A European hate affair

15 Jan

IMG_0612Everyone knows I love coffee. And you won’t be surprised to discover that I’m fond of chocolate, too.

But I have a bitter hate for the two combined. The word “mocha” makes my mouth water, but it’s less in blissful anticipation than terrified expectation. The only mixture of coffee and chocolate I’ve found palatable is espresso chocolate cheesecake. Yet, then again, I’ve never met a piece of cheesecake I didn’t like.

My point is that the bitterness between the mocha and me is long, complex and hate-filled.

Yet…two days ago it was 70 degrees in Nashville, and now it’s 30. In my quest to find a hot drink to ward off the winter chill, the Italian bicerin caught my eye. It has coffee in it, it’s Italian and I already had all the ingredients. ‘Twas fate.

A bicerin is a tri-layered drink; the base is rich dark chocolate covered with syrupy espresso and topped with freshly whipped cream. Most bicerin recipes require melting chocolate, but I used Trader Joe’s Sipping Chocolate. It’s thick and European and has just a trace of chocolate liqueur. My espresso was Starbucks Fair Trade Italian (fitting for the occasion) brewed with my lovely AeroPress. Finally I whipped up some heavy cream and covered the top with creamy goodness.

There's a glare, but you can see the separate layers.

There’s a glare, but you can see the separate layers.

Now, bicerins are not my favorite drink in the world. And I’m not going to start ordering mochas anytime soon. But with the chocolate dark and the espresso strong and the fresh cream stirred in, I almost forgot my long-standing hatred towards chocolate in coffee. Buon lavoro, Italy. Nicely done.

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3 Responses to “A European hate affair”

  1. cafequeen January 16, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    That looks fantastic!

    • TravelingByTaste January 17, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

      It was! Very rich, though. I just made a little and couldn’t quite finish it!

      • cafequeen January 18, 2013 at 10:04 am #

        sounds like a great dessert drink 😀

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