If you want to take things to the next level this Valentine's day, try this coffee and food pairing experience. It will ignite the senses. You can think of this as a mindful eating experience. When we give all our attention to one task, we allow ourselves to fully engage in the experience at hand.
First, create this moreish and cosy Cardamom Apple Puffed Pancake recipe for you and your Valentine. I adapted this traditional pancake recipe to include cardamom, to surprise my Scandinavian boyfriend, as we reminisce over Swedish cardamom scrolls. The best thing about this pancake is that it can be eaten at any time of the day and it's risk-free – instead of standing over the grill flipping pancakes, you just make the batter and allow it to cook in the oven while you’re brewing your coffee. So, there's no stressing on your romantic day.
While the cake is cooking start brewing your coffee. We suggest the Woodford blend, brewed your favourite way. We have brewing recipes here if you need inspiration.
Once the pancake is cooked, plate up with the cinnamon butter maple sauce, and serve coffee in your favourite coffee mug. Now sit in your favourite relaxing coffee drinking spot and we will take you through this tasting experience.
- Close your eyes and take a sip of your coffee. What are the flavours you are experiencing? Put a name to them. It could be sweet, spicy, rich, earthy, luscious. How does this make you feel? Grounded and mellowed out, or excited and elevated? Notice the flavours at the start, and then notice the after taste.
- Next, take a fork full of Cardamom Apple Puffed Pancake and repeat the process. Closing your eyes, what flavours are you experiencing?It might be sweet bursts and savoury spice. How does this make you feel?
- Now, ask yourselves what flavours does the coffee enhance in the puffed pancake? The flavours we associate with are typically those we associate with memories from our youth. Perhaps the spice reminds you of your grandma's fruit cake but tastes like a chai latte to your partner.
- Now as you continue to eat the pancake, and drink the coffee, what flavours is this pairing bringing out in the coffee? Perhaps the cardamom is bringing out a spice flavour in your coffee that you've never identified before.
I hope this pairing has added a new dimension to your Valentine's Day.
Next time, try your own coffee and food pairing, one of my personal favourites is the Blackall Range blend with aged cheddar cheese, and fruit preserve.
Cardamom Apple Puffed Pancake
1 apple, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cups milk
2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon butter maple Sauce
1/2 cup Canadian maple syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
- Arrange the apple slices in the bottom of a 30cm cast-iron skillet. Top with 4 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar. Place the skillet in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes.
- Combine the eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, cardamom, salt and the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter in a blender. Blend on high until the batter is smooth.
- Remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour the batter into the skillet. Place the skillet in the centre of the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the pancake is fully puffed and browned on top.
- In a small saucepan, combine the maple, butter, and cinnamon. Simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Serve warm with the hot puffed pancake.