Inertia, in the Physics sense of the word, is the tendency of objects to keep moving in a straight line at constant velocity. Inertia, in the colloquial sense of the word, is the forward motion that causes my mind to diminish the magnitude of projects on my horizon. They’re mere dots on my trajectory, but those dots represent accumulated ideas transforming into real life in a really momentous way!
Semi-disclosure: I’m working on a really exciting collaboration involving coffee. It’s a BIG deal, but in the juggling, can’t-tell-which-day-it-is, forward motion of my life, I’ve been subconsciously underplaying the excitement. With all that’s in the works, I should be routinely breaking into dancing spells of anticipation.
In the meantime, while reality sinks in, and excitement grows, I offer a mini coffee collaboration experiment- a frozen vanilla latte dessert.
One of my good friends happens to be one of the best baristas in this Steel City. She has been appeasing the Floral King and my coffee routines for a steady year now. While I typically stay very far from unnaturally sweet syrups in my espresso drinks, I am a regular consumer of her vanilla bean latte. Made with an actual vanilla bean, verifiable by the occasional fleck of vanilla in your beverage, this real-deal syrup makes a refreshingly addictive, iced, summer caffeine fix.
During one coffee chat, we began to brainstorm the dessert form of her Iced Vanilla Bean Latte, and a collaboration transpired. Using heavy cream instead of milk, Kira made the equivalent of an iced latte, and then she passed the baton to me. I baked a mess of chocolate cake, crumbled it into a rectangular baking dish, whipped the iced “latte” into stiff peaks, spread it over the chocolate base, garnished it with more cake and spices, froze it, and voila…
While I keep you waiting and wondering what project I have up my sleeve, I leave you with this little dose of inspiration/encouragement for whatever craziness/excitement hovers on your horizon:
“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that- that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.”
On that note, let’s try some dessert!
Note: My baking is generally one big experiment, so the recipe I used to form the cake base provided more than enough cake. I used the leftovers to make another frozen dessert variation, which I will share in a later post. Either use the extra chocolate cake for more experimenting, for taster bites or simply cut the recipe in half.
Frozen Vanilla Latte Dessert
Chocolate Cake Base
1-1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pure cocoa powder
3/4 cup organic, unsalted butter
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 cup local honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 organic, cage-free eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13×9″ pan with olive oil or organic coconut oil, and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with cocoa; stirring frequently until smooth.
Add sugar and honey, and mix thoroughly.
Beat in eggs until smooth.
Stir in the flour and baking powder mixture until just blended.
Pour into prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until barely set.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
Vanilla Latte Layer
2 1/2 cups organic, heavy cream
4-5 shots of high quality espresso
pure vanilla bean syrup, to taste
*If you don’t have a collaborative relationship with your favorite barista, use pure vanilla extract and high quality espresso prepared using your favorite method.
In the chilled bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream mixture on medium speed until stiff peaks start to form.
Crumble the chocolate cake to form a thin base in a 9×13 baking dish. Set aside extra cake.
Spread the whipped cream over the cake base.
Sprinkle the surface with extra cake crumbs, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Place in the freezer. Serve frozen, but allow to thaw ever so slightly before taking the first bite.