|Thanks a Latte in Camp Verde is constantly running out of its coffee coffee cupcakes, says Paul Hawk, the store’s proprietor. “People love it. Generally, if you have one, you’re addicted.” VVN/Bill Helm|
|Wingfield Bread Company owner/baker Rachelle Pozza recently started making a coffee cream donut, with coffee icing drizzled with a touch of browned butter icing. Wingfield Bread Company also mixes espresso in its whole wheat pumpernickel loaf. VVN/Bill Helm|
CAMP VERDE - I remember sitting at the kitchen table with my family one morning, feeling much older than my 5 years on this Earth.
"I'm a grown-up, Dad!" I boasted at the time. "I want some coffee ... "
My father grew up in the Depression. Drank coffee as long he could remember.
With equal parts pride - and curiosity - he asked my mother to pour me a cup.
One sip is all it took ... to decide that I did not like coffee.
And I still do not like to drink coffee.
I'll likely never enjoy a hot cup of coffee.
And my father will never understand my distaste for coffee. To him, it is the nectar of the gods.
Now just because I do not like hot coffee doesn't mean I hate all things coffee.
There are coffee-flavored candies, coffee-flavored ice cream, tiramisu and various other coffee-infused treats, frappucinos, cappuccinos, mochaccinos, all proof that most anything tastes good with copious amounts of sugar.
Thanks a Latte in Camp Verde, known for its special coffee blends and roasting its own beans, also serves a moist, dense coffee-infused cake topped with a coffee frosting. Paul Hawk calls it a coffee-coffee cupcake.
"We're constantly running out of them," says Hawk, the store's proprietor. "People love it. Generally, if you have one, you're addicted. One guy from Flagstaff comes in, gets two."
Amy Duncan, the kitchen manager at Thanks a Latte, says the dessert started out as a cake.
"But we found that with the other goodies, it kind of ended up following the cupcake trend," Duncan says. "Then they took off. When people come in to buy them, they don't just buy one."
Without giving away trade secrets, Duncan says it is a simple recipe, the coffee-coffee cupcakes.
"They always turn out perfect," she says. "I bake 18 at a time, at least one time each week."
Rachelle Pozza is the owner and baker for Wingfield Bread Company in Camp Verde, a local bakery that offers whole wheat comfort breads and donuts. Not only does Pozza mix espresso in her whole wheat pumpernickel loaf, but she also recently started selling a coffee cream donut, with coffee icing drizzled with a touch of browned butter icing.
"Although, it is not uncommon for Pumpernickel to have espresso as an ingredient, most people are surprised to find it listed on the label of our home baked bread products," Pozza says. "Not everyone likes pumpernickel because it is a dark rye. Pumpernickel is a very deep and dark flavored bread, strong coffee and molasses adds to this flavor. People who enjoy strong flavored foods in general go for the pumpernickel. It does not taste like coffee, but it definitely adds to the flavor."
Red eye gravy, also known as bird-eye gravy, bottom sop, poor man's gravy or red ham gravy, is made from the drippings of pan-fried country ham, bacon or other pork and mixed with black coffee.
Recently, The Horn restaurant in Camp Verde offered a carved ham dinner with scalloped potatoes, green bean almandine and red eye gravy.
Red eye gravy is "very meaty and very salty," says Peggy Fuller, executive chef at The Horn. "The coffee adds a little body, a lot more depth of flavor. Traditionally, it's a dark sauce with a toasty flavor."
Fuller says it is a misconception that only the best quality coffee should be used as a cooking ingredient.
"It is perfectly acceptable to cook with instant coffee," Fuller says. "It's very versatile. You can add it without changing a recipe."
Coffee. It's not just for drinking anymore.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42