Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Coffee magic made at home

Let's talk about vices. More specifically, let's talk about that all important morning Cup of Coffee. For you brave souls who swallow down that wonderful, piping hot, dark mana with nary so much as a bleary eyed glance at the sugar bowl, this post isn't for you. It's going to be full of sugar. Lots of sugar. But if you, like myself, like your coffee sweet and creamy enough to offer you a sugar high before the caffeine can work its magic, have I ever got a treat for you!

Let me tell you 'bout some home made coffee syrups, darlings.

I love flavored coffees but, because I'm a fan of cups of caramel colored sugar slurry, I go through the flavored creamers a little too fast for it to be an affordable option. So today I'm going to teach you how to make some at home vanilla syrup for your coffee (or milk! A little cap full of the stuff turns plain Jane milk into a yummy tasting treat) that might even save you a trip to your sugar bowl!

To make yourself some of this sweet, sweet magic, you're going to need:

-A pot to boil water
-A stirring apparatus
-A container (I use and suggest an empty wine bottle. Glass containers just seem to work the best for storing this stuff.)
-And some Vanilla extract (Real or imitation. Both work fine. If you want to get really fancy with it, substitute the extract for the real deal vanilla bean)

First, get your water in your pan on low heat. A good rule for balance is a 1:1 ratio between the water and the sugar. Normally, I use/suggest 3 cups of water (which will fill up a standard wine bottle, if you're using one) but if you want a smaller batch, use that ratio to scale it down. Or, if you want less sweet to your syrup, do a 2:1 ratio.

Get your sugar in the pot as quickly as you can and settle yourself in for some stirring! If you're using some real deal vanilla bean, toss those bad boys in there so they can get all that vanilla-y goodness into your concoction while the water heats up! For the extract, just add a capful or two (or three or four if you really like the stuff!). I generally like mine to end up about the same color as a cup of tea - dark, clear amber.

Stay stirring until your undoubtedly delicious smelling mixture breaks into a boil. Then turn it off and let it cool a bit (and let the vanilla beans steep for a while if you've got them in there). Once you can safely handle it without burning your lovely self, pour that magic into your chosen container and store it in the fridge to await your next cup of coffee.

And enjoy!

As a little side note, though, you can also make fruit syrups with this recipe. Same ratio, same method. I've used it to make strawberry syrup (of course, you'll want to cut up your berries into little chunks and strain the left over bits out before you store it!) to mix into sprite and, once, a teensy bit of peppermint syrup for hot cocoa and it worked out well!


Note: All images in this post provided by the fabulous stockvault.net because yours truly can't take a nice picture of a coffee cup to save her life.

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