A heat wave. That is what we have been experiencing for most of the summer in Lima. Ninety degrees Fahrenheit was never the summer standard in our city. Luckily, we have always come up with different ways to mitigate the blistering heat. The beach, swimming pool, ice, beer, ice cream, and the like have helped us out more than once. Perhaps a milkshake is the thing many prefer as long as it is ice-cold, thick, and just in between liquid and solid.
Going over several recipes, I found this one by a blogger I have been following for a while: The Beeroness. A beer baroness of sorts, Jackie Dodd brings together the art of cooking and the love of good beer. All of her recipes use some amount of beer. Enough said. Here is the recipe to her Stout Frapp-Brew-Ccino with some of my personal touches.
1. The Recipe: since sharing is caring, this recipe yields two large servings.
¾ Cup espresso or very strong coffee, chilled (6 oz Origen Tostadores de Café’s Yama Cold brew)
¾ Cup half and half milk (3 oz whipping cream + 3 oz whole milk)
¾ Cup espresso or chocolate stout (6 oz Invictus’s Brujo Coffee Stout)
¼ Cup chocolate syrup (2 oz)
¼ Cup chocolate chips (35 gr Amazona Chocolate’s chocolate féves)
2 Tbs sugar (2 Tbs granulated white sugar)
2 Cups ice (2 Cups cracked ice)
Break the chocolate féves into small pieces. Make sure all liquid ingredients are chilled. Measure all the ingredients and pour them all into a blender. Add a pinch of pink salt. Blend until smooth (I suggest using the PULSE button to prevent over-blending). Serve immediately.
2. The Drink: we are talking about a drink inspired by the omnipresent Frappuccino® but with the addition of a stout. Even though The Beeroness’s recipe is called Chocolate Stout Frapp-Brew-Ccino, I opted for a coffee stout instead of a chocolate stout. Coincidentally, two days ago I had the chance to try a milkshake at the ice cream franchise associated to a well-known Colombian brand of coffee. Despite my ordering a milkshake with a mocaccino ice cream base, the intensity of flavors in this recipe by The Beeroness is hard to match, let alone beat. The coffee flavor is enhanced by the chocolate syrup and féves. It is up to you to top it off with whipped cream and some chocolate chips or, even better, some coffee beans. Personally, I avoid serving whipped cream (even if it is unsweetened) on top of foods, like this one, that already have a lot of calories.
3. The Key Points: the success of this recipe is the result of the sum of many factors. Let us start by talking about the coffee. I chose to use a cold brew from Origen Tostadores de Café’s Yama Cold Tower. The coffee used for the extraction comes from Finca Churupampa in Chirinos, Cajamarca. The flavor profile of this cold drink delivers hints of malt and wood. Undoubtedly, this contributes a bitter layer to the drink, which will serve as the background for the other flavors. Then, we have another leading character in the recipe. Invictus’s Brujo Coffee Stout. Even though its main role is remarkable in this drink’s taste, it does not steal the show. The intense flavor of the stout unites the other flavors and, in time, tames the strong personality of the Amazona’s chocolate féves.
It was the right decision to leave out the chocolate chips in the original recipe and use the dark bitter féves made with 70% organic cacao. A real luxury justified by the use of a generic store-bought chocolate syrup in the recipe. Using a high-end chocolate syrup would have resulted in a drink tasting too much of chocolate, and preferring generic chocolate chips might have given the coffee too big a leading role.
I recommend sticking to the half and half. The cooked and caramelized flavor profile of evaporated milk would completely affect the taste of this Coffee Stout Frapp-Brew-Ccino.
Breaking the ice before using it is also important. Just wrap some ice cubes in a dish towel (unless you are using a Lewis bag) and whack them with a meat mallet.
Lastly, the decision of using pink salt in the recipe added complexity to the bass notes of this delicious drink.
I hope you can enjoy this drink as much as I did. Of course, feel free to experiment and use your own ideas. If you decide to go a different way, you are welcome to write how it went. I promise the next recipe will also include lots of coffee.
José Castro is a certified barista keen on reading, writing, and self-learning. In addition to being a father of one and husband of one, he is a columnist with Catering & Gastronomía magazine and a contributing writer to Cocktail magazine. Translator, photography aficionado, and former singer of a Beatles tribute band, he runs his own blog on beer, cocktails, coffee, and their food pairings at TomandoAltura.com under the pen name El Gourmetógrafo. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.