The Exotic Bean

Cooking With Coffee: 6 Great Recipe Ideas You Probably Didn’t Know About

For the True Coffee Lover: How to Incorporate Coffee Into Cooking

image of cooking with coffee: tiramisu recipe

Coffee is a favorite beverage the world over – nothing could be more obvious these days. In fact, as testimony to this fact, a quick Internet search for “coffee recipes” will yield more than forty-two million results. And that hardly counts getting creative with coffee and using it as in ingredient in a dish – where all of a sudden, you’ve delved into the world of the exotic.

Using coffee as an ingredient in deserts – think: coffee ice cream, mud pie, tiramisu – is certainly nothing new. Here, we present six amazing recipe ideas that use coffee as an ingredient, and use it to great success. We also included handy links to actual recipes so you don’t have to look for them yourselves online. Happy dining adventures, here we come!

1 – Chicken Mole

Yes, everyone knows that Mole has chocolate in it, but you may not realize that authentic Oaxacan recipes for this widely variable dish can contain coffee as well. Coffee gives mole a depth of flavor, adding its bittersweet profile and smoky aromas to the complexity of this fantastic Mexican sauce.

image of cooking with coffee: chicken mole

2 – Red Eye Gravy

If your Great Grandmother was any kind of American cook, then red eye gravy was probably in her repertoire. A combination of ham fat, black coffee, and stock, red eye gravy is the ultimate sauce for Southern ham and eggs. Throw some grits down on the side, and you might as well be in heaven.

3 – Coffee Steak Rub

The bitterness and earthiness of coffee make it an excellent addition to meat rubs of all kinds. But for extra points, include it in your rubs for beef and lamb. Something about coffee and red meat is extra amazing, especially when you can cook it under a covered barbecue, so the smoke flavor gets absorbed into the meat.

image of cooking with coffee: dry steak rub

4 – Bacon Marinade

You may be of the opinion that bacon is doing just fine, and you wouldn’t really be wrong. Bacon certainly doesn’t need much in the way of help, when it comes to flavor. That said, two great things together could be even better. How does a sandwich made with coffee-marinated bacon grab ya?

5 – Smoky Black Bean Soup

As we may have mentioned already, coffee is naturally very earthy flavored, with hints of spice from the roasting process. These two elements of coffee’s taste profile make it a great ingredient to add to a variety of soups, including this delicious recipe for smoky black bean soup from Eating Well.

6 – Tiramisu

We already mentioned it above in our intro when we were discussing how normal it is to add coffee to the sweeter dishes you serve at your table. But Tiramisu is arguably one of the world’s best desserts. And it just wouldn’t be the same without coffee in it and served alongside of it. Enjoy!

Coffee Can Take Your Next Meal to the Next Level

Coffee is fantastic on its own, it can be even better when mixed with other fluids and spirits, but don’t overlook coffee’s potential as a trusted ingredient in a wide variety of dishes. Sure, there are great coffee-based desserts, but think about adding in to other main-course dishes when you’re looking for a little something extra. Bon appétit!