Suddenly Christmas is upon us, but don’t worry if you’re not ready: these super Kaffelogic Christmas hacks just might save the day. And if the only family and friends you’ll be seeing are on Zoom, the first two hacks are a perfect way to ensure the atmosphere is set with the smells and tastes of Christmas.
Hack number 1 - almonds
Kaffelogic owner David has proven the versatility of the Kaffelogic system by developing a profile for roasting almonds. The ability to change a number of PID controller settings, temperatures, and fan speeds has made it possible to re-tune the system for an entirely different foodstuff. And the result is fantastic. The whole house fills with the delicious aroma of roasting almonds plus profile-roasted nuts taste exquisite. David has done his homework and based the profile on industry recommendations from the Almond Board of California.
To complete this hack:
- Download David’s Almond profile from his forum post and load it onto your Nano 7.
- Pour almonds into the Nano 7 up to the temperature probe level or a wee bit beyond.
- Leave the chaff collector off and press start.
- Keep an eye on the almonds as they roast. You may need to tilt or jiggle the roaster from time to time.
The result is a tasty treat and a room that smells of home baking.
Hack number 2 - cake
New Zealand food writer Julie Le Clerc has a way of making simple foods taste amazing. And what could be simpler than the two major food groups chocolate and coffee combined. (In case anyone thinks there are other food groups than chocolate and coffee, please don’t write in. I don’t want to know.) The trick is to combine them in a way that transcends normality and creates heavenly bliss. Oh, of course, and easy enough to get it ready for Christmas Day without any stress. Thanks Julie, you’ve nailed it.
We suggest you start with one of New Zealand’s all time favourites: an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe ideally a Gugi. A medium roast is best. Roast using 1500-200m RTD profile, level 3.1, and pull a good strong espresso shot. And that’s just for the cook. Now pull another two or three for the cake.
To complete this hack:
- Check out the ingredients list and method in Julie’s recipe. Do it now - you might need a last minute sprint to the shop. You are going to need chocolate, eggs, butter, chocolate, almonds, and did I mention chocolate.
- The almonds need to be roasted. Oh good, see hack number 1. (If you want to try hazelnuts instead, please tell us how it goes by posting on the forum.)
- The recipe is called “Dark chocolate mousse torte”. Meditate on that for a while. It’s a kind of short haiku all by itself.
- If you are super organised make it the day before.
Hack number 3 - the plunger
This one is for if you get more than a dozen family and friends together over the festive season. It does depend on what level of lockdown you are in at the time, but for us lucky New Zealanders it is part of our reality this summer.
The trouble is since you bought a Kaffelogic roaster you have developed a reputation for making really good coffee, but maybe you don’t want to stand by the espresso machine all day pulling shots. How can you impress a crowd, and still have time to socialise yourself?
Don’t overlook the humble plunger (aka French press). Over the years these simple machines have tended to receive bad press (ooch, pun not intended). But that reputation comes mostly from the coffee that has been put into them. A plunger really needs a light to medium roast, and coffee that has been freshly roasted. You’ll be struggling to get good coffee out of a plunger if you use supermarket coffee. But get the beans and the recipe right and you will make astonishingly good coffee in your plunger. In fact Maruyama Coffee in Japan make a point of featuring their most prized coffees in the French press.
To complete this hack
- Make sure you have a couple of plungers of the large 6-cup variety.
- Roast to level 2.8 or 2.9 using one of the RTD profiles. Roast the day before to reduce the stress on the day.
- Plan on making a pot for every 3 guests. This coffee will be so yummy they will come back for a second cup.
- Measure out your beans in lots of 40g per pot. Having them measured out in advance makes it easier when guests arrive.
- Boil water and pre-warm the first plunger with some boiling water.
- Grind the first 40g lot of beans. Set your grinder to a number that is 3 times the number you set it to for espresso. I can never remember anything else except how to make espresso, so this rule of thumb is essential for me when faced with French press. My Rok hand grinder is set on 3.5 for espresso, so I dial it up to 10 for French press.
- Tip out the warming water, and add the first 40g of ground coffee.
- Add water just off the boil up to the top handle ring of the plunger. Freshly roasted coffee will give off so much gas at this stage that it is as if the water is boiling and a layer of foam will form on the top. Keep adding water until the liquid level reaches the top ring.
- Start your timer.
- At the end of 1 minute stir the coffee. You now have 4 minutes to socialise.
- At the end of 5 minutes slowly plunge and the coffee is ready to serve.
- Let your guests help themselves while you get the next plunger started.
This is a great way to keep the coffee flowing at a larger gathering without much effort and without compromising your reputation for making good coffee.
Wishing you a peaceful and joyous Christmas 2020.
Author - Chris Hilder