I remember the first time I ever tried Turkish coffee. I don’t remember how old I was, but I remember being in the living room of our old townhouse. Both my parents were drinking Turkish coffee on a sunny afternoon and I wanted to get in on the action. After much begging, my mom let me have a sip. I’m pretty sure she regretted it instantly because it was so awful to my immature taste buds that I spit it out all over her and the couch. Many, many years later, I gave Turkish coffee another chance. My tastes must have matured because now I enjoy medium Turkish coffee with a side of something sweet.
My favorite afternoons are Saturday and Sunday afternoons sipping sweet Turkish coffee while watching the latest Turkish soap operas with my Tayta. As she gets older, I realize that time is fleeting and I have to savor these moments with her. It’s a weekly tradition to stop by and spend some time with her. I’m so lucky that I live close enough to make it a weekly visit.
The beauty of Turkish coffee is in its bitter flavor, the way it’s boiled, and its ability to tell you about your future.
Tayta taught me a no-fail recipe for Turkish coffee which includes spoonfuls of sugar and ground coffee in silverware-sized tablespoons, boiling the coffee, stirring, then boiling again to create a thick film on top. She warned me never to walk away from a pot of Turkish coffee on the stove because it will boil over the second you take your eyes off it– side note, it’s also a nightmare to wipe up off the stovetop. When serving, each coffee cup gets a little bit of film. Once done with your cup, it’s customary to swirl around the remaining coffee grounds, cover with the saucer then flip upside down.
This is where the fortune-telling comes in. It’s my favorite part. While there really are fortune tellers who are gifted with being able to read the coffee grounds plastered to the inside of your cup, I think for the most part my Tayta used to humor me by reading mine. There was always a long road, a bird with news from someone far away, a long stretch of white space (that’s a good thing) and a “celebration” (read as: wedding) in the near future. It didn’t matter to me whether or not she really could see the future in my cup, the important thing was that I got to spend that time with her, listening, laughing, and asking about her life.
That’s the beauty of Turkish coffee.
- 1 stick Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
- Additional Butter to grease pan
- 1 cup Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
- 2 Tablespoons Turkish coffee powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9” cast iron skillet, or baking pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together sugar and butter until creamed
- Add in eggs one at a time
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl 30 seconds at a time (for a total of 1 minute), stir until smooth
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, Turkish coffee, cardamom, flour, and salt
- Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
- Continue beating until combined
- Add the melted chocolate
- Beat until combined
- Pour into a greased cast iron skillet or baking pan
- The batter will be sticky and may not pour evenly, use a rubber spatula to smooth out into an even layer
- Bake for 25-30 minutes
- Flip upside down onto a serving plate and top with powdered sugar
- Serve warm
Pro Tip: For day-old cake, heat in the microwave for 15 seconds and serve warm.