Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Put mocha on a pedestal

I ve always been a fan of mocha, including cafe mocha, the hot beverage that mixes coffee and chocolate, and the fabulous Paul Prudhomme Chocolate Cake with Mocha Icing. After making that cake in 1986 for a gourmet dinner, mocha stirs up memories of fantastic flavor in my mind.

The three-layer cake was made with cake flour, dark brown sugar, light corn syrup, unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled to lukewarm, and buttermilk. The layers are glazed with sugar syrup and topped with the Mocha Icing made with powdered sugar, heavy cream, instant coffee powder, and unsweetened cocoa powder. It was a moist and delicious cake.

Now I ve learned from Pernod Ricard USA, the company that brings us Kahlua, the coffee liqueur, that they ve added Kahlua Mocha to its family of premium coffee liqueurs and that hot mocha is a trend this year. The company notes that OPI has nail polish called Melody in Mocha and Benjamin Moore boasting two rich colors, Mocha Madness and Mocha Cream.

Well, you get the picture: mocha is big and the color brown is even bigger in fashion, cosmetics, and decor.

Back to food and beverages, Kahlua Mocha is a blend of 100 percent Arabica coffee, natural vanilla, and real dark chocolate. Mocha cocktails include the Kahlua Mocha Freeze with 1 part Kahlua Mocha, 2 parts chilled coffee, and 2 parts milk, all mixed in a blender; add ice and blend until smooth and serve in a highball or soda glass.

Nonalcoholic beverages include the Mocha Java Smoothie made with soy milk and firm tofu. Soy smoothies are great for those who are lactose intolerant. It also helps reduce cholesterol. This recipe is short on calories: 229 calories per serving.

1 cup vanilla soy milk

1 cups ice

13 cup firm tofu

cup bananas, sliced and frozen

cup chocolate syrup

2 teaspoons instant coffee

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Yield: 1 serving

Then there are the many fast food places selling iced coffee drinks this summer. I visited a drive-thru one day and asked for iced coffee. I normally drink black coffee.

The clerk said, One cream, one sugar.

I said, No, black.

She said, nobody drinks it black.

She gave me what she wanted: iced coffee, one cream, one sugar. It was just fine and in fact quite refreshing.

It motivates me to make the Iced Coffee Mocha and Iced Coffee Latte recipes from Slurp (see main story), which are easy enough for any cook. According to authors Nina Dreyer Hensley, Jim Hensley, and Paul Lowe (Andrews McMeel, $16.99), if you don t have a milk steamer to make the foamed milk, a wand mixer inserted into the hot milk works. If you don t have either, pour a little hot milk into a bottle and shake well. Other recipes include Frozen Coffee Granita and Coffee Frappe.

I also make coffee parfaits every summer, but I don t call them mocha even though there are chocolate syrup and coffee ice cream in them. But this summer I intend to reprise that Paul Prudhomme cake recipe. It s a big cake for a big occasion and a grand cake to put on a pedastal cake plate.

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