But First, Coffee – The San Jose Signature

Happy Monday! Are you ready for a productive, prosperous week? I certainly am. But first, coffee.

Today I’m highlighting another of my cold brew creations, the San Jose Signature.

When I wrote Coffee: The New Cocktail, I was excited to replicate the flavor of one of my hometown’s culinary delights, the burnt almond cake from Dick’s Bakery in San Jose. If you’ve never had it, this is a white or yellow cake with a rich buttercream filling and frosting, which is then topped with toasted almond slices. It’s heavenly. I find it to be the perfect blend of sweet, salty, crunchy, and creamy. San Joseans know it as the cake at every office birthday party, graduation celebration, or other special occasions. You would see that pink box on the table and you wouldn’t even have to look inside. You’d just think, “Yaasssss,” and do a little mental fist pump in anticipation of the deliciousness about to be consumed.

There’s actually some cool history to the burnt almond cake. Legend has it that it was first created by the Peters family, who opened Peters’ Bakery, also in San Jose in the 1930s. Dick’s Bakery was started by a cousin of the Peters family, after World War II. They have slightly different recipes. I just happened to prefer the one from Dick’s. Sadly, there have been a couple of tragic turns. About a year and a half ago, one of the original owners of Dick’s Bakery passed away. And then last year, the place was gutted by a fire. I was happy to learn they are rebuilding, though. Now that I’m living in the Bay Area again, I look forward to taking my kids to get a burnt almond cake so that it can be part of their culinary experiences, too.

So, let’s get back to this cold brew. To make the San Jose Signature, I combined Almond Roca, French vanilla, and salted caramel. It took me a while to work out the ratios, but I think I got it. I make mine sugar free and then I add heavy cream, so I can enjoy it low carb-style. If you’re looking for a different way to enjoy your coffee, I’d recommend that you check it out.

And with that, I’m off to conquer the week. Cheers!

What’s the culinary specialty from your hometown?