Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dairy free Café au lait

Dairy free Café au lait

My first and favourite invention in the field of dairy free coffee beverages was dairy free café au lait.
In fact it was the reason why I started creating other latte clones at all.

My dad was Romanian and had the French habit of having a large bol of café au lait for breakfast.
I'm more the tea with bread-and-cheese or eggs-and-bacon breakfast type, but later in the day I love having some café au lait, too.
When I stayed in France or in Italy, though, of course I had it for breakfast, dipping some white bread into it.

Going cow's milk free, I tried goat's milk, but honestly, as much as I love goat's cheese, café au lait au chèvre ... come on.
I love cappuccino or latte macchiato with soy milk, but not café au lait.
Rice milk has its uses, but not in café au lait.
Nor has almond milk.
I don't mind things tasting different from the real thing, generally, but not café au lait.
Am I being picky?
Yes, when it comes to café au lait...
A girl should have her principles.

And then one day, I was desperate for a quick sweet coffee fix. Without even thinking much, I just combined one teaspoon of smooth white cashew butter, half a teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of instant espresso. I blended them together to form a smooth paste, poured hot water over and stirred with a small whisk, until I had something that remarkably resembled ... café au lait.

Many of the afore mentioned variations do that, too, without tasting it.
But this one - caught me cold.
The first sip exploded on my tongue. Café au lait.
The real thing.

I still don't know why on earth the combination of smooth white cashew butter and honey makes coffee taste like real café au lait, but it does.

I've also made it with brewed coffee. Just blend together as much cashew butter and honey as suits your taste, pour freshly brewed coffee over it, and - voilà.

Feel like sitting in the famous Parisien Parisian Café de Flore, minus the ridiculous price for one cup of coffee and milk. Of course there you pay for breathing the air that Jean-Paul Sartre and Pablo Picasso breathed, but, hey. Your everyday coffee can taste great without meeting Karl Lagerfeld, right?

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