Steve approaches cooking a little differently than I do. While for me, cooking can be a creative endeavor, an almost meditative exercise, for Steve it’s often approached as a fun project. Since he works a lot more hours than I do, he doesn’t cook very often, but when he does, it’s for something new or interesting in some way, something that caught his eye online because of the unusual technique it uses or the unique ingredients it combines.
So it was, that when he read an article in the New York Times titled “The Best Iced Latte in America?” he immediately identified a project he wanted to tackle: making the almond and macadamia nut milk that is the main ingredient of said “best iced latte in America.” And so we went shopping for the ingredients (blanched almonds, macadamia nuts, and dates) and went about making our first batch. In our haste, we failed to taste the macadamia nuts, which were quite rancid, resulting in not-the-best iced latte in America.
Undaunted, a few weeks later Steve wanted to try again. This time we tried the nuts and they were fresh. The nut milk came out smooth and fresh and ever so slightly sweetened by the dates. It’s not hard to make, but it is a project. And how was the iced latte? Pretty great. Best in America? Not really sure.
Almond and Macadamia Nut Milk – From the New York Times
Note: When we made this the second time, we used a nut bag, as the recipe suggests, but the milk ended up too gritty. We strained it again through two layers of cheesecloth and it was perfect. So, opt for the cheesecloth if you can.
1 generous cup/150 grams blanched almonds
½ cup/50 grams macadamia nuts
⅓ cup/40 grams pitted dates
1 liter filtered water
1. Combine almonds, macadamia nuts and dates in a large lidded plastic container. Add filtered water, cover, and let soak overnight at room temperature, at least 12 hours.
2. Using a blender set to the highest speed, process mixture for 3 to 4 minutes or until finely puréed. Strain the mixture through a nut bag or jelly bag into a bowl, squeezing hard until only solids remain. (Or set a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and line with two layers of cheesecloth. Use a spatula to force the mixture through the lined sieve, then repeat the process using fresh cheesecloth.) The nut milk should be silky and creamy, not gritty. Milk will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days. Shake before using.
To make an iced almond-macadamia milk latte, combine 8 ounces of the chilled nut milk, a double shot of hot espresso and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake for about 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled glass with fresh ice.