When I was growing up, there was a friendly argument among my relatives over using instant or brewed coffee when cooking or baking. My aunt always used her left over coffee that had been left on the burner and was both thick and bitter. My mother on the other hand preferred instant because that's what she and dad used.
I stayed out of the argument because I don't like coffee flavored anything and I still don't drink it. I prefer my tea.
So I decided to find out who was right because both women felt like they were right. My aunt complained my mother's baked goods had too much coffee flavor and my mother said her goods had a bitter flavor without much coffee too it.
Most recipes ask the person to use instant coffee because the water has already been taken out so you only get the coffee flavor and you can control the amount going in. If you use brewed coffee, it has a fair bit of water and can make it more difficult to have the product come put right. Its like the difference between using those concentrated bottle flavorings vs using the real thing.
The only brewed coffee that might work with some adjustment is espresso because its flavor is so concentrated to begin with. I did read of a person who grinds their coffee so its a fine as possible, then brews it triple strength in a french press to use in baking. She adjusts the added liquid to make up for the liquid in the brewed coffee.
So what are some ways to use coffee in your cooking?
1. Add coffee to your marinade because it adds flavor and helps tenderize the meat.
2. Mix ground coffee, paprika, and salt together to create a spice rub for pork and other meats. Its possible to use instant coffee instead of the grounds. You might want to add cocoa to the mix for a bit of added flavor.
3. You can add it to a sauce for the eggs, mix with butter to top pancakes, or make a southern style gravy.
4. Buy a jar of instant espresso and use in baked desserts to finish a great meal.
5. Make a paste of coffee grounds, brown sugar, and cayanne to marinate your bacon in for a level of added flavor.
6. When you make granola, add some coffee grounds to the mixture before baking for the coffee flavor.
7. For a coffee flavored coffee cake, replace half the liquid with strongly brewed coffee.
8. How about coffee cured tuna for a different but exciting change of pace. Click to find the recipe.
9. Make coffee flavored ice cream or pop cycles which use brewed coffee.
10. Throw some ground coffee into your cookies for that added zing.
11. How about pork loins flavored with coffee and cola? Check out the recipe.
Hope you found something you liked in the list above. Let me know your thoughts.