Behind the Seasoning: Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice
Sometimes, the best creations are a happy accident. Legend holds that coffee beans were discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd who noticed his sheep wildly dancing from bush to bush, in search of red berries. Curious, he grabbed a handful for himself and shortly joined his sheep in excited dance. Like the discovery of coffee itself, such was the case with our Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice…though there was probably a little less wild dancing involved.
For years, customers requested a coffee rub for steak and ribs. The rich and roasted flavor of coffee is naturally suited for seasoning beef. In setting out to create a coffee steak rub, cocoa was a natural accent and was promptly added. Sugar is a classic rub ingredient, as it helps caramelize and gives grilled meats a nice crust. Salt is a flavor enhancer and rounded out the base of the blend.
For secondary ingredients, we drew on the aromatic notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, mace, and ginger. The resulting blend wasn’t exactly a perfect steak rub (that would come later, with our Black Dust Cowboy Coffee Rub) but was an absolutely wonderful blend in and of itself.
In cocoa based recipes (think of a rich chocolate cake) coffee is often a secret ingredient. Both cocoa powder and coffee are bittersweet, with earthy notes, richness and depth of flavor. The similarities make the unique qualities stand out more. In the aforementioned chocolate cake example, the addition of a small amount of coffee allows the sweetness to be more noticeable, while accenting the richness of cocoa. In the case of Baker’s Brew Coffee Spice, the addition of Dutch cocoa allows the roasted coffee beans to hit the palate and provides a solid flavor foundation for the other spices.
The coffee we use in this blend is a combination of coffee from Central and South America as well as Indonesia. It is dark roasted and ground very finely. The resulting product is a rub that has a rich flavor but isn’t coarse or gritty. While it is a sweet blend that naturally lends itself to baking, thus the name, we have found that the right ingredients can make this a great seasoning for savory dishes as well.
Here are a few that range from savory to sweet:
I describe this as Mole meets Orange Chicken. The deep, rich flavors of cocoa and coffee are accented by the brightness of fresh orange juice. This recipe will make you fall in love with chicken all over again.
The sweet, rich notes of the Baker's Brew Coffee Spice are a perfect flavor foil for tart cranberries. It's delicious with holiday turkey, ham, or prime rib roast. It'll also fancy up a roast chicken or grilled steak weeknight dinner. You could even use any leftovers for cranberry oat bars!
At first glance, you might mistake these for cookies. But these are so much more versatile. They are delicious as an appetizer or dessert, great with coffee, tea, or a glass of red Sonoma county wine! Here's what a happy customer, Gail, has to say...
I love these crackers! I have have made them several times to compliment cheese and fruit platters. Great comments from my guests. Now I keep a roll of the unbaked crackers in my freezer for entertaining.
Submitted by a customer and friend of Savory, Jenni Field of Pastry Chef Online, this recipe bumps up the cocoa and coffee. Sweet, rich caramel is added to the mocha cake and a sweet, vanilla infused glaze tops it all off. Perfect for a weekend brunch.