Cafe Au Lait Recipe - National Cafe Au Lait Day | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Cafe Au Lait Recipe - National Cafe Au Lait Day | The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures
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RECIPE: Café Au Lait For National Café Au Lait Day


[1] Cafe au lait (photo © Krups).


[2] In France, cafe au lait is also served in bowls. This is an older tradition, from days long ago, before potters knew how to add handles to vessels. These bowls are available from La Poterie du Chalet | Etsy (photo © La Poterie du Chalet.


[3] Caffe latte, the Italian version, is the same recipe but served in a kitchen glass (photo © Williams Sonoma).


[4] Look for a milk frother that also steams (photo © Miroco).

 

February 17th is National Café au Lait Day, a French term for coffee with steamed milk (photo #1).

Brewed French roast or Italian roast coffee is mixed in a 1:1 ratio with steamed milk (frankly, at home we often just heat the milk in the microwave—a “rustic” version).

Café au lait is different from a latte, which is made with espresso and steamed milk.

In cafés, the milk is steamed with the steaming arm of an espresso machine. For less than $50, you can buy a device that both steams and froths milk.

In France, café au lait is served in cups, but also in bowls (photo #2)

The recipe for café au lait is below.
 
 
CAFÉ AU LAIT VS. CAFFÈ LATTE

The drinks are the same, but the terms are used to indicate the way coffee is served.

  • Café au lait, the French drink, is served in a white porcelain cup (photo #1).
  • Caffè latte, the Italian version is served in a kitchen glass (photo #3).
  •  
    STEAMED MILK VS. FROTHED MILK

    Steamed milk is more widely used to make coffee and espresso drinks, because the milk is easily steamed with the steam wand on an espresso machine.

    The steam makes the milk very hot and slightly aerated. These very small air bubbles create a finer and more delicate foam called microfoam.

    That’s the same foam that’s used to make latte art.

    So what separates steamed milk from frothed milk?

    Frothed milk is more highly aerated, giving it more volume and significant amounts of foam. Aeration—the adding of air bubbles—is what makes the froth (foam).

    Frothed milk lends itself specifically to foam-filled beverages like cappuccino, where it adds a creamy, airy topping.
     

    RECIPE: CAFÉ AU LAIT AT HOME

    Simply pour half a cup of extra-strong coffee and finish filling the cup with steamed milk.

    If you have a frother: Foam isn’t traditionally found atop a café au ait, but no one will report you if you use it.

    Ingredients For 2 Cups

  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1 cup steamed or otherwise heated milk
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until the milk is steaming and slightly foamy.

    2. FILL two large coffee cups halfway with the coffee. Divide the milk between them and stir.
     
     
    HOW TO STEAM MILK AT HOME

    If you don’t have a steaming wand, you can froth the milk instead.

  • POUR the milk into a jar, filled no more than halfway.
  • SCREW the lid on tightly. Shake the jar as hard as you can for 30 to 60 seconds, until the milk is frothy and has roughly doubled in volume.
  • MICROWAVE the milk to heat it. Remove the lid from the jar and microwave, uncovered for 30-60 seconds.
  •  
    Quite frankly, often at home, we cheat by heating milk in the microwave.
     
     
    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF COFFEE

    > THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ESPRESSO DRINKS

     

     
      

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