I admit it – I created a monster. It all started a few years back when I traveled to Israel and was treated to strong, fresh coffee every morning at my hotel. So upon my return it was I who initially insisted on fresh brewed coffee every morning at home – the instant stuff just wouldn’t cut it anymore. Prior to this time, my husband was a tea man, preferring his loose English Breakfast blend brewed in a tea ball to just about anything else. Now, however, it is an entirely different story.
My husband has now become the bigger coffee snob in the family (since we are both coffee snobs now). He gets up first every morning and brews our large pot of fresh coffee – we have settled on a mutual favorite after trying several brands and blends. Though he dilutes his with milk more than I do, he insists on the “good stuff” every morning and even sets the timer to brew fresh coffee on yom tov. And although we usually share fairly, sometimes we do fight over the last half cup in the pot!
So while I take all the blame, I am not complaining one bit as I, too, am reaping the rewards each morning. Certainly there are worse vices than morning coffee – in fact, the consumption of up to three 8 oz. cups of coffee a day has recently been proven to be good for you. Health Magazine (May 2011) reports that drinking caffeinated coffee may help protect brain cells against certain diseases such as Parkinson’s, dementia and Alzheimer’s, and against liver disease due to its antioxidant properties. Java can help boost brainpower, especially to sharpen memory and keep you alert. And the caffeine in coffee can speed up metabolism which can help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
This Father’s Day I decided to treat my husband to delicious desserts made with his now-favorite drink. As the bold flavor of coffee is enhanced by creaminess, it is a natural choice for an bread pudding and cheesecake, and I have also incorporated chocolate and coffee-complementing spices. Using instant coffee is fine for these recipes, but be sure to use one that is robust and full-flavored such as instant espresso, which I use exclusively in my baking.
So brew yourself a pot to enjoy along with these desserts and drink to your good health!