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How many cups'-worth of coffee have I poured down the sink in my lifetime? How often do I find myself uninterested in the tepid leftovers that I've let linger on the desk two hours too long? I shudder at the thought of all that wasted caffeine.
In her new book Candy is Magic, QUIN Candy founder Jami Curl has a shrewd, resourceful solution: She keeps a jar in her refrigerator as a dispensary for coffee that'd otherwise go the way of the drainpipe—and she bakes and candy-makes with it. "With a jar of coffee waiting in the refrigerator, you’ll never need to brew small amounts of coffee specifically for a recipe," she advises.
And even if a chocolatey recipe you're working with does not explicitly call for brewed coffee (as Jami's chocolate cake, sauce, and lollipops do), a touch of brewed coffee—or, a spoonful of espresso powder—can enhance the chocolate flavor. "A shot or two of straight espresso or a few tablespoons of very dark coffee along with the liquids in your recipe have the effect of enhancing the chocolate without adding much discernible coffee flavor," writes Emma Christensen on The Kitchn.
Try swapping a tablespoon or two of coffee into your cake, brownies, chocolate sauce, frosting, soufflés, or ganache in place of a portion of one of the liquid ingredients (like the milk, the boiling water, or cream).
Ready for the most chocolatey chocolate?
Here are a few recipes to get you started:
What's your favorite flavor to pair with chocolate? Tell us in the comments below.