Frozen coffee cream, a long journey and the wish to be “big”
It always surprise me think that a lot of the most important ingredients in the Italian cuisine are not really Italian. Tomatoes, eggplants, corn and a lot of other vegetables did a long journey to reach Italy, then found good conditions and became common cultivation. For some of them it wasn’t possible begin a production in Italy because the environment wasn’t good enough. That was for example the case of coffee that is one of the most favorite drink in Italy (if you’ve ever been here you know what I mean: you can find a coffee shop in every road corner) and that is still imported from South America and Central Africa. But this distance never stopped coffee lovers.
Coffee conquest of the world started in Arabian countries (around 900 – 1000 A.D) and took diffusion following the Muslim expansion in the Mediterranean. It arrived for the first time in Europe in 1615, thanks to the trades between the Republic of Venice and the East. It was in Venice that the first European coffee shop born: I’m talking about Caffè Florian that is still open under the arcades of Piazza San Marco.
The strangest thing about coffee is that it is a “for adult only” drink even if it’s not alcoholic. That is of course because of it contains caffeine that is not good for children, so it’s pretty common for Italian children wish to be big enough to drink it. I wasn’t an exception: I remember myself asking to my mother “can I have it please?” and the answer was always… “No, you’re too young”. Fortunately there was a wonderful sort of ice cream that had coffee flavor. The name was “Coppa del nonno” and it was a brown cup full of this incredibly good frozen cream. Children were allowed to eat the “coppa” with the terrible result that when I was “big enough” to finally drink the real coffee I expected something good and sweet like this ice cream… guess what: I’ve found it terrible! Even now that I’m 34 I love coffee in ice cream and in tiramisù but if I have to drink it (and I have drunk a lot of cups when I was doing my university studies!) I need to use a wagon of sugar and a lot of milk… but don’t worry, other Italians aren’t like me.
Going back to the recipe, I was really happy when I found that thanks to a sort of Italian Martha Steward (and I’m saying that like a compliment, here is her blog) and I couldn’t wait even a day to prepare it. As you will see, the recipe is really easy to do, you don’t need to cook anything and it’s ready in about 10 minutes. Then you have only to let it cool in the freezer, serve it to your guest and let them wonder if you’re a kitchen goddess or something 😉
– 500 ml of heavy cream
– 170 g of condensed milk
– 4 teaspoons of instant coffee
– 2 egg yolks
Put in a pan 2 spoons of heavy cream, add the instant coffee and melt over low heat. Whipping the creaming cream and in a separate bowl beat the 2 egg yolks with the condensed milk. Pour the coffee mixture and mix well. The the whipped cream and gently add to the compound stirring from the bottom up. Ok…you’ve done it! Pour the cream in cups and put in the freezer. Don’t forget to tell me if you liked it! Buon appetito!