Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Trick to Chocolatey/Caramel Lattes to Die For

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
"Chocolate, men, coffee:
some things are better rich."-

Ever treat yourself to a homemade Caramel Mocha or Latte? Once you do it you'll want to do it again and again. Well, today I discovered a way to enjoy these decadent treats in the comfort of my home. And now that means, you like me, can spoil ourselves, family and friends whenever we get the desire to do so. I remember one time I asked a Lake Tahoe Starbucks' clerk the question "What type of caramel syrup do you use?" No answer. (It's a secret ingredient.) So, I tried using one popular caramel brand (the stuff used on ice cream sundaes) sold at the supermarket and it was okay--but nothing to write home about. That's changed. I found not one but two secret latte tricks. At last, I can treat myself to a real coffee shop-style hot latte whenever I'm craving one by simply turning to two distinctive gourmet syrups: Dark Chocolate and Caramel...

Enter Mont Blanc Gourmet Syrups. First I was introduced to
Ghana Single-Origin --the first in their line of Single-Origin Chocolate Syrups. It's an "upscale product and offers the pure, unadulterated flavor of one of the world’s most prized chocolates: the West African Omanhene chocolate." (I include Omanhene chocolate in my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate--and yes, I dish out a lot of health perks of both coffee and chocolate.)
Next, meet Caramel Syrup. It boasts a rich caramel flavor and makes lattes a decadent treat teamed with dark chocolate syrup. (These are just two of many syrups including
Sweet Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate ready to order any time for any occasion. Here's just a couple of the DIY recipes Mont Blanc Gourmet offers:

Traditional Caramel Mocha
1 fl. oz. (2 pumps) Sweet Dark Chocolate Syrup
1.5 fl. oz. (3 pumps) Caramel Syrup
1–2 shots of espresso
Top off with steamed milk
Top with whipped cream and drizzle with Caramel Syrup

Traditional Caramel Latte
2 fl. oz. (4 pumps) Caramel Syrup
1–2 shots of espresso
Top off with steamed milk
Top with whipped cream and drizzle with Caramel Syrup

The ingredients for Dark Chocolate Syrup are simple and pure, including high-fructose corn syrup, water, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, natural flavor, salt, potassium sorbate (preservative). The ingredients for Caramel Syrup include corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup, water, brown sugar, sweetened condensed nonfat milk, sugar, caramel color, salt, disodium phosphate, carrageenan, potassium sorbate (preservative), and artificial flavor.
I'll use low-fat organic milk and hold the whipped cream. But on occasion I just might indulge for the fun of it. Also, no espresso but strong, fresh brewed coffee does the trick for me. Steamed milk? That's tricky if you don't have one of those jazzy machines. But Google the topic "how to steam milk" and you can wing it in a pinch and it can do the job.

All in all, having these two gourmet syrups in my house is apt to make my fall-winter coffee experiences more enjoyable--and it looks like I've found the trick to lattes and won't want to go back to a plain cup of Joe. The best part is, on a cold, snowy day before of after a storm (one may be headed this way this week) I can whip up a homemade chocolatey/caramel latte, sit by the fire with two doggies and a cat and enjoy the warmth and beauty indoors at Lake Tahoe. That's sweet.


  1. I put the caramel syrup in this morning's cup of coffee, a bold brew. It was a nice change.

  2. Have you yet concocted a "chocolatte"?

  3. Hi Jim,
    I think I've got that covered in The Healing Powers of Chocolate. Craving a Pumpkin Latte (Starbucks)does these as well as their vanilla scones. Some things (not all) are better out in the real world and not homemade. That said, I'm getting ready to make European-style fudge.