Pumpkin Spice Latte

pumpkin-blog copy

To temporarily suspend our belief that the first signs of nippy air and falling leaves heralds the imminent doom of winter, we take every opportunity to savour summer’s fleeting memories.  Besides the visual display of multicoloured grandeur around us, autumn also blesses us with a bounty of sumptuous and hearty vegetables which bless our daily cooking with glorious flavours.  The Pumpkin Spice Latte has recently risen to the title of “Autumn’s Quintessential Beverage”.  While most coffee shops offer variations of this delectable beverage, most fail to actually include the core ingredient that this drink is based on: pumpkin.  Here is a PSL that proudly elevates the pumpkin and takes your espresso to the next level.

Makes 8 drinks

Ingredients

5 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
1 ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (see recipe below*)
Finely ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 shot espresso
Frothed milk or whipped cream
Cinnamon

Equipment
Mixer, whisk, or hand blender, to whip cream
Saucepan
Wooden spoon
Whisk
Blender
Espresso maker or coffee maker

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, use a wooden spoon to stir the pumpkin puree with the pumpkin pie spice and a dash of ground black pepper for about 2 minutes or until it heats up and changes to a darker colour.
  2. Add the brown sugar and continue stirring until the mixture starts bubbling and turns into a syrup.
  3. Add the milk and vanilla extract and turn the heat to medium low so that the mixture warms up but doesn’t boil. Stir for 5-8 minutes, or until the mixture has completely warmed up.
  4. Brew the Lavica espresso of your choice in a regular sized mug. Add ¼ cup of the pumpkin spice mixture and stir. Using the Lavica milk frother, froth some milk as a topping or, for a more decadent drink, top off the drink with whipped cream. Sprinkle some cinnamon over the frothed milk or whipped cream topping. Enjoy!

Note: If coarser ground spices were used, or for a less “rustic” beverage, strain the mixture before portioning into the espresso. The remaining mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container for a week and warmed up as needed.


*Pumpkin Pie Spice Recipe

Mix 4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 4 teaspoons of ground nutmeg, 4 teaspoons of ground ginger, 3 teaspoons of ground allspice and 2 teaspoons of ground cloves.  Store in an airtight container to use in all pumpkin-related recipes.

 

Caffeine

caffein

Today, I forgot to have my cup of coffee.  I am not a java fiend who needs to have caffeine coursing through my veins the second I open my eyes in the morning.  Rather, I will leisurely make myself an espresso mid-morning and savour every rich sip while scanning though my inbox and checking job postings.  Nothing major, just one cup per day.

This morning was different.  I had every intension of brewing a mug of roasted goodness, however with the rush of getting ready to run off to a shopping and cupcake baking date with my mom, it completely slipped my mind.  Somewhere around 4 in the afternoon, I started getting a dull headache, and thought nothing of it except maybe a sugar rush from sampling too much frosting.  However, as the hour came to a close, (a glass of water and an advil later), it dawned on me that maybe in fact I was a caffeine addict experiencing withdrawal symptoms.  Oh my!

One cuppa joe later, and I must say, I feel 100% better.  It is quite disconcerting to realize that something as harmless as roasted beans infused in hot water could indeed play with one’s state of well-being to the extent of causing pain if not consumed within 30 hours on a daily basis.  Yet, for something so habit-forming, it is so ingrained and normalized in our culture; from casual meetings at a café, to the beverage of choice with dessert, and the ubiquitous travel mugs in the majority of commuter’s hands in the morning.  Here’s hoping, for the sake of avoiding a societal withdrawal migraine or collective rehab, that the rumours of dwindling supply do not materialize.  Yours truly, The Caffeine Addict

 
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