Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cappuccino Shake-Up

I work at home, which is a great thing, but it definitely requires some discipline. I start off each morning with a homemade cappuccino, made from my stovetop Bialetti Mukka Express maker (which I love, love, love). This gets my creative juices flowing, and lets me slide into the day gradually by first answering a little email, and then moving onto more taxing activities, like writing product reviews and editing articles. I generally chug along nicely like this for most of the day, but sometimes, usually in the afternoon, I hit a wall. I find myself staring blankly off into space, blinking now and then, trying to remember what I'm supposed to be writing about. This is when I need a little afternoon pick-me-up. In the summer, hot espresso just won't do the trick. I need something chilled and caffeinated. Yes, I could go across the street and order a pseudo-Bohemian cup of syrupy slosh (aka Frappuccino) from Starbuck's, but I prefer to whip up a more wholesome concoction in the comfort of my own home. You'll need some freshly brewed espresso for this recipe, and I make mine using another stovetop appliance, the low-tech Bialetti Moka Express (cousin of the cappuccino-making Mukka Express).

Let the espresso cool off in the freezer so that it's either at room temperature or slightly chilled before combining it with the ice cream. This drink whips up in mere minutes (you'll probably wait on line longer at Starbuck's), and gives me that shot of chilled inspiration to keep me working a few more hours. In theory, at least.

Frozen Cappuccino
Makes 1 serving

1/4 cup freshly brewed espresso, at room temperature or slightly chilled
1/2 pint vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon milk
Ground cinnamon for dusting top

Combine the espresso, ice cream and milk in the jar of a blender and blend until smooth. (You may need to pulse the blender a few times to break up the ice cream and get it going.) Occasionally stop the blender and use a spatula to mash down the ice cream onto the blades. Pour into a chilled glass and top with a shake of ground cinnamon. Serve with a straw.