Yesterday was the Triple C Recipe Contest for the Ka'u Coffee Festival held at the Ka'u Coffee Mill in Pahala. Participants entered their best recipes for cookies, candy, and crackers inspired by Ka'u coffee. The contest was held in order to celebrate the grand opening of the Ka'u Coffee Visitor Center, complete with live music, the unveiling of a beautiful mural, and lots and lots of some of the world's best coffee to taste. We all know Kona coffee is good, but did you know Ka'u was named the #1 coffee growing region in the United States?
Of course I had to enter the contest! Ka'u coffee is so good all on its own that I wanted to design a recipe with intense, unmistakable coffee notes that showcases just how flavorful this coffee is. Inspired by a recipe for coconut brigadeiros found on the Parsley Thief, I crafted the recipe to make that Ka'u coffee shine. Plus, my heartstrings get pulled for any dessert that includes sweetened condensed milk.
And wouldn't you know it, the judges liked it, too. These little candies won first place in the amateur candy division. So proud of these little candies! And so proud of Chelsea Lynn Kauionalani Rosario, the contest's overall winner with her biscotti.
Major tip to those who live on the Big Island or are planning on visiting: take the time to drive through Pahala on your way to the volcano, particularly Wood Valley Road. It is so gorgeous, timeless old Hawaii gorgeous. And be sure to grab a coffee, some beans to take home, and a biscotti from the Ka'u Coffee Mill along the way. In fact, there will be more Ka'u Coffee festivities next weekend (May 12), this is your change to explore the beauty of Ka'u!
Ka'u Coffee Brigadeiros
Makes about 3 dozen
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
½ cup espresso or very strong Ka’u coffee
2 TBL butter
2 tsp light corn syrup
½ cup cocoa powder
36 Ka’u coffee beans
In a medium saucepan combine condensed milk, coffee, butter and corn syrup over medium-high heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the mixture begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to stir for 15-25 minutes or until the mixture thickens, like fudge.
Pour the mixture into a bowl without scraping the sides of the pan, discard what remains in the pan. Allow the mixture to cool in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
Using a teaspoon, scoop the mixture and roll into balls with butter-coated hands. Dip into cocoa powder to coat and press a coffee bean on top. Enjoy!
You should know that it took me 4 attempts to get the technique for this recipe right. Don't get impatient when you are cooking the batter, it needs to be pretty thick or else it won't hold together. I just don't want anyone to get the idea that this is an easy recipe, it's not! But it is certainly delish and was worth all previous failures.