Il Bicerin – My Coffee Experience In Italy

by Shirley@Køkken on August 14, 2012 · 26 comments

in Beverage, Chocolate, Travel, Uncategorized

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Italy inspired me to incorporate a new ritual into my daily routine – one which have me sip through a frothy cup of cafe latte every morning while reading my electronic papers.

I have never been a serious coffee drinker. I patronise Starbucks once in a blue moon because I love the social coolness associated with Howard Schultz’s business concept. I bought my Nespresso machine years ago, not because I take my coffee seriously but  because I was sold by the sleek and chic design of the machine and the coffee capsules. Unlike many of my colleagues who can’t seem to function without that important morning cuppa, I am one of those who can drink coffee at 10pm at night and still sleep like a baby. I have no idea what constitutes a good coffee but I know that if I drink, I prefer my coffee strong and full bodied…. and for the longest time, I would just take it black.

It began in Torino, the capital of Piedmonte region surrounded by the Alps and 2 hours from Chamonix and Courmayeur. Torino excites for different reasons. Torino is Ferrari, Lamborghini and Fiat to the boys, birthplace of Italian cinematography to the movie fanatics and Chocolates, Gianduja and Slow Food Movement to the foodies. It was here in Torino that I happily ate 6 scoops of gelato every day, gorged myself silly with Venchi chocolates and  was first introduced to this chocolate coffee drink known as Il Bicerin.




A more indulgent and stimulating version of the Cafe Mocha, this is the perfect blend for chocolate and coffee lovers. Originating from Torino where some of the best chocolates in Italy are produced, this drink first caught my eyes when we were scanning through the breakfast menu at a cafe one morning. Fascinated and addicted, we continued to order the same in Cioccolatitaliani in Milan.

Made up of a deposit of melted dark chocolate, a shot of full bodied expresso and a layer of velvety milk froth, this is possibly the most luxurious coffee I have ever consumed. I would imagine that this would go perfectly with any biscotti, muffin or buttercream cupcakes. A good chocolate and a good brew  go a long way to make this beverage memorable but equally important is the velvety texture of the milk froth. I have to confess that I love my Nespresso Aeroccino more than the coffee machine itself. The Aeroccino churns out the most silky and velvety milk foam I have ever seen. However, I have seen my sister get pretty good froth with a simple milk frother with warm milk as well. Otherwise, the most primitive method I know of involves twirling a small whisk between palms over warm milk to generate foam.

I invite you to indulge in this decadent beverage with me and while you do so, here’s reliving some of the Torino moments with you through these photos…

The original Il Bicerin that inspired….

Served at this cosy neighbourhood cafe…

And when you are in Torino, do not miss Eataly, I felt like I was wandering in Ikea except this place is filled with great quality food stuff and restaurants….

I wish I could lugged back all the different types of flour for pasta, pizza and bread…

We had some of our best meals of our trip in Torino….

Fritto Misto – an assortment of seafood tempura….

Prosciutto di Parma With Melon…we liked this so much, we ordered this for almost every meal…

The simple pesto spaghetti never tasted so good….

Il Bicerin – My Coffee Experience In Italy
 
Author:

 
Ingredients
  • Bitter sweet chocolate 25g (I used Valrhona’s Equatorial 55%)
  • Expresso 1 shot (40ml, I used Nepresso’s Roma)
  • Milk 100ml

Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate over a water bath or in a microwave oven.
  2. Place the melted chocolate in a short glass. (my glass is slightly taller than an expresso glass)
  3. Brew expresso and pour it over the chocolate.The coffee, being lighter will not mix with the chocolate.
  4. Warm the milk and froth with a milk frother or whisk. (read post)
  5. Carefully scoop the milk froth over the coffee. Add chocolate shavings if desired.

 

 

 

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Edith August 14, 2012

Though I am no fan of coffee but this one is really sounded too hard to resist. Awesome styling.

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2 Shirley@Køkken August 14, 2012

Thanks, Edith. This is a really delicious beverage. I hope you will try it one day…

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3 Alan (travellingfoodies) August 14, 2012

prosciutto e melone! one of my all time favs too! Looks like you really had a good time eating in Italy and France!

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4 Shirley@Køkken August 14, 2012

Alan – yes, I ate very well during this trip. The best part of it is, I still lost 3kg…. the hiking really helped to burn off fats!

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5 Jane August 14, 2012

This is awesome! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Looks like you have a great trip!

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6 Shirley@Køkken August 14, 2012

Jane- this is super easy to make. It was indeed a great trip…

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7 daphne August 14, 2012

envious! Superb photography with the black background.. I love coffee- it’s an indulgence for me and this just reminds me of why.

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8 Shirley@Køkken August 14, 2012

Daphne- I am now really fascinated by different coffee recipes… can’t wait to try more…

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9 Alice August 14, 2012

Hi Shirley, this looks awesome! i’m a coffee lover, drink coffee and anything with coffee :)
and it sounds so easy to make too!
love your pics, looks like you had such a great time there! :)

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10 Shirley@Køkken August 15, 2012

Thank you Alice – I really put very little effort into the pics and the preparation…. just make coffee..:D

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11 Pei-Lin August 15, 2012

Hey, Shirley.

I enjoy this post. Thanks for sharing your Italy trip with us readers. And thanks for sharing your Italian coffee experience.

I wish I can visit Europe someday. =)

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12 Shirley@Køkken August 15, 2012

Hey Pei-Lin – hope you are doing well. I am 100% sure you will visit Europe one day. I didn’t get to see Europe until my late 30′s… so you have time!

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13 missyblurkit August 15, 2012

That look of the Prosciutto di Parma With Melon guarantees an order every time!

Lovely shots of the coffee and I have to go grab my coffee now after those pics…that despite telling myself that I am steering off coffee for the week:(

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14 Shirley@Køkken August 15, 2012

Put lots of milk – you still get a whiff of coffee but not the full dose of stimulant :)

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15 pickyin@LifeIsGreat August 15, 2012

The Italians are serious with their coffees. I’m an (almost) daily mocha drinker, this one is definitely possible at home. I froth my milk in a French press!

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16 Shirley@Køkken August 15, 2012

Yes, the Italians love their coffee and the demand actually help to keep the coffee price low. Nespresso capsules are almost half the price there. French press would work – especially if yours come with the curly wire below….

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17 mycookinghut August 15, 2012

Even though I don’t drink coffee, I absolutely love the smell of it!
Oh and the food looks yum!

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18 Viveka August 16, 2012

What a wonderful post .. the photos, the coffee, the food .. the places. Love the look of that cafe at Eataly. Do you know that the most coffee drinking country in the world is Norway – we Swedes comes of 3rd place only. All the 4 top countries are Nordic.
A fantastic post .. as always.

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19 Deb August 16, 2012

What a fantastic trip! Coffee and chocolate, a flavor match that is spoken universally. I must try your recipe. I would be delightful with weekend brunch.

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20 Jeannie August 18, 2012

WHOA I know I would so love that glass of coffee, so thick and creamy and I can smell it from here lol! Lovely photos!

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21 HJ August 30, 2012

Hi, I think this coffee sounds heavenly! I have a question regarding the recipe though. You said to scoop the milk froth over the coffee – does that mean that you don’t add any milk in the coffee, JUST the milk froth? If you do add milk, is the amount just to your own liking? Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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22 Shirley@Køkken August 30, 2012

Hi HJ, I only add the milk froth to the coffee. This is a very simple recipe and if you enjoy more milk, you can definitely add warm milk to your liking, no restrictions :)

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23 Ambra Sancin September 9, 2012

I’ve tried one of these coffee/chocolate beverages and they’re great. Especially good if you have friends over and they’re not coffee addicts (like me). I’ve just discovered an old family hand coffee grinder, which I’ve written about on my latest blogpast, so I’m keen to try your recipe.

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24 servicefromheart February 19, 2014

Hi Shirley
Thanks for sharing lovely pictures! Do you have recipe for Fritto Misto? It appears less heaty than deep fried tempura, especially for our loved ones who are prone to sore throat.

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25 Shirley@Køkken March 2, 2014

Hi, unfortunately, I do not have the recipe for Fritto Misto… :(

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