Since this condensed milk happened, all I've been hearing about from everyone is how they're going to be making lattes with it. Thai lattes, Vietnamese lattes, iced lattes, regular ol' lattes with condensed milk in it... And I started to feel like the only person on the planet who hasn't tried that yet.... Well, I figured that had to be remedied kinda quickly and off to work I went...
There's a very good reason I never tried sweetened condensed milk in my coffee, and that is because I always drink mine black. On occasion I have a latte or misto, a rare treat when I can get my hands on some good quality non-dairy frothy goodness, but even then it must be unsweetened. The moment there's any level of added sweetness in it, I just can't handle it. Strange, I know, coming from a person who lives on sugar (the not so bad kind, ok!), and who drinks coffee all day, but I just can't see coffee and sweetness getting along inside that cup... erm, make that past tense. This Thai iced coffee convinced me otherwise.
Sipping on this tonight (never too late for coffee over here) I finally got what all the hype is about. This stuff is gold. DESSERT COFFEE. Where have you been all my life, Thai iced coffee?!
From speaking to some of you I got a good idea of what these sweetened condensed milk lattes are all about. Coffee, half cream, half condensed milk. But wait, what?! Half condensed milk? That sounded like a lot so I had to go look it up... and I was shocked. Many traditional Thai recipes call for ½ a cup of condensed milk... Is that
legal accurate?! Even though my condensed milk is refined sugar-free, that's still a lotta liquid sugah!
Well, I didn't want to send myself into a sugar coma (you still want to see recipes from me, right?), so I had to cut back on the condensed milk, but of course feel free to add more to your heart's content, especially if you normally drink your coffee sweetened. Likewise, in place of traditional cream you can use coconut milk, which is richer and creamier, but I didn't go there. I like to keep things on the lighter side... I made mine with just a few tablespoon condensed milk and some very creamy and delicious unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and I thought it was insanely good. I also added some pumpkin spice, because that stuff lands in everything over here this time of year (I hope Thailand approves!)... But of course feel free to suit yourself and tailor the sweetness and creaminess to your liking. And do tell me in the comments how you drink yours -- are you a sugary coffee person?
Back to this iced coffee. Making this dairy-free version of a Thai iced latte is easy... Make sure you have some of this non-dairy sweetened condensed milk on hand (or make a fresh batch -- that's what I did here), some chilled coffee, ice cubes, a plant milk, and some pumpkin spice, and follow my lead...
Start by filling your cup with ice all the way to the top. I wanted mine to be extra strong, so instead of ice I used frozen espresso cubes (2 tablespoon instant espresso powder + 1 cup water --> freeze in an ice cube tray and keep on hand for such occasions, though regular ice will do just fine).
Fill the cup half way with some chilled brewed coffee (I recommend making a stronger coffee, unless using coffee ice cubes for the best flavor). A coffee substitute will work just fine, by the way.
And now we finally get to see that sweetened condensed milk in action. Blend your condensed milk, plant milk of choice, and pumpkin spice until smooth and set aside. And here's something important you should know about working with my sweetened condensed milk in drinks -- it has lemon juice in it. And lemon juice + milk of any kind = surprise: curdling... and then "buttermilk". So in the case of this Thai iced coffee, the same will happen, but not to worry. You'll just need to double blend things. Blend once until everything is smooth. Set aside for about 10 mins (a good time to chill that coffee). Then once it curdles, blend again. Problem solved.
Pour the milk over the coffee and ice and fill, leaving room at the top... (something I clearly didn't do right -- hey it's hard to photograph as you go! -- so I had to sip some away and make room...)
Don't get mesmerized by the magical looking whispy swirls of deliciousness in there -- gotta finish making this drink!
So the next step is topping it with a bit more coffee. This is totally optional, but highly recommended for full visual enjoyment...
What's up with the spoon? Well, friends, you don't want all the coffee just sinking into the middle and getting lost in a sea of milkiness. That wouldn't be as fun to look at, would it? If you pour the coffee in over the back of a spoon it'll spread itself out and make magic happen...
Almost done, but take a moment to admire the frothy goodness on top of this coffee...
That froth really surprised me -- just like a latte, without any steaming... blender magic.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and done!
I hope this barrista crash course was useful. And pardon the extra giddiness, I did just have
a bit a Big cup of this magical brew with a side of something very sweet and special I shall reveal soon ;)
Stir and enjoy your coffee!
A creamy, dairy-free iced latte recipe with a fun pumpkin twist for autumn.
- ½ cup plant milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 2 tbsp of this sweetened condensed milk alternative (or more to your liking)
- ½ tsp pumpkin spice (or just cinnamon & a hint of nutmeg)
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee, chilled (or coffee substitute)
- ice cubes, enough to fill your cup to the top (or frozen coffee ice cubes for a stronger version)
- Cinnamon for sprinkling
- Blend your plant milk, condensed milk, and pumpkin spice until smooth (I used my magic bullet for this -- smaller and faster to clean up...). Set aside for about 10 minutes, then blend again.
- Fill a cup with ice to the top.
- Pour the coffee in, filling it roughly half way (saving a bit of the coffee for a later step).
- Pour the condensed milk mixture in, leaving a bit of room at the top.
- Pour more of the coffee into the cup over the back of a spoon (see photos and explanation above) until filled all the way.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, stir, and enjoy!