People tend to play fast and loose with the word “indulgent”, but its use here is appropriate. The basic mocha, with its marriage of rich, sweet chocolate and bold, bitter coffee, is a thing of beauty in itself, but this one, with an added hit of salty intensity, is truly on another level.
The basic mocha derived its name from the eponymous port in modern-day Yemen. The coffee beans that originated from there – famous for their deep, natural cocoa flavour – were so sought-after by the rest of the world that Europeans began putting chocolate in their own inferior brews, trying to replicate the taste and aroma of the original Mocha bean; and so the caffè mocha as we know it was born.
The star of this show, however, is salted caramel. Its unique taste tantalises your palate before the rich cream, dark chocolate and robust coffee team up to storm your taste buds. The ingredients come together to deliver the liquid equivalent of a warm, blanketed hug, leaving you reeling in a daze of child-like happiness.
Salted caramel is easy to make and it can always be used up over the next couple of weeks if stored properly. One tip would be to drizzle it over chopped bananas on toast in the morning (I mean, if you’re going all in, you’re going all in, right?).
After the caramel’s done, pop the grated chocolate into a cup, followed by the coffee. Whatever coffee you use, however, just make sure it’s a strong, dark roast blend. This is essential as you’re looking for the coffee to power through both the dark chocolate and the heavy cream, which unfortunately a lighter roast would not be able to handle. I’d always plum for some CRU Dark Roast pods as the Brazilian Arabica in particular gives this coffee an intensely full-bodied aroma.
Once the coffee has settled, add the caramel and cream (pouring the latter over a spoon, Irish coffee-style, so as to not break the surface), and garnish with a little more caramel and a dusting of that leftover chocolate.
Remember the word “indulgence”, however – for the sake of your health and waistline, don’t make a habit of this one.
- 200g granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 120ml double cream
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 shots of espresso
- 200ml double cream
- 60g 70% chocolate, grated