Fig and Black Pepper Lattes (+ a cooking workshop)

Fig and Black Pepper Latte | 80twentyFig and Black Pepper Latte | 80twenty

It was a short walk away from Sherrie‘s house, this corner coffee shop that served the smoothest and creamiest almond milk latte I’d ever had. After what I thought couldn’t be a better weekend of hanging and eating with friends, we finished on this high note. I nursed that latte for about 2 hours relishing every sip, constantly (probably annoyingly) repeating how good it was. It was the almond milk latte that will forever change my opinion on almond milk lattes, and lattes in general. Since sipping that particular coffee, I’ve fallen deep into consumer culture, hooked by the appeal of a real-deal steamer/frother. I’m constantly checking kijiji and craigslist for a good price on a nespresso with an aerocinno milk frother so I can relive and continue to recreate that experience (no this is not a sponsored post, I just really like the coffee and milk it makes!). Until then, I’m making due with the stovetop method and drinking these beauties for an occasional treat. And while I would like my milk a little creamier, I don’t feel like I’m missing out, at all. These lattes are pretty close to the real deal.

With the weather getting colder, my cravings for warm, comforting, sweets seems to grow untamed. I crave something in the afternoon, a pick-me-up to hold me through to dinner. I try to opt for nourishing foods most of the time like yogurt and nuts, last night’s roasted veggies, half of a hearty granola bar, an apple with a dollop of Ashley‘s almond butter on it… you know the drill. But every now and then, I nibble on homemade baking/sweets to satisfy this new colder weather need for carbs. Last season it was Nigel Slater’s savoury pumpkin biscuits, this year so far, it’s these Fig and Black Pepper Lattes. Warm, creamy, frothy, and just slightly sweet, they satisfy all of my carb-y needs, and add a little pep to my step. Figs speak of Autumn to me. Their rich colour, texture, and flavour signifies the change from lighter days to heavier ones. Autumn is a season that inspires the revival of many different foods. Pumpkin, for one, gets a lot of attention, but there is a lot you can do with the harvest this time of year, which is why I’m teaching a class at the acclaimed Marni Wasserman Food Studio. If you’re in the Toronto area and are looking for inspiration on what to do with your fall veggies, join me for this Fall Vegetable Heaven class.  On the menu: Pickled kabocha squash and lentil salad, creamy pumpkin pasta, roasted parsnip mash with caramelized onions and roasted mushrooms, homemade pumpkin spice lattes, and chocolate beet cupcakes with date frosting. If any of this appeals to your Autumnal cravings, I hope to see you there! In the meantime, keep cozy, friends.

Fig and Black Pepper Latte | 80twentyFig and Black Pepper Latte | 80twentyFig and Black Pepper Latte | 80twenty

Fig and Black Pepper Latte
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegan-optional
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • For the Fig and Black Pepper syrup (makes enough for 4 lattes)
  • ½ cup sliced dried figs (I used kalamata, but you can use whichever kind you like)
  • ¼ tsp (about 10) black peppercorns
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup organic honey
  • For the Lattes (makes 2)
  • 2-4 shots espresso or extra strong coffee
  • 2 cups milk (not skim) or almond milk
  • Cinnamon for sprinkling
  • Like it boozy? (makes 1)
  • 1 tsp cointreau, or more to taste
  • 1 tsp amaretto, or more to taste
Instructions
  1. For the Fig and Black Pepper syrup
  2. Place the figs, water, honey, and peppercorns in a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium low immediately and allow to simmer gently until the liquid reduces by half and become syrupy.
  3. Strain the fig syrup through a sieve doubly lined with cheesecloth. (This is important for catching all of the little seeds.) You may have to squeeze the figs to release all of their juice.
  4. For the Lattes (makes 2)
  5. If you don't have a fancy milk frother (which for the record, I don't, but would really like!), gently heat the milk up on the stovetop in a pot over medium heat. Use a whisk, or one of these, constantly as the milk heats up to create the desired level of frothiness. This will not be the same experience as if you had a real-deal frother, which creates a creaminess from the micro bubbles, but it will still make for an enjoyable home latte. If you're using almond milk, only some brands work well enough and homemade doesn't tend to work very well at all. I've found that Blue Diamond almond milk has been my best bet for froth when it comes to the varieties you can get in Canada.
  6. Stir 1 tbsp of syrup into the espresso and pour over the milk, topping with the froth. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve immediately.
  7. If you're cocktaling it up, stir the cointreau and amaretto into the espresso and syrup mixture before adding the milk. Finish in the same way and serve immediately.

22 Comments

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  • Reply October 11, 2014

    Ashley

    I kind of love that we both posted lattes in the same week. Although, yours is a bit more legit actually using espresso. ;) These are so creative! And the photos are so warm + cozy. Love!

    • Reply October 11, 2014

      Kris

      It is very serendipitous that we both made lattes. Could we have a real life coffee date, please? :)

  • Very cool recipe and gorgeous pictures.
    Perfect!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Kimberly

    • Reply October 11, 2014

      Kris

      Thanks, Kimberly! I hope you like it. :)

  • I am seriously impressed with this latte recipe. As a serious fig lover this is a must try recipe for me.. thanks for sharing it!

    • Reply October 12, 2014

      Kris

      Glad to hear it, Thalia! Thanks for stopping by. :)

  • Reply October 12, 2014

    Azu

    I just bought dried figs, this would be a perfect recipe to try them! Thanks for sharing

    • Reply October 12, 2014

      Kris

      Let me know how you like it, Azu! And thanks for stopping by. :)

  • Reply October 13, 2014

    Isabelle @ Crumb

    This latte looks seriously comforting, Kris… I’m obsessed with all things fig lately, so this recipe is totally calling my name. Might try to sneak a few minutes out of tomorrow’s Thanksgiving prep to whip up a batch of the syrup so that I can indulge later on in the week.

    • Reply October 13, 2014

      Kris

      I hope you do, Isabelle! It’s been a real treat to have the syrup in my house all week. We’ve had lattes almost every day. I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving!! :)

  • This is seriously one of the most amazing combinations I ever would’ve thought to put together in a latte. Genius, girl. Also, I’m selling my Nespresso on ebay right now but I refuse to part with the Aerocinno. That thing is precious!

    • Reply October 14, 2014

      Kris

      Gina, you have no idea! I’m a little obsessed right now with getting one, especially after BHP and having access to it every day! Although, I’d like the nespresso machine, too. Excellent coffee!!

  • Reply October 14, 2014

    ATasteOfMadness

    This sounds amazing!! I haven’t made a latte in forever!

    • Reply October 14, 2014

      Kris

      Thanks! I hope you like it. :)

  • I want to drink fig + black pepper lattes with you!! These look so warm + cozy + delicious.

    • Reply October 17, 2014

      Kris

      That would be soooo lovely!! In good time, friend. :) xo

  • First off your photos are stunning. Second I want to attend your harvest workshop – those recipes sound amazing!! And third this latte sounds so good. I love figs and the idea of them in a latte with the black pepper is so genius. I am going to make this ASAP!!

    • Reply October 17, 2014

      Kris

      Ohhhhhh thank you, Shanna! You are a sweetheart. I hope you love the latte. :)

  • Reply October 22, 2014

    aida mollenkamp

    I’m waiting for Fall to hit LA so I can cuddle up to a latte like this one! Great flavor combo, by the way!

    • Reply October 23, 2014

      Kris

      I have to admit, as much as I love Fall, I would kill for it to still be summer here. You LA folk have it good. :)

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