Posted by: Katy | December 14, 2007

Cafe Brulot

Cafe brulot is a Creole tradition here in New Orleans.  It’s a spiced alcoholic coffee drink served during the holidays.  Last night at the French Quarter candlelight home tour, the Beauregard-Keyes house served free samples of cafe brulot.  I liked it so much I had more before dinner.  Antoine’s Restaurant claims to have invented it, but here’s Emeril’s recipe.  I haven’t tried it yet, as I don’t own the proper container for it.  But I thought his recipe would provide a good description of how it’s made.

1 orange peel, cut into 1 by 1/8-inch strips, plus 1 orange, peel cut into 1 long, intact spiral
1 lemon peel, cut into 1 by 1/8-inch strips
4 sugar cubes
6 whole cloves
1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick
1/2 cup orange flavored liqueur
2 cups hot, freshly brewed, strong black coffee

Light the burner under a brulot bowl or chafing dish and adjust the flame to low. Into the bowl place the orange and lemon peels, sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick and orange liqueur. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly with a long-handled ladle, to dissolve the sugar and warm the ingredients. When the mixture is warm, stir in the hot coffee, and ignite with a match.

Quickly, while the mixture is still flaming, hold the spiraled orange peel with the prongs of a fork over the bowl, and ladle the flaming coffee mixture down the peel several times into the bowl for a spectacular presentation.

Ladle the Cafe Brulot into brulot or demi-tasse cups, being careful to leave the flavorings (peels, cloves, cinnamon) in the bowl. Serve immediately while hot.

The coffee is prepared in and served from a special decorative bowl positioned over a flame, and the finale consists of the flaming coffee being ladled down a long spiral of orange peel back into the bowl. A Brulot ladle is specially designed with a small strainer at the end so that the bits of peel, cloves and cinnamon do not get served to guests. The finished beverage is served in tall, thin, footed mugs, often decorated with a full-length portrait of the devil, reference to the drink’s other name, “Cafe Diabolique” or “Devil’s Coffee,” perhaps so named for the punch it packs!

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