Earlier this year I downloaded a copy of Jeff Potter’s Cooking for Geeks on to my Kindle. Yesterday I was searching through it looking for any wisdom it might contain relating to homebrewing (answer: not a lot) and stumbled across the section about using alcohol to wash flavour molecules from fats. Apparently you can create, for example, a liquid essence of bacon!
I did not have quite the right range of ingredients but decided to experiment with steeping fresh ground coffee in brandy (in a 1:4 ratio – 15g of coffee and 60g of brandy). After about eight hours I filtered the result, first with my regular coffee filter and then with some kitchen towel.
What was it like? Taken neat, the word that comes to mind is bleurgh! It was like drinking instant coffee diluted with a minimal amount of alcohol. I think far less coffee would have been needed if I just wanted a coffee-infused brandy rather than coffee with a dash of brandy in it. However, it did taste great on ice cream; I imagine that the fats of the ice cream cover the molecules in the liquid and the cold also takes the edge of the flavour.
More experiments are called for but I would call this a qualified success.