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What Is a Bicerin?
Bicerin is a traditional hot beverage originating from Italy, specifically Turin. It is composed of three unique layers: a layer of melted chocolate, a shot of espresso, and a thin coat of whipped cream on top.
Unlike the blended ingredients in a mocha, bicerin consists of skillfully designed layers that give it a unique and elegant look.
The infused sweetness of the Italian hot chocolate and the rich, intense cocoa flavor give bicerin its characteristic flavor. The balance of chocolate and coffee and the creamy texture are the first things you notice when you take a sip of this majestic drink.
And let’s not forget its thick, pudding-like texture, which makes this drink outshine other coffees.
What Is the History of Bicerin?
Bicerin is a creation of the ancient Caffè Al Bicerin. This café is known to date back to the middle of the 1800s, and just like the drink, it is infused with years of history and culture.
The Bavareisa, an older version of bicerin, was a popular beverage back in the 18th century. However, unlike bicerin, it was served in a big, tall glass by blending coffee, chocolate, and milk together.
Around the 19th century, the three ingredients were served individually. But with time, the drink underwent changes and came to be served in the same glass, and it’s remained that way ever since.
Tips to Make a Bicerin
Since the original formula of bicerin is a guarded secret among the staff of Caffe Al Bicerin, this recipe is our closest estimate, based on a vast amount of study (and taste testing).
Even though the respected Caffe Al Bicerin prepares bicerin in short water goblets, we personally prefer to prepare this drink in a Gibraltar rocks glass.
The first and foremost step in making a good bicerin is the preparation of a delicious hot chocolate using high-quality dark chocolate and strong espresso.
To make things easy, you can prepare a big batch of hot chocolate and then layer the drink afterward. We prefer to prepare our hot chocolate batch in the middle of winter, but you can do it whenever you like!
The 3 Parts of Bicerin
We at Good Coffee Place believe that fresh espresso is the best espresso. So, whether you are brewing your espresso using a coffee maker, a Moka pot, or a cafetière, just take care of one thing: that it is fresh!
Cioccolata Calda—Hot Chocolate
Dark chocolate, cocoa powder, sugar, milk, and a few pinches of corn flour (corn starch) are all that you need for our simple hot chocolate recipe.
To enjoy the full flavor, mix every ingredient evenly in the correct ratio. You can also change the quantities of each element according to your taste.
Some people make bicerin so often that it only takes a few minutes to prepare this upscale drink. They brew their coffee in one pot, melt the chocolate in another and then assemble them, all within a few minutes!
Choose your favorite milk and whisk it until you get the level of foam you want. For an extra frothy cup, go for double or heavy cream milk.
Want to prepare your bicerin with low fats? If so, then low fat or semi-skimmed milk is the way to go.
If you are one of those who find the taste of bicerin a little too bitter, you can put extra sugar in your dairy and still enjoy your drink.
We concluded that the best way to layer your bicerin is to dribble hot chocolate over your coffee, and finish it by pouring light, foamy milk over it.
You can also put hot chocolate in using the back of a spoon, just like in Bailey’s cocktail, to give your drink a fancy, sophisticated look.
All in all, bicerin is undoubtedly a drink for everyone, and once you start drinking it, there is no going back.
So, let’s move on to the our bicerin recipe. Put on your aprons, everyone!
Presentation Matters When It Comes to Bicerin
Bicerin is a mouth-watering, enticing drink in which the distinct flavors of caffeine, cocoa, and whipped cream are perfectly blended. It is usually served in small transparent glasses so that you can admire the layers and presentation of the drink. The ingredients create multiple shades of color due to their differing densities, and they never fail to awe with their royal look.
How to Make a Becerin
- 2 tbsp. unrefined cane sugar
- 1 cup whole milk or almond milk
- Four freshly brewed espresso shots
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 7 oz. dark chocolate
- Topping: unsweetened cocoa powder
- Start by Making Ganache Hot Chocolate: Heat the milk in a deep saucepan over medium heat until it simmers or about 4 minutes. Next, whisk in the chocolate until it is fully melted and well combined. Transfer the hot chocolate to a container, let it cool, and save it for later.
- Brew the Coffee: We recommend brewing an Italian coffee mix with a rich, robust flavor to replicate the Italian delicacy.
- Prepare the Glasses: Fill multiple heatproof glasses halfway with hot tap water and set them aside. Freeze a cocktail shaker for at least ten minutes.
- Start Serving: Empty the half-filled glasses and let them dry before adding one espresso shot to each of them.
- Layer All the Elements in the Glass: Try slightly tilting the glass and slowly pouring in a the hot chocolate you made earlier until the cup is about a quarter full. You can also pour the hot chocolate by putting a spoon perpendicular to the inner part of the glass, turning the spoon towards the top, and slightly angling it downwards. Pour the warm chocolate down the spoon and into the glass slowly. The denser chocolate will settle on the bottom of your glass.
- Shake the Drink: Take the shaker from your freezer, add cream to it, and vigorously shake until it becomes frothy. Do this for a good 10 to 15 minutes to ensure a thick foam.
- Serve and Enjoy: Pour the whipped cream on top of the hot chocolate in each glass and serve. Remember not to stir your bicerin or else the ingredients will blend, and you won’t be able to see the beauty of its layers.
Ready-Made Bicerin Coffee at Starbucks
A variation of the classic bicerin is now available at all branches of Starbucks around the globe.
They make their chocolate bicerin by pouring ganache into a small glass, topping it with cold foam crema, and finally coating it with an espresso shot.
Their Pistachio bicerin, on the other hand, is prepared from pistachio-flavoured cream, espresso, and melted chocolate.
These bicerins have caused a frenzy among the coffeeholics and are undoubtedly one of the best items on their menu!
What Is the Best Way to Drink Your Bicerin?
To enjoy bicerin the traditional way, avoid mixing or blending it. Instead, drink the beverage with its layers and relish the flavors one by one. You can also pair your bicerin with a biscotti or your favorite sweet to turn it into an after-dinner dessert.
Bicerin is indeed a drink for all generations. From the early 1800s to the present, this drink has gone through several transformations to become the indulgant beverage it is today.
We hope that you can replicate this fantastic Italian beverage at home. Happy drinking, everyone!
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You will notice that the word Bicerin seems to be a composite word consisting of ‘Bi’ and ‘Cerin’. Bi usually refers to two of something. Cerin has various meanings. These meanings probably have nothing to do with the chocolate, cream, coffee but it is fun.
In Gaelic Baby Names the meaning of the name Cerin is: Little dark one (sheknows.com)
Cerin is a crystalline triterpenoid C30H50O2 that is extracted from cork (Merriam-Webster dictionary)
Cerin® BGL is a non‐ionic hydrophilic emollient derived from coconut oil. It functions as thickener and super fatting additive in the formulation of personal cleansing products based on alkyl ether sulfate like shampoo, body wash, foam bath, facial wash, etc. (ulprospector.com)
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