Listen up, everyone who likes chocolate! No matter how much of a chocoholic you are or how much control you have over your sweet taste, it is fair to say that there is nothing else in the world quite like the hot chocolate that is served in Italy.
It goes without saying that Italians have a deep affection for their coffee, but when the weather turns chilly, there’s nothing more comforting than a mug of hot chocolate. It’s one of those Italian cocktails that transcends cuisine to become an experience!
Cioccolata Calda is the thick and creamy rendition of hot chocolate that is popular in Italy. If you like the comforting and soothing effects of a warm cup of hot chocolate, you are sure to fall in love with this beverage.
When you are really missing Italy, here is some information on a delicacy that is only found in Italy, as well as instructions on how to prepare it at home.
WHAT IS CIOCCOLATA CALDA?
Italian hot chocolate is a delicious and creamy beverage that is thick but can still be drunk, and more significantly, it can be dunkable. It is also occasionally referred to as Italian drinking chocolate or European drinking chocolate in other parts of Europe. You may believe that a beverage that seems to be molten and thick would not be very pleasant, but it is, in fact, chocolate, and it is generally high-quality chocolate at that.
It will seem as if you are stealing some of your mother’s melted chocolate while she is making a cake or decorating brownies when you drink your first cup of thick Italian hot chocolate. This feeling of decadence will last for the rest of the night. Surprisingly, it has the same natural flavour as any warm Italian beverage, such as cappuccino or espresso, as it travels down the throat.
Cioccolata Calda is made with only three simple components: chocolate, sugar, and warm milk. Special machinery is used in order to prevent the liquid from scorching while it is being melted. These devices gently spin the mixture continuously.
This kind of richly textured hot chocolate may be found across Europe; however, the term “cappuccino” and the practice of serving it with a delicately sweet delicacy or desserts such as cantucci or biscotti are exclusive to Italy.
THE HISTORY OF ITALIAN HOT CHOCOLATE
It’s possible that you’re already familiar with the fact that chocolate originated in South America. The pre-Columbian peoples were light years ahead of their time, so it’s not surprising that they were the ones to uncover the delights of what is still today one of the most well-liked delicacies in the world.
Although it is believed that their early version of a hot chocolate drink was a watered-down version of a hot, chocolaty drink that was infused with rich flavours like chilli, cinnamon, and vanilla, it became well-known all over the world long before the world became aware of the medicinal properties of hot chocolate. It wasn’t long before the Spanish conquerors carried it back to Spain, where it was soon adopted as the latest status symbol among the country’s richest strata.
It didn’t take long for Italy, one of the first republics in the Spanish realm, to become a huge fan of the new hot chocolate drink, and it didn’t take long for them to give it their own twist. It did not take long for Turin, which is located in Italy, to become a hub for the manufacturing of chocolate when the Savoy Kingdom offered the beverage during a festival there.
This delicious beverage may be found across northern and central Italy today, especially as the weather begins to turn chilly. It may be found at any and all Christmas markets and is a common kind of food sold on the streets throughout the Christmas season.
WHAT MAKES HOT CHOCOLATE ITALIAN HOT CHOCOLATE?
At this point, you may be wondering why all of the commotions is being made. Even if it was the powdered sort that came in a packet and you added boiling hot water to produce a largely dissolved hot drink with a few undissolved bubbles of cocoa powder floating on top, you have tasted hot chocolate in the past.
After all, was said and done, there was still a half teaspoon of the mixture left in the bottom of your cup. When I was a youngster, the container of Swiss Miss could always be found in the kitchen pantry that belonged to my family. Perhaps you were fortunate and had a member of your family who could make the handmade type for you.
When my husband and I finally made it to Italy in the winter, we went to the Christmas market in Bolzano called the Mercatini di Natale. There, we had our first taste of Cioccolata Calda, and from that moment on, our lives would never be the same. After that, we experienced it once again when we moved to Bologna, and then once more while we were in Florence. As part of our study, of course ;), by the time our two-week Christmas vacation was up, we had sampled Cioccolata Calda at every restaurant we visited.
The question now is, what distinguishes Italian hot chocolate from other types? For one thing, Italian hot chocolate is much denser, creamier, and more opulent than the standard hot chocolate served in the United States. Imagine if the chocolate pudding of your dreams and your favourite candy bar got together and produced a baby. It is served hot in a cup, of course, with a spoon, and is often topped with a dab of whipped cream.
Additionally, and this is an essential point, the cocoa used to make this traditional Italian chocolate drink is often of a darker kind than the milk chocolate that is more commonly used in the United States. It was the one thing we tried in Italy that I can’t recall being prepared any other way. Get ready to experience the chocolate equivalent of nirvana if, like me, you’re a fan of dark chocolate.
ITALIAN HOT CHOCOLATE RECIPE
Italian Cappuccino in the Microwave (Cioccolata Calda)
A few fundamental components, including cocoa powder, sugar, and milk, are used to make Italian hot chocolate. In certain recipes, a touch of dark chocolate and a thickening agent like cornstarch is also used in the final product.
2 cups of full-fat milk
minimum 70 per cent cacao beans
4 tablespoons of powdered bitter cocoa
1 level teaspoon of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of icing or confectioner’s sugar
Yield: 2 servings
Prepare extremely little pieces of the dark chocolate by chopping it. Put the milk in a saucepan and cook it over low heat until it is warm but not boiling.
In a bowl, combine the chocolate chips, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and confectioners’ sugar. Mix well. Add the chocolate mixture and stir or whisk it until it becomes thick and creamy after the milk has reached the desired temperature and bubbles have begun to form on the top. Constant stirring is the best way to prevent lumps from developing in the mixture.
Take the mixture off the stove before it has reached its final thickened state since the cornstarch will continue to cause it to thicken even after it has been withdrawn from the heat.
To be served hot.
TIPS FOR MAKING CIOCCOLATA CALDA
Cioccolata Calda is really simple to make, as seen by the Italian hot chocolate recipe presented above; nevertheless, there are a few things to bear in mind while doing so. As is the case with the majority of activities in Italy, doing things slowly and steadily not only results in a better outcome but also adds to the whole experience. Simmer the mixture instead of bringing it to a boil, and use just a little amount of chocolate since it goes a long way.
- Before you begin adding the remaining ingredients, check to see that the milk has been heated up.
- Keep an eye on the temperature, and don’t let the bottom get too scorching or boiling.
- Take the mixture off the heat as soon as you see any clumps forming in the chocolate, and whisk it rapidly until it is smooth once again.
Before taking the chocolate off the stove, make sure it doesn’t become too thick by leaving it alone for too long.
If you really like a flavour like vanilla, cinnamon, or caramel, you should always put it in at the very end of the process.
As a garnish for the saucer, put a squished-up piece of soft caramel in it. They melt beautifully in the warm chocolate, and they give a great new dimension to those who like caramel.