Cooking with grandma: Bicerin, a chocolate liqueur

In this episode of “Cooking with Grandma” you’ll learn how to prepare Bicerin, with chocolate being the main ingredient.

By Monica Nicol / 3.12.2019

Bicerin is a traditional Italian liqueur from Turin. It takes its name from the little glass that it’s served in (the Italian “bicchierino” meaning “small glass” in English).
This drink was created in the 1700s, and was originally prepared with coffee, chocolate powder and milk. Seeing as the first two ingredients were very expensive at the time, producers in the 1800s often left out the coffee, and the cocoa powder was substituted with walnuts, which are widespread in Piedmont.

Thanks to several reworkings of the recipe, nowadays Bicerin has three main versions in which these three ingredients are combined or alternated. The “pur e fior” version is similar to a cappuccino, the “pur e barba” version is a mixture of coffee and hot chocolate, and the “’n pòc ‘d tut” variety (“un po’ di tutto”, “a bit of everything” in English) contains all of the main ingredients.

Ingredients:

1l of full-fat milk
1kg of sugar
250ml alcohol (spirits)
225 g of bitter cocoa
1 spoon of instant coffee (optional)
1 sachet of vanillin (optional)

 

Method:

In a saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder and milk, and keep over a low heat to melt all the ingredients. Stir continually.
When the mixture is hot, add vanillin and instant coffee, still stirring.


Just before it boils, remove it from heat, then add the alcohol. Stir thoroughly.
After that leave the mixture to cool.


Once cooled, pour the mixture into a bottle.

Your homemade Bicerin is done!

You can enjoy it lukewarm, or cold with a dash of whipped cream. Alternatively, you can use it to garnish ice cream, cakes or any other kind of dessert!

Author

Monica Nicol (Italy)

Studies: Translation

Languages: Italian, English, Spanish, Catalan

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Emma J Latham (United Kingdom)

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Daria Subkhangulova (Russia)

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