In these days we are all getting ready for Christmas, wrapping gifts and thinking of special recipes to treat our friends and families. Today we teach you an original Christmas recipe for a very special dessert, a homemade praline made with fine dark chocolate, rum and Pandoro, the traditional Italian Christmas sweet yeast bread (Panettone is also perfect for this recipe). Read how to make our delicious Christmas chocolate truffles.
Christmas chocolate truffles recipe
In a small pot, pour half a cup of fresh cream and heat it until it starts boiling. Break a pure dark chocolate bar into small pieces and add them to the pot while stirring with a whisk until you obtain a soft cream. Add a shot of rum and the same amount of butter, take the pot off the stove and let it cool in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
Once the chocolate cream is cold, take it out of the fridge and add small crumbles of Italian Pandoro or Panettone (you can easily find them in big stores or online). Stir with a spoon and then take small amounts of the delicious cream you just made and start shaping it into tiny balls using your hands.
Your Christmas chocolate truffles are now ready! Garnish them with cocoa powder, crushed hazelnuts or coconut chips, to your liking. These Christmas chocolate truffles with a glass of fine Rum or with a delicious homemade coffee liquor.
Enjoy your Christmas Chocolate Truffles!
Coffee is good for your health and it makes you live longer – it can even save your life. A curious experiment conducted by Gustav III of Sweden in the end of the 18th century proves it.
The experiment of Gustav III of Sweden
In Sweden, coffee became fashionable during the 18th century and its consume became so wide that a royal edict was issued in 1746 in order to limit the abuse of coffee and tea. During the following years, coffee was banned in the whole nation because it was believed to be harmful.
To verify the negative health effects of coffee, king Gustav III conducted an original experiment. He used two identical twins who were imprisoned and condemned to death. He commuted their sentence to life imprisonment and made one of them drink three cups of coffee every day and the other one three cups of tea every day for the rest of their lives, while a team of doctors followed their health status.
Coffee drinkers live longer
The results of the experiment were surprising: the twins lived longer than the physicians who supervised the study and than the king, who was murdered in 1792 before the experiment had ended. The twin who drank tea every day lived until age 83, which was a rare goal to reach back then. The coffee drinking twin lived even longer, but the details about his death are not known.
Find out 10 reasons why drinking coffee is good for your health.
Long live coffee!
With winter approaching, we bet you are looking forward to new comforting and sweet recipes for the cold afternoons ahead. Today we teach you how to make a homemade hot chocolate, but not the usual one. This is our recipe for a delicious white hot chocolate. Get ready to fall in love.
White hot chocolate recipe
White hot chocolate ingredients. First of all, you will need a white chocolate of the highest quality. Look for an artisan white chocolate containing a minimum of 20% cocoa butter. The other main ingredient is milk. Choose a high quality whole milk.
- 5 oz white sugar (150 gr)
- 17 fluid oz (half a liter) whole milk
- one spoonful of potato starch
How to make a white chocolate hot chocolate
Break the white chocolate bar into small pieces with the help of a knife. Meanwhile, pour the milk into a pot and heat it on the stove making sure it doesn’t reach the boiling temperature. Add the white chocolate pieces and let it melt while delicately stirring with a whisk. When the chocolate has almost completely melted, lower the flame and a glass of cold milk and a spoonful of potato starch. Keep on stirring on the stove for about 4-5 minutes, until the chocolate is dense and creamy. White hot chocolate doesn’t need any added sugar!
Garnish the surface with dark chocolate chips or some cinnamon powder and serve with spicy biscuits or artisan chocolate pralines.
Enjoy your hot white chocolate!
Today we introduce you a truly unique black tea: Lapsang Souchong, a smoky tea that will open you a whole world of new, suprising sensations and taste pairings.
What is Lapsang Souchong
Lapsang Souchong is a Chinese black tea grown in the Wuyi Mountains region in the province of Fujian. What makes this black tea unique is the way its leaves are processed: after the drying phase, the leaves are roasted over burning firewood, acquiring the characteristic, intense smoky aroma. The leaves are usually laid in bamboo baskets called honglong. Pine is the most commonly used wood.
Lapsang Souchong is also known as Zheng Shan Xiao Zhong in China, and it can be found in several precious tea blends, like many varieties of Russian Caravan and Smoky Earl Grey.
How to enjoy a Lapsang Souchong at its best
Lapsang Souchong has a peculiar bouquet with prominent smoky descriptors and notes of dry wood, undergrowth, longan, whiskey and dried fruit. This extraordinary smoky black tea is ideal alone, but its strong body and smoky taste make it a very interesting pairing for salty dishes, in particular fish or rice-based courses.
The invention of smoky tea
According to many, smoky tea was invented in China in the XVII century, during the Quing era. When the armies passed through the villages of the Wuyi Mountains, the annual processing of the leaves was delayed. In order to satisfy the demand of tea, the producers dried the tea lives over fires made from the wood of nearby pines. Lapsang Souchong is widely considered the first black tea in history.
Enjoy your Lapsang Souchong!
Gianduiotti, Turin’s famous chocolates, were named after Gianduja, the Piedmontese stock character of the Italian Carnival. Here is the story of Gianduiotti chocolates.
The stock character of Gianduja
The Gianduja character was created at the beginning of the 19th century by two puppeteers from Piedmont, Sales and Bellone di Oja. After being sentenced to death for lese-majesty because of their show featuring Gironi, considered a parody of the Duke of Genoa and then of Napoleon’s brother, the two puppeteers fled and hid in a farmstead in Callianetto, a small town near Asti, not far from Turin. There they modified their show and created the character of Gianduja – a symbol of the Piedmont people and of Italian Risorgimento – with its wig with the cue pointing up, the cockade with the colors of the Italian flag on its unique hat and a wine mug in its hand: the name Gianduja comes from Gioann dla doja, i.e. John of the mug in the Piedmont dialect.
The invention of Gianduja chocolate
The first chocolate with hazelnuts was made in Turin, Italy in 1806. Due to Napoleon’s blockade, cocoa seeds were very hard to find: some pastry chefs in Turin decided to compensate the lack of cocoa by adding delicious hazelnuts from the Langhe area to their chocolate. This is how a true masterpiece of the Italian pastry art was invented.
The invention of gianduiotti chocolates
Gianduiotti chocolates, with their typical trapezoid or “upturned boat” shape, were invented about fifty years later in Turin. They were the first wrapped chocolates ever and they were originally called givù. In the 1860s, during the Turin Carnival, an actor playing the character of Gianduja distributed among the crowd these new delicious chocolates, that were then named in his honor.
Long Island is one of the most popular summer cocktails. It looks like an iced tea, but it has all the taste and body of an alcoholic long drink. Today we will learn how to prepare a Long Island with a twist: We will replace Cola with a Cold Brew Coffee. Here is our Long Island Iced Coffee recipe.
Long Island Iced Coffee recipe
In a tumbler glass half-filled with ice cubes, pour one tablespoon of Tequila and one of Gin. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice and sugar syrup. Then, the final touch: fill the glass with a Cold Brew Coffee.
How to serve your Long Island Iced Coffee
Long Island Iced Coffee is a trending summer coffee drink and it is usually served “drink-in-a-jar” style. You can use old jam jars to surprise your friends with a stylish Long Island Iced Coffees just like they would find in a hipster café! Garnish with lime slices and mint leaves.
Very short history of Long Island
The classic Long Island Tea was invented in the United States in the 30′s, during prohibitionism. Selling alcohol was forbidden and smugglers had to find creative ways to sell alcoholics. In New York’s “speakeasies”, alcohol was laced with cola so that it would look like a simple iced tea: this is the origin of Long Island Iced Tea, an explosive alcoholic cocktail that looks just like a fresh iced tea.
Cold Brew Coffee is the trend of the summer. Loved by coffee addicts, Cold Brew is delicious and extraordinarily delicate. Learn how Cold Brew Coffee is made.
Like all the coffee connoisseurs know, the extraction method strongly affects the final taste of the beverage: this is why, for example, a cup of espresso tastes so different compared to a filter coffee. Cold Brew Coffee, also known as Cold Press or Toddy Coffee, is a cold-extracted coffee invented in the 60′s. Making it is simple, but it will take from 3 to 12 hours before you can savor your Cold Brew Coffee.
Cold Brew Coffee recipe
Making Cold Brew Coffee is easy, but you will need a dedicated coffee maker, somewhere between a French Press and a Filter coffee maker. Fill the higher chamber with iced water. It will slowly drip through the filter. The lower chamber is a glass jug where the filtered coffee will drip. The perfect coffee blend for Cold Brew Coffee is a high quality Arabica, ground medium.
What does Cold Brew Coffee taste like?
Cold Brew Coffee contains less caffeine than regular coffee, non-astringent and less bitter. It allows to savor nuances that are usually lost at the high temperatures of the other methods. It also can be stored for a long time, this is why it’s perfect for homemade summer drinks, like coffee cocktails or iced cappuccino. Cold Brew Coffee is a great way to treat yourself with a delicious coffee in the hot days of summer. You just need to be very patient!
How about turning a simple, tasteless ice cube into a special ingredient for a delicious, refreshing summer drink? Today we teach you a simple way to make tasty ice cubes starting from pure cocoa. Stun your guests with an original and exotic suprirse!
Chocolate ice cubes recipe
Making chocolate ice cubes at home is really quick and easy: they are simple homemade ice cubes, but instead of water we are going to use a chocolate syrup. First of all, pour 15 oz of water in a sauce pan and add 8 spoonfuls of sugar and 4 spoonfuls of cocoa. Of course, you can change the quantities to your liking, and you can obtain an even more original and delicate taste replacing sugar with rice or agave syrup. You can also try flavored cocoa powders for an even tastier result.
Let the infusion cool down and then leave it in your refrigerator for two hours. Filter your infusion and pour it into ice cubes molds. Then leave the molds in your freezer for a couple of hours. You can have fun using silicone molds of various shapes.
What you can do with your chocolate ice cubes
Chocolate ice cubes are the perfect ingredient for cocoa or cola cocktails like White Russian or Long Island iced coffee. You can also add them to a glass of cold milk for a super tasty summer break. If you want to explore all the tastes of coffee and chocolate, you can try them with a refined Cold Brew Coffee. Have fun making your chocolate ice cubes!
Bubble Tea is a fresh summer drink that is trending in the US and northern Europe. The story of Bubble Tea began in Taiwan more than 30 years ago. Today we tell you everything about its invention and we teach you how to prepare a tasty variation using Italian espresso coffee.
What is Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea is a fresh drink made from flavored tea enriched with tapioca pearls. In the Asian tradition, Bubble Tea is prepared with green tea, black tea or Oolong, but many variations are served in the Western countries today: fruit Bubble Tea, coffee Bubble Tea, Bubble Tea with or without milk. Many Bubble Tea drinks are actually prepared without using any tea: they are fruit drinks with tapioca pearls or other sweet, chewy spheric candies.
The invention of Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea was invented in the 80′s by Liu Han-Chieh, owner of a tea house in Taichung, Taiwan. Liu Han-Chieh was inspired by the Japanese cold coffee and applied the idea to tea. In 1988 his Lin Hsiu Hui, who worked for Liu Han-Chieh’s tea house, had the idea of adding tapioca pearls to the iced tea.
Coffee Bubble Tea Recipe
Making a Coffee Bubble Tea (or Bubble Iced Coffee) is really easy. The first step for making any Bubble Tea is boiling the tapioca pearls in hot water for 5-10 minutes. You will find the tapioca pearls in Asian shops and markets.
To make our Coffee Bubble Tea, prepare a long espresso using a high-quality Italian blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee. In a tall cocktail glass, pour some ice cubes, a spoonful of sugar and two spoonfuls of boiled tapioca pearls. Add milk to your liking.
In Asian shops you may find Bubble Tea straws, larger than the regular straws to allow the passage of the tapioca pearls.
If you want to prepare other kinds of Bubble Tea, you will just have to replace coffee with your favorite variety of tea. Try with a good flavored tea or enrich a green or black tea with blended fresh fruit.
Enjoy your Bubble Tea!
Have you ever tried making homemade coffee popsicles (or coffee ice pops)? Today we let you rediscover the joy of coffee in summer with an original and easy recipe. Learn how to make delicious homemade popsicles starting from a great Italian espresso.
How to make coffee popsicles
The first step for making coffee popsicles is preparing a coffee syrup. The process is really simple: here is how to make 4-6 coffee popsicles (depending on the molds you will use).
Prepare the equivalent of 6 espresso cups using a Moka coffeepot or an espresso machine. Pour the coffee in a bowl and add two spoonfuls of condended milk, a spoonful of cocoa powder and two spoonfuls of brown sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely melted and you obtain a creamy, dense syrup.
Let the syrup cool down and then pour it into popsicle molds. Put the molds in your freezer for about an hour. Before the popsicles are completely iced, put a wooden stick in the center of each popsicle. Put them back in the freezer for two more hours. Once they are completely solid, they are ready to be savored!
A special trick
If you don’t have any popsicles sticks and molds, get creative! You can use any small nonstick container as a mold. Plastic or wooden stir sticks or cocktail straws will be a perfect substitute for popsicle sticks!
Fun fact: the invention of popsicles
Popsicles were invented by chance by an eleven years old boy named Frank more than 100 years ago. On a winter night, in Oakland, Frank forgot a glass full of water and soda on his window sill. In the glass there was a wooden stick he used to stir his drink. The morning after, Frank used the wooden stick to extract the iced content of the glass. Eight years later, Frank Epperson sold the rights of his fortunate invention, which became popular in the US with the name Popsicle.
Enjoy your coffee popsicles!