latteCafe latte literally means ‘’milk coffee’’. Traditionally brewed espresso coffee is mixed with milk and foam to make a latte. Sometimes syrups, and flavors in other forms are added to enhance the taste. Latte and cappuccino are actually quite similar. Both are made by adding steamed milk and milk froth to the espresso; cappuccino has more froth than a latte.

It is easy to make a latte if you have an espresso machine that comes with a steam wand. If you don’t have one, you can visit TheEdge website. TheEdge is a terrific espresso machine review site. Read their guide on how to select the best espresso machine for your needs. But what about those who can’t afford an espresso machine right now? Is that reason enough to deprive them from a cup of hot latte, topped with foam milk, during these times of cold winter? Definitely not!

latte without an espresso machineSo here is that little magic recipe- to make an amazing latte at home without an espresso machine. Since latte is more milk than froth, it can be made in two ways, without an espresso machine. I will include both the methods here.

Ingredients:

  1. Strongly brewed coffee
  2. Milk
  3. Sugar syrup (optional)
  4. Cocoa powder (optional)

Method 1:

  • You will need a glass jar for this; not just any glass jar, but one with a lid that screws tightly.
  • Pour cold milk till about half of the glass jar. Close the lid tightly.
  • Now shake the bottle for about a minute; you will see foam collecting on the top of the bottle in that empty space you left. Shake it till the milk almost doubles in quantity and fills the jar with foam.
  • Pour the entire thing into a saucepan and boil it. You can add sugar syrup at this point. It will help if you have a milk thermometer. Check for a reading of 160 degrees. Or else just let the milk heat up, without thoroughly boiling it.
  • The foam will stay on top. Pour the milk into the cup of brewed espresso, while holding the foam with a spoon. Now scoop out some foam and top the coffee with it.
  • Sprinkle cocoa powder and serve.

Method 2: (This makes less foam)

  • Pour milk and sugar syrup in a saucepan and put it on the burner.
  • Heat the milk and as you heat it, constantly whisk it with a whisker.
  • The whisking needs to be done continuously and very fast. You will foam collecting on top of milk.
  • Once milk is thoroughly heated, but not boiled, pour it into a cup of brewed coffee.
  • Spoon some of the foam on top.
  • Sprinkle with a pinch of cocoa powder.

You can add your choice of flavor to the latte. Vanilla, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper- all of them can replace or complement the cocoa. And that’s it. Enjoy your cup of delicious homemade latte, curled up in a blanket near the fireplace. Or any way you like.

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Loving my New Bread Machine

by Dean on August 8, 2016

home made breadI have never been a fan of cooking. But being a stay at home mom of two kids who are totally devoted to bread and a wife to a hubby who loves to eat homemade food, has led me develop into a person who cooks without complaints. I love the glimmer in their eyes for every single new dish I experiment with and believe me, given my culinary skills; they ARE really patient and good. Recently, I took some cooking classes and got to learn baking so many types of bread. But the kneading and mixing and all that ‘put-in-the-oven-and-bake’ thing is really not that much appealing.

zojirushi bread makerSo, we saved a little money and got a decent bread machine with the festive discount. The machine is nothing less than the famous Zojirushi BB PAC 20. The machine was very expensive and we have to cut down some other expenses too to get it; but once we have got it, I feel really lucky and blessed to have such a companion in my kitchen.

Now, I don’t have to do any kneading; don’t have to worry over the proper mixing of all the ingredients and messing up with the dough of pizza, cakes, etc. I can even make the gluten free bread for my mother in law whenever she is visiting us and this gesture of mine has made our bond stronger still. She loves how I take special care of her taste preferences and never let her indulge in readymade bread while she is with us.

Let me BOAST a little:

The machine is one of the highest rated bread makers in the market and comes with a perfect finish of class and style. The compact machine placed on the counter takes very less space and is perfect for my crowded kitchen. Apart from the exterior, it has the controls and interior machinery to die for. The ultimate manufacturing and finish of the baking pan makes sure that the bread turns out even and fine. There is even a cute little heater on the top of the lid which ensures that the bread gets baked from the top section too and the crust comes crispy and lovely.

pizza dough bread machineThere are settings for making pizza dough, sourdough bread, gluten free bread, regular bread, whole wheat bread, jam and cake. The intelligent controls allow every user to control the texture of the crust of the bread. I like it with medium crispiness.

The very best feature of this machine is that it comes with a delayed timer of 13 hours which allows me to set the machine on in the night after putting all the ingredients in the baking pan in the night only. I set the timer to go off at 5.30 in the morning and by the time I wake up, I have delicious home baked bread ready for my kids and husband. I love to walk in the kitchen drenched in the aroma of fresh baking.

What makes it different from regular oven?

See, in the oven, I used to face some problems like the dough used to come out of the pan sometimes. Or the crust got too brown (sometimes burnt even), the loads of cleaning left after kneading and baking, putting the fruits and nuts after kneading and making sure that the texture of the dough doesn’t change too much to affect the bread baking etc.

With my Zojirushi now, I just have to put all the things together in a pan and wait for a ding-ding..!!

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