One of the wonderful perks of having an advertising sponsor on my blog (aside from having some extra traffic and eyes stopping by to read my writings) is the occasional freebies I receive from Food Buzz. I received three Four-Packs of Illy Iced Coffee Drinks - Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato and Caffe Espresso. I've been meaning to write about these coffee drinks for over a month and what with getting so caught up with my pumpkin recipe postings and my hectic life in general, somehow I just never got around to drinking, recipe writing and blogging about the Illy Coffee. I'm a fan of their coffees and espresso machines, so I was really excited about receiving the coffee drinks. I hoped to create some recipes, such as using the Illy Caffe - Italian Espresso Style Coffee Drink in a cocktail. I still could and so could you, here are a few recipe ideas:
Illy Caffe Espresso Martini:
Use one can to make ice cubes. Chill a second can for several hours. Pour the Caffe into a shaker with the espresso ice cubes, add two shots of a good quality vodka and a shot of Kahula or Tia Maria, Godiva or other Coffee/Mocha/Chocolate Flavored Liqueur; shake, strain into a martini glass and top with 3 chocolate covered espresso beans and voila! An Illy Caffe Cocktail.
Or there's the Illy Cappuccino Pumpkin Frapaccino:
Use one can to make ice cubes. Freeze pumpkin puree in the compartments of an ice cube tray. Chill a two or three cans of Illy Cappuccino for several hours. Add to a blender, 5 frozen cappuccino ice cubes, 3 frozen pumpkin puree ice cubes, a can of chilled Illy Cappuccino and a 1/4 cup scoop of vanilla ice cream. Cover blender tightly and hold the lid down. Blend until the mixture is frothy and thoroughly blended. Pour into a tall glass, add an straw and top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Or - Use one of the Illy Coffee Drinks as the liquid in a chocolate cake or brownie recipe. If making a cake or brownies from scratch, I'd cut the sugar back by 1/4 of a cup, but the liquid I would use ounce for ounce.
As for drinking the Illy coffee drinks straight up well chilled - in the summer, they'd be great. Perfect for me to take out for my early morning summer rides. The would be especially convenient for those 6 am hot summer mornings when I didn't have time to make a cup of coffee or have enough time to drink a shot of hot coffee or espresso. For my personal taste, these are on the sweet side. I tend to drink my coffee with no sugar and only heated skim milk (heating the milk brings out the natural lactose sugars.) I gave up cream and sugar in my coffee several years ago, so these drinks remind me of days of old when I was a heavy on the creamer and add two heaping teaspoons of sugar in my coffee-drinker. A friend used to say I was drinking hot coffee ice-cream! Calorie wise, these drinks are within reason. The espresso has only 50 calories and 10 grams of sugar for 6.8 ounces. The Latte macchiato has 110 calories, a whopping 17 grams of sugar in 8.45 ounces. The Cappuccino is 8.45 ounces and has 100 calories and 18 grams of sugar. Way too much for me on a daily or regular basis. As a once in while treat, not so bad. Just look for me up on the ceiling or climbing the walls from the excess sugar and caffeine.