Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cafe Brulot

My heart is still pounding as I sit down to type this. Why? Because I'm afraid of fire. And this recipe requires matches, ladies and gentlemen!

Cafe Brulot, which loosely means "burnt coffee" in French, was supposedly invented by the top lieutenant to a notorious 18th century pirate in New Orleans (!) Still a traditional drink in that city, it is made with much fanfare in a brulot bowl. This recipe is a simplified version so you can make it at home. It is interesting to note that "brulot" in French can also mean "fire-ship" - maybe a reference to the ship that the pirate was working on??

Start by peeling half of the rind off of an orange and half of the rind off a lemon, using a vegetable peeler to make an unbroken strip. Stud the orange rind with 2 cloves, and the lemon rind with one clove. Squeeze 1 tablespoon of juice from the orange, and 1 teaspoon of juice from the lemon. Set all that aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons triple sec, 1 tablespoon brandy and 1 cinnamon stick. I used apple brandy since I need it in the near future for a couple other recipes, but any brandy should do - since it is not filtered like wine, brandy doesn't pose any vegan problems.

Now here's the fun part (or the terrifying part, if you're afraid of fire like I am!). Light the triple sec mixture using a long match - and snatch your hand back quickly. While the flames are high, hold the lemon and orange rind over the flames with tongs. Let the flames die down, and drop in the rinds. Okay, so I'm a sissy, and I skipped the holding-over-the-flames part entirely. I added my peels once the fire was safely out. I still am just giving myself credit for lighting the match!

Now pour 2 and 1/2 cups strong hot coffee into one side of the pan. Stir in your fresh-squeezed orange and lemon juices, and stir to combine. Discard the rinds. Now serve in pretty teacups! You'll have 5 servings of 1/2 a cup and 100 calories.

Note: I make my coffee at home in a traditional French press - so much yummier than automatic coffee makers.

And of course, here it is on fire!

orange $0.42
lemon $0.35
apple brandy $24.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance