How to Make French Press Coffee Like a Barista

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Add 1 heaped tablespoon of ground coffee for every 1 cup of water 

Make sure your coffee is ground coarsely, not finely

Boil the water in a kettle, and once it has boiled, let the water cool for 1 minute before pouring into the French press

Pour half the water in, allow the coffee to bloom for a minute, then add the remaining half of the water

Press the plunger down gently

Caramel macadamia slice recipe

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Here’s the recipe for our newest slice: make sure you use only the freshest of macadamia nuts for best results

 

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (100g) plain flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup (35g) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 cup (220g) brown sugar
  • 175 gram butter
  • 2 tablespoon golden syrup
  • 250 gram unsalted macadamias, halved
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease and line an 18 x 28cm slice pan.
  • 2
    Using an electric mixer, beat egg and caster sugar together until pale and thick. Add oil and beat until well combined. Fold in combined flours. Spoon into prepared pan and spread to cover base evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, prepare topping. Place brown sugar, butter and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan on low heat. Stir for 5 minutes, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Simmer, without stirring, for 10 minutes, until caramelised. Add nuts.
  • 4
    Pour topping over base and, working quickly, spread evenly. Bake for another 10-12 minutes, until topping is golden. Cool in pan. Slice and serve.

Why does my coffee taste bitter & how to fix it

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There appear to be 4 main reasons behind bitter coffee. Here’s a summary:

 

  1. You have ground your coffee beans too finely. The increased surface area of the coffee, when it’s finely ground, means that more bitterness will leach out once you add hot water. 
  2. You’ve over-brewed it. Coffee made in a French press is particularly susceptible to bitterness. Once you’ve brewed your plunger coffee, pour it out into a thermos so that it stops steeping. Problem solved!
  3. The water’s too hot. Ideally, use water that’s heated to between 90 and 96 degrees celsius
  4. Did you clean your coffee equipment thoroughly? If there are traces of yesterday’s coffee in your coffee machine, there’s a good chance your brew will taste bitter.

 

Recipe of the week: Keto Avocado Brownies

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In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s avocado season in Hanoi at the moment. The tree in the backyard of the Eastern & Oriental is laden with enormous, shiny green fruit. Here’s our favorite avocado recipe  – it’s guaranteed to produce rich chocolate brownies that are moist & fudgey on the inside, and it’s both dairy-free & gluten-free.

Keto Avocado Brownies

 

2 large eggs

1 medium, ripe avocado (3/4 cup)

1/4 cup coconut oil

3–4 tbsp unsweetened, unsalted almond butter, cashew butter (or sunflower seed butter for nut-free)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup sugar substitute

1/3 cup cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla

2 tablespoons gelatin (optional, makes them chewy)

1/2 cup  chopped up chocolate

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of your food processor combine all of the ingredients.
  4. Blend on medium, low power until just smooth. Don’t over-mix. Use a spatula to scrape down the batter and then fold it together, mashing up any chucks of avocado left.
  5. Use the spatula to transfer the batter to the baking dish and smooth it out evenly.
  6. Top with chocolate chips
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges begin to separate from the sides.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes before handling.
  9. Pick it up, carefully, by the parchment paper and set it on a cutting board.
  10. Cut into 8 squares! Enjoy! Store leftovers in the fridge for up to a week.

 

Source: https://thecastawaykitchen.com

 

5 tips to help you make the best possible coffee at home

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1.Keep your kettle and your coffee pot clean by washing the inside & outside with a mixture of water and white vinegar. Apparently there are more germs on your coffee pot than on the toilet door handle!!!

 

2. Store your coffee in an air-tight container, but don’t be tempted to put it in the fridge or the freezer – this will dry it out. Keep coffee away from air cons and heaters too. 

 

3. Grind your coffee and use it immediately. Coffee snobs will tell you that once ground, coffee goes stale within 5 minutes.

 

4. Use filtered water.

 

5. Unless you’re making iced coffee, don’t pour your coffee into a cold cup. While you prepare your coffee, pour some hot water into your coffee mug to keep it warm and toasty.

 

Recipe of the Week: Watermelon Gin

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With watermelons costing less than 10,000vnd per kilo at the moment, why not take advantage and knock up a jug of delicious Watermelon Gin? Here’s our recipe:

1 large watermelon, chilled

2 cups gin

ice

mint to garnish

Remove the rind and seeds from the water melon, cut into chunks and place in a blender. Pulse until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large jug, add the gin & ice. Garnish with a small triangle of watermelon & some fresh mint.

For a slushie effect, simply freeze the watermelon.

Is drinking Hibiscus tea good for your health?

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You’ve probably read online some  vague comments like “studies prove a positive link between hibiscus consumption and reducing cholesterol”. The jury is still out on the claims that drinking hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation and even kill intestinal worms. There is some evidence to suggest the hibiscus is a mild laxative and in some parts of Africa, people drink hibiscus tea to lower their body temperature (living in Asia, we’re familiar with the idea that eating some fruits such as lychees can make us feel hotter).

What can be said with confidence is that hibiscus is caffeine-free and virtually calorie-free. It tastes especially delicious with strawberries, which are in season in Hanoi right now.

How to make Moroccan Mint Iced Tea

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Mint is nice & cheap at the market this month, so take advantage of it & brew your own iced tea:

Ingredients:

5 cups boiling water

1 tablespoon green tea

2 small bunches mint

1/3 cup sugar

Put tea and hot water in a pitcher and steep for 3 minutes, then discard the tea leaves. Add mint & sugar. Steep for another 4 minutes & strain. Refrigerate & serve with ice

How to make your own lime marmalade

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Limes are right in season now, and they’re super cheap. Here’s an excellent use for this flavorsome fruit:

Lime Marmalade

 

Ingredients:

1kg limes

6 cups water

7 cups white sugar

 

Method:

Cut off the very ends of the limes and slice them as thinly as possible. Then quarter them.

 

Put the limes and water in a pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Simmer for at least 1 hour.

 

Next, add the sugar and bring to a boil again, simmering for another 30 mins.

 

Skim the foam off the top of the marmalade and pour it into sterilized jars.

 

Summer serving suggestions:

 

Add 2 teaspoons of lime marmalade to a cup of boiling water, add a tea bag and some ices blocks and you have lime iced tea.

 

Add a dollop of lime marmalade to your morning yoghurt

Summer Lemon & Lime Iced tea

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Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tbsp black loose leaf tea
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 large lemon
  • 1 large lime + more for garnish
  • 1 can club soda (unflavoured sparkling water)
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Turn off heat, add tea leaves, stir and let steep while cooling down completely or until lukewarm.
  2. Transfer tea to a large pitcher by laddling it through a mesh strainer, discard the tea leaves. Add maple syrup, squeeze lemon and lime juice, add the peels  to the pitcher, stir with a long wooden spoon and let tea sit for 10 minutes. Discard the citrus skins otherwise iced tea will be bitter tasting.
  3. Now you can store your iced tea covered with plastic wrap or lid in a fridge for quite a few days. Right before serving add ice and a can of club soda to a pitcher, stir and enjoy the best sparkling healthy iced tea (garnish with thin lime slices if desired). Tea tastes amazing without club soda too, adjust sweetness to taste.

Banana, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Breakfast Smoothie

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This recipe is gluten-free & perfect for anyone who is lactose intolerant. It’s also sugar-free:

  • 2 large overripe bananas , peeled, sliced and frozen*
  • 1 cup soy milk or almond milk (or more to thin as desired)
  • 3/4 cup ice
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth. Serve in a tall glass. For a sugar hit, sprinkle with grated chocolate or add a dollop of honey for a natural sweetener.

Source: https://www.cookingclassy.com