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Although coffee may not have been invented in Italy, the coffee culture that we are all familiar with today certainly originated there. Italian espresso, or caffe, as it is known by the Italians, is typically served as a small cup of very strong coffee. The highly caffeinated beverage has risen in popularity and is now recognized as a breakfast staple worldwide. What you may not know is that espresso can also be enjoyed in many of your favorite foods.

ChiliStainless Steel Italian Espreso Maker

Espresso may seem like an unlikely ingredient in chili, but it actually adds a smoky richness that is quite delicious. For an easy, no-fuss meal, combine 1 pound of browned ground beef, 2 cans each of chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, 1 jar of chunky salsa (use mild or hot depending on your preference), 1 diced white onion, 1 chopped chocolate bar, 2 shots of espresso, 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of paprika in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours (4 hours on high will do if you are pressed for time) and top with shredded cheddar cheese before serving.

All-Purpose Marinade

Your guests will never believe what the secret ingredient is in this mouthwatering marinade. First mix 2 cups of espresso, cup of lemon juice, cup of molasses, teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 3 tablespoons of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a large bowl and set aside. Prepare the meat by washing and poking holes in it. Place the meat and marinade in a freezer bag and chill for at least 2 hours (chill overnight for best results). Grill and serve with your favorite sides. The unique flavor of this marinade is ideal for steaks but also works well with other meats such as chicken and pork.

Frosting

Espresso frosting is a decadent topping that can be used on just about any dessert, from cookies to cakes and brownies. It is easy to make too. All you have to do is add equal parts of semi-sweet chocolate chips and espresso over a double boiler. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the mixture from heat and stir in cubes of unsalted butter until the frosting is smooth and shiny. Let the frosting sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to set.

Ice Cream

It is not uncommon to enjoy a cup of coffee after dinner with dessert. Why not combine the two? Espresso ice cream is a fun way to put a spin on a classic tradition. Simply combine 2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1 cups of whole milk, cup of white sugar, cup of chilled brewed espresso, cup of chocolate syrup, cup chopped cocoa roast almonds and 4 ounces of chopped dark chocolate in a large bowl until the sugar is fully dissolved. Chill the mixture before pouring into an ice cream maker.

Martini

Who says you can`t get a jolt of caffeine with your cocktail? Combine 1 ounce of brewed espresso, 1 ounces of vodka, 1 ounces of coffee flavored liquor, 1 ounce of white crrme de cacao and 1 cup of ice in a shaker. Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass, then enjoy!

Any coffee connoisseur can tell you that espresso should not be brewed in just any old coffee machine. In order to be truly enjoyed at its finest, Italian espresso must be brewed in a proper espresso maker. Fortunately, Caffe Society has a wide selection of coffee and espresso machines available for purchase that are sure to brew the perfect cup every time.