A few years ago, I headed to the picture-perfect town of Turin, tucked up in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The city has a lot to claim (The Mole Antonelliana, the home of FIAT, site of the Winter Olympics), but, as a food lover, what stands out to me is that it's the birth place of Gianduja (as in the forefather of Nutella). So, in my book, that unoffically qualifies Turin as the chocolate capital of Italy.
While there, I made it a point to consume chocolate as often as possible; but a girl can eat only so much, so I turned to drinking my chocolate instead. That's when I stumbled upon this amazing creation known as the Bicerin, basically, a layered Mocha – with European-style hot chocolate, dark espersso coffee, and just-whipped cream – hails from Caffè Al Bicerin and knew I had to learn to make it myself.
Place milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until simmering, about 4 minutes. Add chocolate and whisk until completely melted and well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Place a cocktail shaker in the freezer until well chilled, at least 10 minutes. Fill a large heatproof glass with very hot tap water and set aside.
To serve, empty the glass and dry it out. Layer the ingredients in the glass by placing the shot of espresso in the bottom and then, while slightly tilting the glass, slowly pouring in the hot chocolate. Remove the shaker from the freezer, add the cream, and shake vigorously until frothy, at least 20 times. Spoon the shaken cream on top of the hot chocolate and serve immediately.
Food styling and photography by Aida Mollenkamp