the making of coffee toffee pudge
Coffee toffee has been a frequently requested flavor over the years and we just finished it in a record number of versions: 4. It’s beaten only by pumpkin spice pudge, which clocked in at 6 versions (a total fluke).
It's a lucky flavor because it borrows from a couple other flavors. While we were testing vietnamese coffee pudge, I found an amount of coffee I liked. Coupling that with the amount of toffee from ube dulcey pudge, coffee toffee was nearly a 1-recipe-wonder. Personally I would’ve released v1, but it tasted more like salted toffee with an aftertaste of coffee.
pictured: versions 1-4 of coffee toffee pudge
How Do You Take Your Coffee?
Coffee toffee v1 was quickly veto’ed by Lawrance for the lack of coffee potency. I made a second version, but mistakenly used vietnamese coffee - it resulted in an extremely coffee-forward version that overshadowed the toffee. Lawrance LOVED this version, immediately ranking it as one of his top 3 flavors of all time, but I didn’t like it at all.
It came down to one question: how do you take your coffee? Those who drink their coffee black may have preferred our 2nd version, but those who have coffee with milk/cream may have preferred any other version.
While it can be dangerous to try to appease both audiences (Lawrance as the black-coffee-drinker, and Amy as the coffee-with-milk-drinker), but I struck balance with my 4th version. It was about 25% more coffee than I would’ve liked and 25% less than Lawrance would’ve preferred. My goal was to have it lead with coffee, but not so much that it drowned out the toffee. It's roughly 75% coffee, 25% toffee.
pictured: final version of coffee toffee pudge
What Does It Taste Like?
Coffee toffee v4 is a journey. You get a punch of coffee upfront; then the flavors of browned butter, brown sugar and toffee kick in slowly, with a lip-smacking bit of salt to finish. It’s addicting. For a point of reference, it's a bit like a strong coffee ice cream with Skor toffee bits.
Try it while it’s on the menu and let us know what you think of the coffee vs. toffee ratio! If it’s popular enough, we may keep it on the menu year-round.