For almost six years my column has appeared in The Witness and, as an avid coffee drinker, I am embarrassed on two counts. The first being that I have never written an article on this particular beverage and the other - as I hang my head in shame - is that I only recently visited Terbodore Coffee Roasters in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. And it was established in 2004! So much for my belief that I'm on top of all the local happenings...
What a gem in the already sparkling crown of the Midlands. If you've never visited this welcoming, off-the-beaten track place, there is every good reason for you to do so. It surpassed all my expectations.
After spending a morning chatting to Marian over a couple of cups of coffee - or more - she generously gave me a variety of coffees to taste; this provided much fun-filled interest over the last week. It is quite startling how one cup of coffee can taste so different from the next. Taking into account the bean type, where it is grown, how it is roasted as well as when it is roasted and stored. My suggestion to all readers who appreciate good coffee is to find a coffee house and to taste your way through the different coffees until you find the perfect match for your palate. I now know that my favourite Terbodore coffee is a toss up between Mac Espresso and Great Dane. Like everything, even taste buds change so, if your cuppa isn't giving you the kick you desire, get out and start the sampling process again. It's an educational and fulfilling way to spend a few hours - and most of all it's fun.
In this article I'm choosing to offer 'something completely different'; keeping well away from the usual coffee cake / icing / muffins / biscuits and so on...
First up is a moist nutty coffee and cranberry loaf. The diverse textures are interesting in every mouthful and there is an exciting burst of sweetness from the cranberries.
Risotto need not be always savoury. Thinking rice pudding, this sweet and spicy coffee risotto was born. Serve with fresh berries, chunks of chocolate and thick dollops of cream for a quick dessert option.
Chocolate, peanut butter and coffee frozen delight combines two of my favourite quick-and-easy desserts into one. This combination of sweet and savoury is decadent on all levels.
More is less and it's the simplicity in Amber-Rose's Amarula Frappe that impressed me. She is a trainee and when she walked into my office with this coffee frappe I knew she would slot right into our team. Try it as a refreshing alternative to a hot drink.
I can't imagine why Id never thought of coffee muesli before this. It successfully mixes two of my favourite breakfast combinations into one making an ideal start to any morning.
Coffee-marinated beef fillet caramelises exceptionally well on a braai and adds an unusual savouriness. I'm sure this will go down particularly well with the men folk.
I look forward to uncovering more Midlands gems and I raise my coffee cup in celebration of the many exhilarating country outings we are privileged to have on our doorstep. Who knows, with the copious amounts of coffee I consume everyday, maybe a Jackie Cameron coffee blend will come about! Remember life is too short to drink bad-quality coffee.
Please take these recipes and try them :
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Visit www.jackiecameron.co.za to find out more about my women's chef range, JACKIE CAMERON COOKS AT HOME and all my foodie adventures. I always look forward to hearing from you. Jackie Cameron (Head Chef: Hartford House - 033 263 2713). For the latest on local foodie news add me as a friend on FACEBOOK. Find me on Twitter - @jackie_cameron.