The first Macmillan Coffee Morning took place back in 1990. The initial event was a small affair, organised around a simple idea. Guests would get together over a coffee. Then they would donate the cost of their cuppas to Macmillan.
From these humble beginnings, the annual coffee mornings grew into a high-profile national fundraising campaign that, to date, has raised more than £290 million for Macmillan.
But the best part of this event is that the coffee mornings can be whatever the participants want them to be. They can also be hosted on other dates (the 29th September is just a suggestion). They can be a simple catch-up at home between friends over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. Or they can be more ambitious: think glamorous garden party or a neighbourhood barbecue, if the weather’s good, or a workplace home-made bake sale.
According to Macmillan, one in two of us will face cancer in our lifetime. So, the money raised at its coffee mornings really is needed to help all those diagnosed to live life as fully as they can. We asked our Northern National Training Manager Lauren to share four of her favourite recipes she’ll be recreating for this special day. So, read on for some serious coffee-themed inspiration.
“Fancy a brew?” is a common saying in my home county of Yorkshire. But for many of us – me included – this represents far more than just a cup of tea or coffee. It’s a symbolic question that incorporates lots of different emotions. It can be the question that gets us up and ready to face the day. This can also be the beverage that connects family and friends. It’s a tried-and-tested first date ice-breaker. And this is a traditional British offering made to comfort those who are sad, shocked or upset.
We all like to ‘take’ our tea and coffee in different ways. My personal preference is rather unusual. I like my coffee to be strong and black, served with honey and an ice cube.
I’m not a fan of the iced version, but I don’t like it to be hot either. My family and friends are used to my preference now, but my usual order can provoke a confused reaction from professional baristas!
Whichever way you like your coffee, I recommend our Sense Built-in Coffee Machine. Available in four different finishes – black glass, stainless steel, gunmetal and black steel – this super-stylish appliance serves up a variety of hot drinks, including short espresso, long coffee, warm milk or frothy cappuccino. It has 30 Auto programmes, allowing you to adjust the settings precisely.
And you can use it to prepare coffee using fresh or pre-ground beans. The grinder alone has thirteen settings. So, this way you can determine exactly how finely your beans are ground. In addition, the auto ‘switch-on’ timer means you can set the appliance to turn on and warm up at a set time too – perfect for those early mornings.
There are five drink volumes to choose from (espresso, small, medium, large or mug). Due to the way in which I like to drink my coffee, the ability to change the temperature is one of my favourite features. I also use my CM465GM Sense Built In Coffee Machine to produce lots of my favourite coffee-themed bakes.
My first recipe recommendation and one of my contributions to this year’s Macmillan Coffee Morning at Caple is G’s coffee and walnut cake. It comes directly from my grandma’s (known affectionately as G by my family and I) kitchen. It’s my classic go-to recipe for all sorts of coffee mornings and social occasions.
This cake makes a hotly-anticipated appearance at our local yearly community gala and it’s a firm family favourite. This is one of those versatile recipes you can easily adapt according to individual tastes. For example, if you enjoy a stronger coffee taste, simply increase the recommended amount of espresso shot.
G’s coffee and walnut cake is a quick-cook recipe that needs just 15-20 minutes at 180° fan heat. Our C2220 Classic 60cm Side Opening Electric Single Oven would be perfect for this bake. The side-opening door can offer accessibility for all and make cleaning easy. Our Motionheat+ technology distributes hot air evenly around the oven cavity. There’s no need to preheat – saving you time and money – and there’s no flavour transfer, so it’s perfect for multi-level cooking, too.
My next recipe recommendation is three-ingredient coffee mouse. This two-in-one recipe also allows you to freeze the mixture to create a delicious soft-serve ice cream too. I tend to make the mousse version in the autumn/winter, and the ice cream in the summer. I usually serve this sprinkled with chopped nuts and espresso powder for extra oomph.
Again, I use my coffee machine to make the espresso, then it’s a case of mixing on the hob, before either chilling or freezing. I recommend our RI7302 70/30 In–Column Fridge Freezer for this. This is such a practical fridge-freezer ‘split’ that suits most people. The Super-freeze function is a real time-saver, too.
Have you ever tried affogato? It’s perhaps not the most obvious choice for a Macmillan Coffee morning event, but it’s one of my all-time favourite recipes. Affogato is an Italian dessert that usually features vanilla ice cream, topped with a shot of espresso coffee.
My version uses the frozen coffee mousse from the previous recipe, topped with either a single or double espresso shot from my Sense CM465GM Coffee Machine. Add some shaved chocolate curls for an extra level of indulgence.
Piccoli means small or little in Italian, and I think these individual pots will really elevate your Macmillan Coffee Morning menu. Many traditional tiramisu recipes include marsala (a type of sweet fortified dessert wine).
However, my non-alcoholic version is perhaps better suited to coffee mornings. You simply blend and strain the fruit of your choice (I like cherries) and soak your sponge fingers in that fruit juice instead. And, if you’re short on time, you can even use shop-bought sponge rather than baking your own.
This dessert benefits from being made ahead of time, which allows all the lovely flavours to mingle. One you’ve assembled it, cover and chill for a few hours or overnight. With a net capacity of 294 litres, our RIL1800 Sense Premium In-Column Larder Fridge has plenty of space, so it’s ideal if you enjoy entertaining.
This sophisticated model offers lots of advanced features and settings, such as Eco mode, Super Cool and Caple Fresh technology, which helps to keep fruit and vegetables fresher for longer. There’s even a matching freezer!
Looking for some special bakes to elevate your coffee mornings? Click here for some expert advice on decorative cakes from GBBO finalist Alice Fevronia.
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