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Published: Saturday, 2/25/2006

Bicerin: Savor this unofficial drink

BY AMY McCONNELL SCHAARSMITH
BLOCK NEWS ALLIANCE

of the 2006 Winter Games

A bicerin is a short, strong chocolate-and-espresso beverage made famous in Torino, Italy, at Caffe Al Bicerin.

It's served in a tall glass so the drinker can admire the mouthwatering melange of colors. As athletes, spectators, and news crews have swarmed Torino over the past few weeks, bicerin has become the unofficial drink of the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Now you can enjoy it, too. Although the cafes in Torino and elsewhere will make this drink with specialized equipment, aficionados can make a good approximation at home with the following recipe:

3 ounces heavy cream

3 ounces whole milk

3 ounces finely chopped or

ground dark

chocolate

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Tiny dash of salt

8 ounces hot espresso or very dark, strong hot coffee

Lightly sweeten-

ed whipped cream

For the chocolate: Heat milk and cream slowly over low heat, stirring frequently, until steaming, being careful not to scorch it.

Add the chopped chocolate, vanilla, and salt to the steaming milk. Stir constantly over heat until it begins to boil. Remove from heat.

Assemble the drink immediately.

In a 6-to-8-ounce glass or cup, layer equal amounts of espresso/coffee (2 ounces) and drinking chocolate (2 ounces).

Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Aldo Coffee Co., Mount Lebanon, Pa.

The Block News Alliance consists of The Blade and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Amy McConnell Schaarsmith writes about food for the Post-Gazette.



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