Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Pieday Friday recipe – Coffee shop Christmas menu hacks

You know that Christmas is approaching when the coffee shops start serving their Christmas drinks. The usual selection of coffee and tea suddenly flips over to the festive menu sometime in early November. One day you’re buying your usual latte and the next day there’s a turkey and cranberry toasty on the sandwich counter and gold stars are being sprinkled on top of every drink. Yes, the coffee shop Christmas drinks are here to stay (until January, at least) so I thought I’d see whether I could hack some of the famous recipes from Costa, Starbucks and Neros for you. In previous years I’ve blogged my favourite flavoured hot chocolate recipes for Christmas, but it’s all about the coffee this year. Here are three festive coffee recipes that you can enjoy at home that might help you to save a little extra cash over Christmas.

Gingerbread latte

All of the coffee chains create a gingerbread latte in some form or other at this time of year – even McDonalds have a spice cookie latte on the menu. Here’s what you’ll need to recreate it at home: Coffee (I used flavoured coffee capsules of Gourmesso for each drink in this blog post, saving a little extra money on the usual Nespresso capsule prices – see, always thinking thriftily!) hot milk, gingerbread syrup or a couple of cubes of crystallized ginger, gold star sprinkles (find them with the baking aisle in the supermarket with the hundreds-and-thousands), ground cinnamon and a mini gingerbread man. You could make your own, or skip this step like I did and buy a ready-made box of festive gingerbread biscuits from the supermarket.Image by Andy-Greenacre.co.ukBrew up a shot of coffee into a festive-jumper patterned mug (mine is from The Caravan Trail). Stir in a shot of gingerbread syrup. If you don’t have syrup, pour a little boiling water over the crystallized ginger to melt it a little before stirring it into the coffee. Top up the coffee with hot milk to create a creamy latte. If you have a milk frother to hand (my little whisk was £3 from the supermarket and it makes fantastic foam!) whisk up a thick milk foam to top the latte. Sprinkle on some gold stars and sit a little gingerbread man on top – I think it looks like rudolph is drinking my latte in this photo!

Honeycomb latte

A new festive coffee in our local coffee chain, we tried this drink for the first time last week. The main flavour of this drink is cinder toffee, so essentially a Crunchie bar will do the trick! Here’s what you’ll need: Coffee, caramel syrup, hot milk, whipped cream, a Crunchie or chocolate-coated cinder toffee nuggets.Image by Andy-Greenacre.co.ukBrew a shot of coffee into a latte glass and stir in a splash of caramel syrup. If you don’t have coffee syrup like this, you could use some toffee ice-cream syrup or even melt a chunk of Crunchie bar into the coffee. Fill the cup with hot milk before finishing with a swirl of whipped cream. Crush up the Crunchie bar or cinder toffee into small nuggets and sprinkle over the top.

Toffee nut latte

Sure, you can find tons of pumpkin spice latte recipes online (I could dedicate a whole pinterest board to it!) but this year the big American coffee chain has a festive nut toffee latte on the menu this year. Even though I’m not a fan of nuts, I know that many of you will love this recipe so who am I to skip it? To recreate this recipe at home you will need: Coffee, caramel syrup, hazelnut syrup, hot milk, whipped cream and peanut brittle. Hopefully this will give you a similar taste, although I can’t be sure as I’ve never tried the original coffee shop version.Image by Andy-Greenacre.co.uk

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Cinder toffee coffee cheesecake recipe

Creamy sweetness and rich coffee bookended by crunchy caramel flavours. Yes, I think that perfectly describes my cheesecake recipe and I know you want to try it out for yourself! I was inspired to make this cheesecake when my coffee delivery arrived from Pact because the tasting notes of the Finca La Montana Espresso coffee read simply ‘cinder toffee’. This got the cogs in my brain turning, as I remembered back to childhood summers at the seaside and bags of crunchy cinder toffee. I tasted the coffee and there was an undeniable zing of roasted caramel so how could I not include this delicious coffee in a dessert recipe? Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake Recipe for Pact Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake recipe-4

Cinder toffee is also the taste of Christmas for me, as I always without fail eat a Crunchie bar on Christmas morning. Are Crunchies made from cinder toffee? It’s a very similar taste anyway and you could certainly get away with using a Crunchie to decorate the top of your cheesecake if you can’t get hold of cinder toffee. I think the Crunchie tradition started for me because there was always a small Crunchie in the chocolate stocking selection pack and as it was my least favourite chocolate bar I always ate it first. But now, I couldn’t possibly not eat a Crunchie before breakfast on Christmas day and I would be so disappointed if it wasn’t in my stocking. Anyway, back to the recipe.Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake recipe-2 Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake Recipe for Pact-2

I decided that cinder toffee and coffee was a killer combination and I wanted to incorporate some smooth creaminess to counteract all the rich flavours so I’ve layered my cheese cake mixture so that every bite is the perfect mouthful;  bitter and sweet, smooth and crisp. I decided to use Lotus biscuits due to their caramel flavour and the fact that they are so often served with a cappuccino in coffee shops. I combined this with digestive biscuits so that the traditional cheesecake flavour is there and the caramel doesn’t overpower the pudding. The way I see it, coffee and cheese are after-dinner staples so why not combine them in this decadent dessert to serve up at the end of a delicious meal?? Without further ado, here is the recipe and method:

125g digestive biscuits, 125g lotus biscuits, 100g melted butter, 3 tablespoons strong Pact coffee, 300ml double cream, 400g full fat soft cheese, 200g mascarpone, 125g icing sugar, 100g cinder toffee

Method for making Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_ Method for making Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-2

Crush the biscuits – I used a blender but it’s just as easy to put them into a freezer bag and crush with a rolling-pin – then mix with the melted butter until the mixture resembles damp sand. Press into a spring-form cake tin using the back of a spoon to form the base. Chill while you get on with making the cheesecake filling. Method for making Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-3 Method for making Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-4Whip the cream to soft peaks before mixing in the soft cheese, mascarpone and icing sugar. Take a teaspoon of the mixture and taste it to make sure it’s really yummy! Then divide the cheesecake mixture into thirds, spreading two-thirds of the plain cheese mix over the biscuit base. Chill for about 15 minutes.

Pact Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_ Recipe for Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-4

With the remaining third of the cheesecake mixture, add 2-3 tablespoons of freshly brewed strong espresso coffee (depending on taste, so you’re going to have to test it again!) and mix in thoroughly. Spread on top of the cheesecake to create a dark top layer and then return to the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. Recipe for Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-3 Recipe for Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-6 Recipe for Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-7When you’re ready to serve, release the spring-form cake tin and slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate. Crush up some cinder toffee (in a bag, with a rolling pin again) and sprinkle all over the top of the cheesecake before adding a few big chunks of cinder toffee to the centre to decorate. The cinder toffee that I bought already had white a dark chocolate drizzled over the top so either use the same type of cinder toffee, leave off the chocolate altogether or drizzle a little melted chocolate of your own over the toffee.

Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-4 Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-2 Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake Recipe for Pact-4

The Finca La Montana Espresso coffee is available from Pact until 20th Oct so get your order in now! But don’t worry if you miss it this month – it’s likely to make a reappearance again in the future, and in the meantime you can use any of Pact’s delicious coffees the recreate this cheesecake. If you want to save a bit of cash on your ingredients, you can use voucher code “cassiefairy” on the Pact Coffee website which will give you your first bag of Pact coffee for only £1 – it’s so kind of Pact to create this code especially for Cassiefairy readers! Get that coffee brewing and let me know how you get on with making the recipe and please get in touch to share your photos if you make one for yourself. Enjoy!

Pact Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-5 Pact Cinder Toffee Coffee Cheesecake_-9

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