Now that I have to wake up at 5:30 am at least five times a week, you’d better believe my caffeine addiction has kicked into high gear!
Stumbling into the ye-that-shall-not-be-named-global-coffee-chain and getting my drink of choice (a small quad-shot Americano, touch of cream and sugar) is a vital part of my morning routine.
As they pass me that steaming cuppa joe from behind the espresso machine, I always feel like Barney Gumble in that episode of the Simpsons, the one where he kicks his alcoholism until he’s presented with a massive amount of Duff beer for winning a short film contest and he shrieks, “JUST HOOK IT TO MY VEINS!”
Yeah — that’s me and coffee.
The only real downside to having that much espresso during the week is that I turn into such a grumpy bitch if I don’t get it on the weekends, too.
That’s okay, though — I don’t care if I’m addicted. Sweet, sweet Americano, you’re so much safer than cocaine!
Real strong coffee, like this Cappuccino Bavarian Cream custard, should be for adults only — that’s what I think. Now, I’m not saying they should ask for ID and start regulating over-the-counter sales or anything, but my mom started buying me mochas and lattes when I was about 10 or so (oh — I insisted) and, in hindsight, it probably wasn’t a good idea.
I blame coffee for stunting my growth and sanity. Ha!
So, in other news, I tried out to be on a cookie decorating team at school — the rules were to decorate a person-shaped gingerbread cookie and submit it for a blind judging.
My cookie didn’t make it… um, surprisingly enough. Or maybe not surprisingly enough, depending on how uptight you are.
I did a gender-bending burlesque-style cookie person, complete with tacky 80s legwarmers to show off my feathering skillz, yo! It was fierce, although I think some of the chef judges might’ve been put off by it, considering a couple sloppy cookies that were voted in ahead of mine.
Even if not being on the team works out for the best (now I can work work work over Christmas), it’s hard to not be a little miffed when something of lesser skill gets picked over my work.
C’est le vie — I’m letting this be a lesson to me, one in keeping a lid on my wilder and more outlandish creative urges.
I blame the crazy on the coffee!
Cappuccino Bavarian Cream
*adapted from Marie Simmons
- 1 envelope powdered gelatin
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 cups half & half cream
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1 tablespoon coffee liqueur or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon icing sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- chocolate curls or cocoa powder, for garnish
Sprinkle 1 packet of powdered gelatin over 3 tablespoons of cold water in a heatproof bowl and let stand for at least 10 minutes.
In a separate heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and white sugar until smooth.
Next, bring the half & half cream, espresso powder, coffee liqueur, and vanilla extract to a gentle simmer in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Do not boil.
Slowly pour the hot coffee cream mixture into the bowl of whisked eggs and sugar, stirring constantly — this will evenly “temper” the eggs and prevent them from prematurely cooking.
Once completely incorporated, return the coffee cream + egg mixture to the medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a metal spoon. Do not boil!
Strain the thickened coffee cream into the bowl of softened gelatin, then whisk, thoroughly scraping the bottom of the bowl, until all the gelatin is dissolved.
Place the bowl of coffee cream into an ice bath or the fridge (my broke-ass method of choice) and stir occasionally until the coffee cream begins to mound and set.
Beat the whipping cream and icing sugar to soft peaks, fold into the thickening coffee cream until no lumps or streaks of whipped cream remain, then pour the cappuccino mousse into individual serving bowls or ramekins.
Chill for 2 hours to set completely (cover with clingfilm if leaving overnight) before serving. Garnish with a dusting of cocoa powder, chocolate curls, or more whipped cream!
Now you can have your coffee and eat it, too. Yum!