My iced coffee season starts so early that I'm wearing gloves while carrying my first glass. Honestly, it only really ends during truly icy months when hot coffee is an absolute necessity — we're talking March to November here. And while I never get tired of the stuff, drinking it for so much of the year calls for innovation sometimes. Coffee purists might roll their eyes at some of our cold coffee concoctions (burnt sugar! iced coffee soda! TOASTED MARSHMALLOW SYRUP!) but to them we say why do you hate fun?
To celebrate the start of true iced coffee season — not just for the diehard, near year-round crowd — we're bringing you a week of decadent delights that will convert even the most loyal hot coffee lovers to our icy side. To start, a classic, dessert-inspired flavor combination: dark chocolate orange. Do y'all remember those dark chocolate orange balls that tasted vaguely of wax but you loved them anyway? They still make them! But we recommend making this instead — the childhood favorite doesn't quite stand up over time, unlike, say, pop tarts.
- Cold brew coffee — I use a Cold Bruer and Katie uses a Toddy, but you can also DIY it.
- 2-3 oranges
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 ounces dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate baking bars)
- 8 ounces almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Juice 2-3 oranges — which should yield about 1/2 cup of orange juice — and add to a small sauce pan along with 1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar.
- Cut the peel away from the pith of half of one of your oranges and add to your sauce pan.
- Heat until the mixture boils, stirring occassionally. Reduce heat and stir until you no longer see sugar crystals and strain out orange peels. Cool before using — I always use the refridgerator or freezer to speed up this process.
- Melt down 6 ounces dark chocolate along with 1 cup of almond milk, whisking consistently.
- Once mixture is thick and melty, add vanilla and salt. Use your own preferences here to get the taste you want. I like a lot of salt and vanilla, so I'm inclinded to double the number above, but not everyone is into super salty, vanilla-y chocolate.
- The chocolate syrup, orange syrup and cold brew can and should be stored in the refrigerator. The chocolate syrup will likely solidfy a bit in the cold but will easily blend into the coffee.
- When you're ready for a glass, add 12 ounces coffee, 2 tablespoons of orange syrup and 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup to a glass and stir rapidly.
- Add ice cubes and enjoy!
Photos and text by © Theresa Berens, 2016. All rights reserved.