Recipe 005: Pumpkin Spice Caramel Macchiato

In celebration of autumn, today’s recipe is another mish-mash of two popular coffee shop drinks. The Pumpkin Spice Caramel Macchiato is a sweet and comforting treat that’s easy to make. There is some effort involved in cooking the caramel sauce, but feel free to prepare it in advance as the sauce lasts up to two weeks when refrigerated. Each batch makes six servings, so if you were looking to host a fall coffee party for friends, this recipe might be perfect for you!

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce:

  • 200g of refined sugar
  • 50g water
  • 50g butter
  • 100g heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon clove

Add the water and sugar to a medium-size heavy-bottomed saucepan. Turn up the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly with a wooden or heat-proof spatula until the sugar dissolves. Once the mixture begins to boil, about one minute in, turn the heat to medium. At this point, cease stirring and watch for changes in colour.  It may take up to five minutes for the boiling sugar mixture to stay clear, after which the colour change happens rapidly, so you won’t want to leave this process unattended! Once the mixture turns a deep orange colour (past golden, but before dark brown), remove from the heat. If you are doing this for the first time, err on the side of lighter - you can fix undercooked caramel, but burnt caramel cannot be saved. Still off the heat, add your butter, swirling it in with your spatula until it melts fully. Watch out for splattering – melted sugar is very hot! Next, carefully add in the cream, stirring well to combine. Finally, stir in the salt and spices. The finished caramel will look dull brown and should be runny enough to flow around in the pan.

Allow your sauce to cool before transferring to a spouted container or squeeze bottle. Storing it in the cold will thicken the consistency, so if using from the fridge, submerge the caramel vessel in hot water and stir to make it runny once more.

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Macchiato:

  • 80g or ml espresso (brewed from 2 capsules, around 40g or ml each)
  • 150ml milk
  • 45g of Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce (30g for the glass, about 15g for the topping)
  • Cinnamon Powder, for garnish

Line the bottom and sides of a 12oz mug (glass looks best!) with 30g of your caramel sauce. Froth up the milk using a blender or hand frother. If you do not have access to any of these, simply transfer the milk to a covered jar and shake hard for 30 seconds. Next, take your frothed milk and microwave on high for 30-45 seconds, or until pleasantly warm. Pour the milk into your mug, leaving about 1cm of space from the rim for your espresso. Brew two capsules directly into the mug, right on top of the froth. Squeeze or pour thin ribbons of caramel sauce on top of the froth. We like a simple zig-zag pattern, but feel free to pour any design you fancy. Garnish with some cinnamon powder, and enjoy your beautiful handiwork!

BONUS: Have it iced!

Just because it was recently International Coffee Day, we’re throwing in a cold version of this recipe. Skip the microwave and use 100ml of milk plus three large ice cubes. Shake the milk and ice until frothy, and build the rest of the drink the same way. That easy!

Recommended Capsule: Balanced by Volcano Coffee Works

Words & Photos by Jonathan Choi (@theheadbean)

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