My grandparents are all about being European. My grandfather, whom my cousins and I call “Opa” (German for “grandfather”) is from Germany, and his wife is from Austria. Now that they’re retired, they make annual trips to Europe to tour new places and visit familiar ones. Afternoon cake and coffee is a daily occurrence, not only when they’re abroad, but here in the States, too. While this routine does mean that any and all afternoon visits are fairly lengthy due to the whole process (table setting, coffee, cake, some more coffee, etc.), the idea itself is a lovely notion. (Also, Tante, if you happen to read this, I’d like to put in a request for your Black Forest Cake for my birthday. I’m positive that 23 is not too old for birthday cake.)
The fast pace of everyday American life doesn’t often allow time for such luxuries as afternoon coffee, but, thankfully, that’s what weekends are for. There are few things I love more than an afternoon gab session with a ladyfriends, and introducing a bit of European-ism to the equation could only serve to improve it. Just to mix things up, why not invite a friend over for an afternoon get-together, and, rather than the usual beer or glass of wine on the couch, why not try spiked coffee and a slice of cake on the deck? It’d be a good excuse to be fancy for a while, and what girl doesn’t like to be fancy?
Cafe Frangelico is way, way too simple to make (coffee + liqueur + liqueur + whipped cream) and takes virtually no effort to enjoy. The additions of Frangelico (an Italian hazelnut liqueur) adds a bit of nutty sweetness, and a topping of real whipped cream (it takes all of 5 minutes to make) curbs some of the bitterness from the coffee. No need for creamer here! So chic and so European! Feel free to bust out your fancy dishes and favorite floral dress for this occasion, too.
Adapted from Cocktail Mixer
Makes 1 cocktail
1 oz. Frangelico (or other hazelnut liqueur)
1 oz. Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur)
0.5 oz. whipped cream vodka (optional)
strong, hot coffee
whipped cream (for topping)
To Make Cafe Frangelico:
In a mug, combine the Frangelico, Kahlua, and whipped cream vodka (if using). Top with hot coffee, leaving 1/2″ for the whipped cream. Top with whipped cream. Enjoy!
To Make Whipped Cream:
In a large mixing bowl, combine one cup of heavy whipping cream, 2 Tbs. of granulated sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until you notice bubbles starting to form and the cream beginning to whip up. Gradually, increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and continue to whip the cream just until stiff peaks form and it holds its shape. Don’t whip it too much, or you’ll end up with butter. Enjoy!