Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vanilla Latte with Vanilla Syrup and Vanilla Infused Raw Sugar

After a two month hiatus from my world travels, I was inspired to pick up my pans and camera this afternoon. Earlier today I found myself was standing in line at a coffee shop that shall not be named but that rhymes with Far Shucks. I was ready to suck it up and order at Tall Vanilla Latte to sate by caffeine and vanilla craving, when I got to thinking about how badly I was being ripped off. Now I don't mind paying a little extra for really good stuff I can't make myself, but coffee? vanilla syrup? steamed milk? Hello? I rather put my hard earned money in my gas tank - I know for sure I can't make petrol.

In my kitchen, one latte costs about .25 cents. At trendy, overpriced baristas, a Tall Vanilla Latte costs close to $3.00 bucks. Needless to say I left, and here I am - showing you the way to a super delicious, steaming cup of rich, dark coffee, swirled with a pillowy mound of frothy hot foam and sweetened with homemade vanilla syrup. And as if this weren't sexy enough, it's topped off with a sprinkling of vanilla-infused raw sugar.You don't need any fancy equipment or supplies, so have fun and experiment with different simple syrups and garnishes, using this recipe as your template!

Other than milk, all you need is right here: rich, oily coffee beans, vanilla syrup and raw sugar

 I like to use a mug that takes two hands to hold - but you can use whatever makes you happy

Vanilla Latte
1/2 cup super strong rich coffee or espresso
1 cup skim or 1% steamed milk
2-3 teaspoons vanilla syrup (see below)
1 tsp. vanilla infused raw sugar for garnish (see below)

Vanilla Syrup (Recipe can be doubled)
1 cup water
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Combine water and sugar in a heavy sauce pan bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add vanilla.
Let cool then store in a clean glass jar in the refrigerator.

Vanilla Infused Raw Sugar
2 cups raw sugar
1 vanilla bean

Pour sugar into a resealable jar, place vanilla bean in center of sugar and seal.
The longer the vanilla bean stays in the sugar, the more heavenly the scent and taste.
*I never take it out - just add more sugar as needed

Make the Latte
1. Brew your coffee as you normally do, but don't be afraid to add an extra scoop. If you grind your own beans, even better!
2. Pour syrup into bottom of good sized coffee mug.
3. In a glass measuring cup, pour in milk.
4.Using a frother (available at most stores like Target, BB&B), froth cold milk until good and foamy. If you don't have a frother, use your blender as though you were making a frappe.
5. Microwave milk for about 20 seconds (watch carefully so it doesn't overflow) until the you see the foam expanding (depending on your microwave this may take longer).
6. Add milk to syrup and cup.
7. Pouring down the inside of the cup so as not to disturb the milk, pour desired amount of coffee.
8. Top with a sprinkling of vanilla-infused raw sugar.

&#169 2010-2012, What's Cooking in Your World? Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved