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….
- Bitter sweet chocolate 25g (I used Valrhona’s Equatorial 55%)
- Expresso 1 shot (40ml, I used Nepresso’s Roma)
- Milk 100ml
- Melt chocolate over a water bath or in a microwave oven.
- Place the melted chocolate in a short glass. (my glass is slightly taller than an expresso glass)
- Brew expresso and pour it over the chocolate.The coffee, being lighter will not mix with the chocolate.
- Warm the milk and froth with a milk frother or whisk. (read post)
- Carefully scoop the milk froth over the coffee. Add chocolate shavings if desired.