You could add it to a meat stew, a hearty pasta dish or a pot roast. Either brewed or fresh coffee can be used for this purpose, but just remember that less is more. You should only use coffee to enhance a dish’s natural flavours.
A great use for coffee in cooking is to leave it to linger in your cooking to infuse the flavour. You can infuse butter with coffee if left to linger to create coffee buttercream for the perfect sweet dish. For savoury, you can infuse vegetable oil with coffee to create a coffee mayonnaise that’s perfect inside a burger.
You can use coffee as a stock for soup, stews or extra liquid for making sauces or dressings. All you have to do is pour some coffee into an ice cube tray and freeze it ready for future use. Freezing the coffee directly after grinding allows it to hang on to delicate aromatics, giving your food more flavour when used.
You can use coffee to marinade chicken or duck to give a dark finish to the meat. If you serve with a tangy homemade coffee barbeque sauce, the combination gives the dish a kick and balances well with the resident sweet and spicy notes. It works together with the meat to make the taste sensational.
You can add single origin coffee to just about any dish to give a robust and earthy flavour. Add a spoonful of coffee to recipes like banana bread, baked oatmeal, scones or granola for some great tasting breakfast dishes.
Add some grounds into the recipe for whole-wheat bread, chilli, braised ribs or caramelised chicken for some mouth-watering dinner meals.
Add to the ingredients of brownies, chocolate cake, walnut muffins or mini doughnuts for a tasty dessert. You can even add into iced drinks or smoothies for a refreshing treat.
Here is a sweet brownie recipe to pair with coffee for the perfect combination of flavour, texture and aroma.
Raw Espresso Brownie
- 95 g raw walnuts
- 105 g raw almonds
- 220 g pitted Medjool dates packed
- 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 15 g instant coffee
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- 1. In a food processor process the walnuts and almonds until no large pieces remain. Place the nut meal in a bowl.
- 2. Place the pitted dates in the food processor and process again until no large pieces remain. The dates may even form a dough. Just break it up with a knife and continue with the recipe.
- 3. Add the ground nuts back to the food processor along with the cocoa powder, instant coffee, vanilla and sea salt. Process until all the ingredient are evenly distributed and the mixture it just starting to clump together.
- 4. Prepare a loaf pan by lining it with wax paper, parchment or even plastic wrap then pour the crumbly mixture in. Press down firmly.
- 5. You may turn out the brownies and slice immediately or if you prefer, refrigerate 30 minutes before slicing so that the mixture is firmer. Store in an airtight container on the counter or in the fridge.