Chocolate + Espresso. The “Bicerin” Cake


If you will happen to visit the city where I live, called Torino (north-west Italy), you shall not miss drinking its most iconic delicacy: the Bicerin.  It’s a simple non-alcoholic winter drink rooted in the chocolate and coffee making tradition of the city.  Do not forget that Espresso was born in Torino in the 1800s and that chocolate making is one of the masteries of the city.

Bicerin – A tradition of Turin

The Bicerin is a drink made of 3 ingredients only: dark chocolate, espresso coffee and whipped cream. You can easily find it in all the historic café of the city such as Mulassano, Fiorio, Baratti&Milano, and obviously “Al Bicerin” where it was created.

Being such a huge success among the visitors I thought I could make a cake with the same ingredients and it turned out to be a very good idea: it’s as delicious as can be. Try to make it you too and let me know if you agree with me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of wheat flour (00)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of oil (sunflower seeds or peeanuts)
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 Espresso cups (Italian size) + 1 teaspoon of coffee powder
  • 50 grams of dark bitter chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder.
  • Whipped cream

Note: be aware that for this recipe you have to make the coffee with a Moka (the Italian coffee machine). Do not use filtered coffee. It won’t work.

Procedure

Prepare the coffee with the Moka and let it cool down

Melt 50 gr. of bitter chocolate in a bain-marie mode with 20 grams of unsalted butter

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Put the whites in a bowl and the yolks in another one.

Blend the egg yolks and the sugar, using a whip, until it turn to a foamy consistency, then add the oil and whip again for a couple of minutes then add the milk and whip again. Add a first cup of flour, when it’s all well blended, add the second cup of flour and the baking powder, and blend again until you get to a well dense dought. (if you feel the dought is too liquid add a fistful of flour.

The Bicerin Cake

Now take 2 bowls and put the same quantity of dough in both.

Take the first one and add 2 cups of espresso coffee (Italian size) + 1 teaspoon of coffee powder and blend until it turn to a light brown colour.

Take the second bowl, add the melted chocolate and blend until it turns to a dark brown colour.

Now whip the egg whites until stiff and add half of it to both doughs. It is important here that you incorporate the stiff whites moving slowly upward. It helps keeping a soft consistency once baked.

Serve the Bicerin Cake with a spoonful of whipped cream

Now take a cake pan and butter the surface and dust it with a bit of flour. Put the chocolate dough at the bottom and distribute it well, then top it with the coffee dough.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 °C for 35/40 minutes (note that baking time may depend on the nature of your oven – static or ventilation based, thus check it after 30 minutes by drilling it with a wooden stick: if it stays dry the cake is baked, if still a bit wet, bake for 10 more minutes.

Let the cake cool down than take it our of the pan, slice it and serve it with a tablespoon of whipped cream.

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