Category Archives: coffee

Coffee appetizers

Coffee is most often associated with the after-dinner, served alongside the dessert or even used in them. Such a fine and versatile product should not but limited to this narrow use moment. Let’s explore how you can surprise your guests by using coffee in your appetizers.

Changing the use moment of products or putting them out of their traditional context often evokes strong reactions, yet when done properly you can count on a grand applause. Foodpairing can help you in the process of finding the right balance.

Start by navigating to the Foodpairing of coffee in the Foodpairing Explorer.

It’s our objective to combine coffee in an appetizer, so we specifically searched for fresh and not too sweet ingredients, i.e. ingredients that are suitable for appetizing. We also took care to incorporate fun texture contrasts which are highly desirable in an appetizer as they stimulate the eater’s curiosity for what’s to come.

Fried bacon with deep fried onions and coffee


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 10 g fried onions
  • 1 g ground coffee
  • 4 teaspoons brined mustard seeds


Mustard seeds:
Mix 200 g mustard seed with 355 ml water, 355 ml rice vinegar, 100 g sugar and 12 g salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 ‘. If the seeds are not cooked, add some extra water and simmer a little longer. Allow to cool

Fry the bacon in some butter

Mix the onions with the grounded coffee

more recipes here

Surprising macaron flavors

Chefs & pastry chefs are always on the lookout for thoughtful treats to serve with coffee. Be inspired by Foodpairing to design the perfect macaron match to your favorite coffee. We’ve designed some macaron recipes around Café del Cauca, a Colombian coffee.

Macaron fillings come in every color and flavor, but are flavourwise generally limited to fruits, herbs and spices. Use Foodpairing to break with this convention; a cucumber or cheese filling are actually not so farfetched and only a few clicks away in the Foodpairing Explorer. The famous macaron of Pierre Hermé with rose, raspberry and lychee is in fact a very strong Foodpairing combination.

Not only the filling may be subjected to Foodpairing®. The macaron itself has ample space for flavor innovation. Why not replace the almond powder with hazelnut or pistachio? Another trick would be to produce your own flavoured egg white by combining egg white powder and any flavoured liquid (again, use Foodpairing to pick the right flavour). This is really a great way to incorporate new flavours in the macaron without compromising its delicate structure. For our Cucumber macaron, we used coffee to make our flavoured egg white.

Check out our recipes!

Hazelnut macaron with  yoghurt ganache, raspberry and tarragon

  • 250 g white chocolate 33%
  • 125 g yoghurt
  • 80 g butter
  • 25 sugar

Heat the yoghurt and sugar to 60 °C, then pour on the chocolate while stirring. Mix thoroughly. Cool to 35 °C and mix in the butter. Let crystallize.

Coffee macaron with cucumber-apple ganache and cilantro

  • 75 g cucumber-apple-cilantro juice
  • 5 g of sugar
  • 200 g white chocolate 33%
  • 65 g butter

Heat the juice with the sugar to 60 °C. Pour on the chocolate while stirring. Mix thoroughly. Cool to 35 ° C and mix in the butter. Let crystallize.


Foodpairing coffee

In following video, Café de Colombia shows one of the possible Foodpairing coffee combinations with Sierra Nevada coffee.

sierra nevada

On, you can find many more examples on how to combine Café de Colombia coffee with food;

Café de Santander – walnut – raisin – bulgur

Café del Cauca – aubergine – chocolate – lime – vanilla

Café del Huila – chocolate bread – roast beef – truffle – cucumber

or drinks: Colombian Coffee Cultural Landscape – licorice – vanilla

Dwarf pea combinations

We just got our first harvest of dwarf garden peas. We planted 2 varieties; Charmette and a variety from Nepal with super small peas.

If we look at the Foodpairing (R) tree of fresh pea, we obtain ingredients like apricot, coffee, mint, pork, butter, pumpkin…

So you can turn peas into a pre-dessert (or just before the main course) with a crumble of coffee, puree of dwarf peas with peppermint, coulis of apricot and dwarf peas to finish.



Continuing the ‘how to replace’ we looked for ingredients which take a lot of time to make…. like brown stock and replaced them with ingredients very easy to make.
In the following dish with pigeon, passion fruit, chocolate and belgian endive we replaced the brown stock with…freshly made coffee. If you mix this coffee with the other ingredients for the sauce you obtain a sauce where you can’t distinguish the coffee anymore, tasting like you would make it with brown stock.
So next time you don’t have time to make brown stock, just make a fresh brewed coffee.

Pigeon of Anjou, Belgian endive, passion fruit, chocolate and…coffee

Ingredients for 4
2 pigeons
Sauce: 15 g butter
            2 g garlic
            50 g shallots
            0,2 g bay leaf
            0,2 g star anise
            50 g mushrooms
            15 g butter
            180 g bones and legs of pigeon
            0.4 g baking soda
            50 g of red wine
            10 g soy sauce
            150 g fresh made coffee
            80 g water
4 Belgian endive heads
100 g girolle mushrooms
chocolate powder:        30 g white chocolate
                                    pinch of grated lime peel
                                    50 g tapiocamaltodextrine (malto Texturas)
passion cream:             100 g white chocolate
                        40 g passion fruit coulis
40 g hazelnuts
ground coffee beans
herbs to garnish
butter for frying
salt and pepper
Scorch the pigeons slightly with a blowtorch to remove feather remainders. Remove the entrails. Remove the fillets. Chop the carcass and legs into smaller pieces.
Season the fillets with butter and salt. Bake the fillets in hot butter, according to the desired cuisson.
Keep the baked fillets warm in an tin foil wrap.
Sauce without brown stock
Clean the shallots, garlic and mushrooms and chop them. Fry in butter with bay leaf and star anise. Remove from the pan and add water and butter. Season the chopped pigeon carcass and legs with pepper and baking soda and allow them to brown in the hot butter. Add the fried shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Bring to heat and add the red wine. Add the soy sauce, coffee and water and allow the sauce to reduce. Season to taste, strain and finish with a knob of butter. Keep warm
Belgian endives
Clean the endives. Season with salt and pepper and fry briefly in butter. Add some water. Allow to simmer on low heat. Remove from pan and drain. Then brown the endives in hot butter. Season to taste
Girolles mushrooms
Clean the girolles mushrooms with cold water. Dry them with a towel. Fry the mushrooms in hot butter and season with salt and pepper.
Chocolate Powder
Melt the chocolate. Stir in the zest of the lime. Add malto and stir with whisk until a fine powder is obtained
Cream of passion fruit
Heat the passion fruit coulis and stir in the chocolate. Allow to set while stirring regularly. Put the cream into a piping bag.
Roast the hazelnuts in the oven at 180 ° C. Let cool and chop coarsely.


Just noticed on twitter the comment of Jeroen Veldkamp at the Dutch Barista Competition where he confirms that Foodpairing is more and more used by Barista.
He even got 2 espresso where they added celery root. Well, celery root makes a Foodpairing with coffee if you look at the category of the vegetable.
Find here some more inspiration on Foodpairing and coffee.

When you apply the Foodpairing tree of coffee, you can obtain known combinations or surprising ones;



In Top Chef just desserts we saw some challenges passing by where Foodpairing would be an incredible help to support the participants. Last year I met Johnny Iuzzini (one of the judges) during my presentation at Starchefs (his Desserts Fourplay is a must have) and I was pleased he got interested by our Foodpairing.
As an example we took a parsnip-banana-hazelnut dessert from episode 6 of Top Chef.

Here are some of the possible pairings with hazelnut (clustered in categories, the closer to the center the better the match);

Or this coffee, strawberry, rum, pea combination. It should work, but this combination is quite challenging to find the right balance in taste. If you use young, fresh sweet peas it should work.

 Here the visualisation of this pairing;

There was even a chocolate pairing with French fries, reminds me of the first edition of our  The Flemish Primitives in 1999 where we gave people French Fries with mayonnaise (based on chocolate), next to all sorts of challenging items like glowing lollypops (picture by Khymos) or at the last edition ants by Alex Atala tasting like ginger, lemongrass (which was later also presented at Madfoodcamp)


A recipe I very much appreciated at El Bulli, was the potato, coffee, caper combination.


– 150 g potatoes

– 150 g water

– 20 g olive oil

– 120 g potato puree

– 2 g gluco (calcium gluconodeltalactate)

– Alginate bath:
500 g water
3 g alginato

– Instant coffee

– Capers


150 g potato with water and olive oil in thermomix at 90°C until a creamy mass is obtained. Lower the temperature to 50°C and add the potato puree and gluco.
Mix well.

Put in a siphon.

Inject the potato mixture into the alginate bath and cut into pieces with a scissor. Store in pure water.

Add the coffee, capers and egg (in roner at 63°C)

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