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I've just read a blog post from Amass restaurant. I got very curious about roasting beetroot in coffee grounds as they said in the article. Looking a bit further, I've also found an article by Amass' chef, Matt Orlando, where he gave us a bit more detail on it:

We roast beetroot in the grinds and dry them until they are rock hard. Then we juice some other beets (saving the pulp for kombucha) and reduce this with used tea leaves from the restaurant service. We rehydrate the dried coffee grind-roasted beets in the beet and tea reduction and they end up having a wonderful toffee texture.

Inspired by this, I thought about baking small beetroots (and maybe carrots too) using the salt crust technique, but replacing salt by coffee. I'm thinking about trying using egg whites in one of them, and in the other just burying the beets on the grinds. I'm just a bit afraid that the grinds might burn during the cooking. Anyone has ever tried replacing salt in the crust with something else? I would love some advice from some more seasoned cooks to make this work.

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    The exterior of the crust might burn, but the interior should not; that is normal.
    – Max
    Nov 14, 2017 at 16:52
  • (More details on the crisps: theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2015/sep/08/…)
    – noumenal
    Feb 16, 2018 at 19:27
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    I was thinking that maybe they could be used for smoking - as can tea leaves and rice - but the only advice google gave me was Don't smoke em.
    – noumenal
    Feb 16, 2018 at 19:31
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    Take a look at Cooking Slow by Andrew Schloss as he has a related recipe for carrots that are roasted over coffee beans. It's online here: splendidtable.org/recipes/carrots-slow-baked-on-coffee-beans and hopefully it will give you an idea of a way to get the coffee flavor into the beets without worrying about eating grounds.
    – Fitter Man
    Apr 23, 2018 at 16:38
  • Using coffee instead of the salt crust is something I know from cooking steak. But usually, you mix the coffee grounds with sugar and salt, to prevent burning, as in [this] (simplysated.com/coffee-crusted-steak) recipe. There are also some youtube videos about coffee-crusted steak cooking. I would guess it works the same for vegetables and could imagine a nice beetroot/ cauliflower steak.
    – Hannah
    Jul 22, 2021 at 7:08

1 Answer 1

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The burning will mostly be due to the absorption of infrared radiation by the very darkly-colored grounds, similar to how toast goes from white to brown slowly but brown to burnt very quickly.

If you keep the oven at a reasonable temperature (probably less than 340F) and wrap it in foil shiny side out (vented or not up to you, probably sealed for aroma is best) then you will create a high humidity environment with no radiant burning.

This will take longer but will probably give you the desired results. If it's too soggy, you can add salt (which doesn't need to touch the food, it can be in a cheesecloth bag separate from the beets) to absorb moisture or you can vent the foil.

The good news is that you can run small trial runs because the time/ingredients are relatively cheap. Do one first in this way and please let me know how it goes, cool concept.

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    That was asked 4 years ago so let's hope OP reads your answer!
    – Luciano
    Oct 26, 2022 at 9:35

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