As so often happens in our country, the best inventions arise from necessity. And when we talk about the palate, Italians are the masters of genius. And although it may seem strange, this recipe, too, was created from the greedy need to be able to taste coffee all year round. In Naples in the summer it’s very hot, just as it was in the 1800s. So the Neapolitan women invented a way of not having to give up their historic drink even when the temperatures prohibited it. In fact, processing the milk enriched with sugar and then combining it with the coffee, they managed to create cream that could be served cold. In this way what is known as “Caffè del Nonno” was born in Naples and is now known throughout the whole of Italy as “Crema di Caffè”.
This cool drink has come a long way over the years and is now indispensible and not only for the greedy ones. From the “housewife” preparation method there has evolved the more professional one, that we can taste almost everywhere. So we decided to give you the recipe to allow you to taste this bar version of the crema al caffè in your own home.
The ingredients for the crema al caffè
For this recipe for crema al caffè the necessary ingredients are:
– Coffee (250 ml)
– Sugar (2 spoons)
– Fresh cream (250ml)
The “traditional” procedure
1) Make the coffee. We know that everyone has their own “secret recipe” we like to stay with the classic method: as our equipment we choose the moka, remembering that the best infusion technique is not to press the ground coffee down hard and to take the coffee off the heat in good time so that it doesn’t burn the more delicate notes of the coffee.
2) Once the coffee has been prepared, add the sugar and make sure it dissolves completely before putting the whole mixture to rest in the fridge.
3) Separately put the fresh cream in a bowl and start to whisk it the electric whisk. When you see that the cream is starting to stiffen, little by little start to add the cold coffee until you get a densely textured and homogenous cream.
4) Let this mixture rest in the freezer for at least an hour, taking care not to let it freeze. To avoid this, we recommend that you stir it every it 20 minutes, so that it doesn’t lose its creamy consistency.
5) When you take the mixture out of the freezer, we recommend in any case that you whip it again, for a short time, with the electric whisk before serving it.
6) The presentation is as important as the procedure. For this reason we suggest that you serve it in a Martini glass with a light sprinkling of bitter chocolate powder and decoration made using coffee beans; to contrast their crunchiness with the creaminess of the dessert.
Crema al caffè: The sweet-tooth variation
There is always a way to improve on tradition, and in this, chocolate is undoubtedly an excellent ally. The variation that we are going to show you in this paragraph is the plus for all chocolate lovers and all those who cannot do without an extra dose of sweetness.
For this recipe for crema al caffè with chocolate the necessary ingredients are:
– Icing sugar (100g)
– Fresh cream (250ml)
– Coffee (100ml)
– Plain dark chocolate (50g)
1) Prepare the coffee, a 2-cup moka is perfect. Once it is ready, leave it to cool in the fridge.
2) Melt the chocolate, you can choose whether to use a bain-marie, or the microwave. Once this is done, leave this to cool, too, exactly like the coffee.
3) While the coffee and chocolate are cooling, whip the cream as much as possible with the icing sugar. Once this is done, little by little, pour the coffee into the mix taking care to move the spatula from the bottom upwards, to avoid “deflating” the cream.
4) To all of this, add the chocolate, as you did with the coffee, always taking care not to lose the consistency.
5) After adding the last ingredient, leave the mixture to rest in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
6) To crown this chilled dream for greedy people, we suggest decorating it all with a spray of whipped cream and chocolate shavings!
First of all, we strongly recommend that you consume the crema di caffè as soon as it is ready. In this way the ingredients will be fresh and its creaminess will be tastier. If by chance there is some left over, you can keep it in the freezer, but we would recommend that you put it in the fridge to defrost it (but not completely) and beat it again with the electric whisk before serving it, so as to make it creamier, because the freezing process can reduce that quality. Now it’s your turn to let us know if you wanted to taste the bar version of the crema di caffè, or if you have decided to make it in order to have a base for culinary creations with a sweet yet at the same time decisive taste!