How to Make Cuban Coffee

Winter weather makes me miss being home. When that happens, I reminisce on the things I cannot get here, one being cuban coffee. Good thing my friends down in Miami sent me a cafetera to make it on my own. Here’s how:

1) Fill the bottom of the espresso maker with water, up to the valve.

2) Fill the strainer with Cuban-style coffee until it’s packed in well.

3) Screw the top on tightly and place on the stove, over medium heat and slightly to one side, so you don’t burn your hand on the plastic handle.

5) Place sugar by tablespoon in the glass measuring cup (I didn’t have so I used a mason jar) The ratio is one tablespoon of sugar per two demitasse cups.

6) When the coffee begins to brew, remove from heat and pour a little bit into the container with the sugar.

7) Place cafetera back on the heat to finish brewing the rest of the coffee.

8) While the coffee is finishing brewing, stir the sugar and coffee mixture quickly until the bit of coffee melts down the sugar and you get it nice and frothy. This is the espuma. 

9) Pour the remaining coffee into the sugar mixture and stir.

10) Scoop some of the froth and drop it in each cup.

11) Carefully pour the finished coffee into the cups making sure you don’t damage the espuma.

Saffron Pound Cake Recipe

Rumi Spice started with a simple idea, directly connect rural Afghanistan to the international market. In late January, I had the pleasure of hearing them speak at the Edge Conference at the ICA Boston. They detailed their journey on sourcing directly from rural Afghan farmers in an economic partnership providing them with a direct market to produce and sell saffron globally.

As they spoke to their mission, they detailed ways in which saffron could be used in the kitchen, anywhere from inclusion in green tea to plated dishes. They went further to state that they’d love to see people using it in their recipes. I immediately put my social hat on and tweeted at them for the possibility to collaborate.

Next thing you know, I get a box of saffron at my door. I am really excited to try a few recipes out. I had thought of a few incorporations, mainly dinner dishes. With life being so crazy and stressful, I figured I’d take a play on the inverse of stressed, desserts.

Not knowing quite how to incorporate saffron to desserts, I googled a few recipes and my eyes fell on this Food Network recipe. I didn’t quite love the lemon caramel sauce incorporation so I figured I’d just do the pound cake alone. See it below:

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 pinches saffron
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice and saffron to a boil then turn the heat off immediately and let steep 5 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Cream the butter.
  5. Add 1 cup of the sugar and mix.
  6. With the mixer running at low speed, add the eggs one at a time.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the saffron spiked orange juice, trying to use all the threads in the orange juice.
  8. Mix.
  9. Butter a 6-cup loaf pan and line it with parchment or waxed paper.
  10. Pour into the prepared pan and bake until raised in the center and a tester inserted into the center comes out dry and almost clean, around 50-55 minutes.
  11. While poundcake is cooking, make the glaze.
  12. Stir together the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and the remaining saffron spiked orange juice until the sugar is dissolved.
  13. When the cake is done, let cool in the pan 15 minutes.
  14. Take out of pan.
  15. Set a wire rack on a sheet pan with sides -to catch the glaze- and turn the cake out onto the rack. Peel off the waxed paper.
  16. Using a turkey baster or pastry brush, spread glaze all over the top and sides of the cake and let soak in.
  17. Enjoy.

The pound cake was tough to cut into slices without breaking. I’m not sure if I should have left it cool longer to absorb the glaze, but girl was impatient . I opted to cut them into half pieces instead!

This dessert could easily be incorporated into breakfast with a dollup of yogurt and some sprinkled granola. Might be doing that tomorrow!

Have you ever cooked with saffron? Would you ever do it?

Dinner Lab | Boston

Every time I go home, I come across a magazine article or newspaper clipping my dad has saved for me. A while ago, my Dad had left me a piece talking about a dining membership club called The Dinner Lab. At the time, new in Miami, I was really excited to read and find out more. To my dismay, this members-only culinary pop-up hadn’t quite yet made it to Boston.

Dinner Lab Boston

A few months ago, Boston Globe covered a piece on a new dining experience. Low and behold, it was the launch of Dinner Lab in Boston. I knew immediately that it was something I needed to partake in. I signed up and awaited hearing about the upcoming event. Fast forward to the night prior to the event, we were advised where we would be meeting the next night. The location that was chosen was a historic theater in Malden called The Chevalier.

Dinner Lab Boston

Dinner Lab Boston

Just like the theater, this dining experience was a production. To begin the meal , we were introduced by the Director of Culinary at Dinner Lab, chef Mario Rodrigues.

Rodrigues presented and spoke about the meal we were about to have coined “El Jefe De Malay”. This dinner was to include Malaysian influence through the eyes of a Colombian chef. Dishes were fresh, light and spicy. All was wonderful, but my favorite of the night was the Coconut Panna Cotta

Have you heard of Dinner Lab? Have you done anything like it?

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