overnight new orleans style iced coffee

July 26, 2017

This post was done in partnership with Gevalia Coffee, who sponsored this post by providing the compensation and cold brew concentrate ingredients in this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own — thank you for supporting Hummingbird High and all my sponsors!

A few years ago, when living in San Francisco, I found myself hooked to a local coffee shop's New Orleans-style iced coffee. What makes a coffee "New Orleans-style"? The addition of chicory, a spice made from a floral root. Chicory in coffee has a long, sordid history in New Orleans; in the past, it's been used as a substitute for real coffee, or as an additive to bolster the flavor of weak coffee. I personally like it in my coffee for flavor — chicory gives the coffee an added richness and sweetness that's hard to mimic. Indeed, despite no recent coffee bean shortages or scarcities, several coffee shops in New Orleans continue to add chicory to their roasts and concentrates for the added flavor.

But recently I was back in San Francisco and was excited by the chance to retry New Orleans-style iced coffee from that same coffee shop. I was surprised to find myself disappointed. The coffee tasted incredibly sour, and the chicory was almost imperceptible! Plus, an hour later, my stomach was in knots from the coffee's intense acidity.

After that less-than-perfect experience, I've been making a low maintenance version at home that matches my standards and the coffee I remember from many years ago. I start with Gevalia Cold Brew iced coffee concentrate. Gevalia makes their concentrate from Arabica coffee beans; these beans undergo a cold brewing process that results in a naturally concentrated coffee without the bitterness or acidity of typical cold brews. There's none of the sourness you get from other brands, and it definitely doesn't give my stomach the tummyache I sometimes get when drinking other coffee brands. I infuse the concentrate with cinnamon and chicory overnight (the vanilla flavor works especially well with those spices), and in the morning, I'm greeted with the New Orleans iced coffee of my dreams.


also featured:

Some maker's notes:
  • If you live in the South, you should be able to find chicory easily (sold as Instant Chicory) near the instant coffee selection in the coffee and tea aisle in any major supermarket. It's harder to find in coastal states, so I recommend sourcing the spice online via Amazon. New Yorkers — I was able to get a generous pack for cheap at Kalustyan's.

  • Plan ahead for this one! To infuse the Gevalia Cold Brew iced coffee concentrate with additional spices, I poured the amount needed into a small mason jar with cinnamon sticks and a generous amount of chicory and let steep overnight. Because it's a cold infusion, it'll take longer to actually infuse the coffee concentrate than if you were to boil the concentrate with the spices. I don't suggest cooking them together as I find it tends to affect the concentrate's flavor, and I like it as it is! 

a picnic cheeseboard

July 19, 2017

Remember Birthday Month, and how I was supposed to have a fancy picnic lunch at the William Vale rooftop garden? Well, that ended up not happening due to some pesky rain/personal drama/big life decisions (which I'll tell you about soon, I promise, I promise). And then one of my Portland besties was in town, and my mom, so... here we are in July, celebrating with a very belated birthday picnic!

Erlend and I live just around the corner from Herbert Von King park, so we ended up calling some friends over one Sunday afternoon for a low key celebration with frozen sangria and a cheeseboard! I know there are a bazillion guides and tips for how to put together your own cheeseboard, but I figured I'd put together my own favorite tips and guidelines:

cherry frangipane tart

July 12, 2017

I am not a summer person.

It's the heat. I hate the humidity, the scorching pavements, and the funky smells of the city. While everybody else is having their fun adventures taking trips to the beach or upstate, I hole up inside in front of the air conditioner. The moment I step foot outside of its range, I immediately start sweating. All other attempts to stay cool are worthless: I don't like the way my arms look in sleeveless shirts and I'm very mad about the fact that those off-the-shoulder blouses are the only shirts you can buy in stores these days. There is only so much ice cream I can eat, as a lactose-intolerant-person-in-semi-denial-about-her-situation.

Summer's saving grace are the fruits and vegetables that come into season. After a dreary winter, the city's farmers markets are now bursting at the seams with the prettiest flowers, luscious strawberries, and bright currants. All begging to be baked into pies and cakes.

It's a pity that turning on my oven immediately ratchets our apartment's temperature to 90 degrees+. So how do I balance my whims to bake with my need to stay cool?

I think the answer is this: I declare this to be the summer of rustic, fruit-based baked goods. There will be none of the elaborate layer cakes and time-consuming bakes of the winter — instead, I'll be playing with recipes that are fast and easy, often one bowl in nature. The results might not be the prettiest or most elaborate, but boy, I hope they'll be tasty.

Like this cherry frangipane tart. With almond in both the crust and the frangipane filling, it can seem a little boring in flavor. But the ripe and flavorful cherries are sweet and at the peak of their season, bringing a much welcome bold flavor to the otherwise one dimensional tart.


Some baker's notes:
  • The frangipane recipe makes more than what's needed for the recipe. It might not seem like you're using enough for the filling, but trust the recipe! The frangipane will puff up when baked and take on a consistency halfway between a buttery pound cake and a sticky sponge cake.

strawberry and black peppercorn italian cream sodas

July 5, 2017

Today's post will be short and sweet, mostly because it's summer and I don't want to bake in the 90-degree heat. Plus, my mom was in town for the weekend! She didn't have the best time when she was last in town, so I made sure to "control the situation" and take her to all my favorite spots this time around. We had pork belly buns at Momofuku Ssam, pizza at Roberta's, and a 4th of July duck feast at Decoy!

Anyway, on to this quickie recipe: aside from Manila, New York City is probably the hottest place I've ever lived. I've been beating the heat by camping out in front of the air conditioning, and turning all the beautiful berries that are finally in season into Italian cream sodas. It's super easy — simply boil down your favorite summer fruit into a syrup, toss in some sparkling water and a dash of cream for the prettiest, most refreshing beverage:

Just for fun, I decided to throw in some black peppercorns to my strawberry syrup. It gave the soda a subtle, peppery kick that contrasted well with the bubbles and cream.

Stay cool out there!

strawberry yellow cake pudding pops

June 27, 2017

Popsicle Week is here, just in time for the last week of my birthday month! What better way to round off blondies, birthday cake, and Drake-themed cookies than with a tasty, frozen treat like these strawberry pops infused with yellow funfetti cake flavor?

This is my first popsicle week ever, which is ridiculous since Billy's been hosting Popsicle Week for as long as I can remember. For some reason, I never had my life together in time to participate in the past years? To be fair, I think I was in the throes of a big move from San Francisco to New York last year and had already packed away my popsicle molds, but I don't remember what my excuses were before that. But it doesn't matter, I'm here, I'm here!


I sorta screwed up again this year — because instead of using my fancy popsicle mold that I spent way too much money on, I used a mini ice cream bar mold to make these pudding pops*. I was inspired after Steph and I spent way too long time creeping on @rymondtn's Instagram account. Ray is some sort of ice cream bar transfiguration wizard, I swear — he can turn ice cream bars into marbled galaxy surfaces, woodland creatures, and more. I figured that if he was successfully turning his ice cream bars into Pokemon and Japanese beckoning cats, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for me to make some simple dipped ice cream bars, right?

Right, right.

So here's how it went down: I managed to dip two of my bars in a bowl of melted Valrhona dulcey blonde chocolate before I gave up. It was a mess. My bars came out chunky and uneven, with chocolate layered on incredibly thick in some places and barely covering others, leaving spots of pink, strawberry pudding poking out from underneath. Whatever he was doing to get the chocolate on his bars smooth enough for a marbled galaxy effect and elaborate decorations, I certainly was not. FINE, I huffed, quickly shoving the bars back into the freezer to prevent them from further melting in the 90 degree heat of my apartment. They look better undipped anyway. That way people can see the yellow birthday cake embedded within the strawberry pudding base. Right?

Right, right.

But Ray — if for some reason you ever find yourself on my site reading this, TEACH ME YOUR WAYS.

*The rest of the SLAMM squad made some kind of pudding pop variation too! Steph made carrot cake cream cheese pudding pops, Lily made vegan banana pudding pops, Alana made matcha azuki pudding pops, and Molly made pistachio butter pudding pops. Yay!!! For the full list of popsicles, check out Billy's site and join the popsicle party.

**These pops are the final recipe for #humhibirthdaymonth! Check out the rest of the birthday month recipes: birthday cake blondies, 30th birthday cake, and pink champagne oreos.

also featured:

Some baker's notes:
  • The "popsicle" molds are actually ice cream bar molds that come in a variety of shapes and sizes! I have these ones that look like mini Magnum bars, but look how cute the heart shaped ones are! And the spiral ones! Okay, so actually just all of them...

  • The cake recipe is adapted the funfetti recipe from my friend Christina's latest book, Sweet & Simple. Christina scales down all recipes on her blog to smaller serving sizes just meant for two, which meant that her recipe had just enough cake for the pops (okay, it actually made slightly more because I ate some of the cake on its own), The only change I made was to keep the egg yolk in the recipe (she omits it in the original) to give the cake a more yellow crumb. Make sure to make the cake first so you can have it ready for the pudding pops! 

  • It's incredibly, incredibly hard to find a good strawberry pudding recipe. After some failed attempts, I just decided to use this recipe adapted from Wilton Cakes. It's fine — definitely not as custardy as I would like it to be, but it doesn't really matter anyway since you end up freezing it all for the popsicles. Also, my version probably isn't as flavorful because I use fresh strawberries without the weird preservative syrup they make you use. So basically, let me know if you have a better recipe for strawberry pudding, please.
Copyright © hummingbird high || a desserts and baking blog. Developed by FCD.