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Espresso cocoa: superfood in the cup – Italian Cuisine

The daily appointment with the usual tazzulella of coffee remains among the most loved pleasures by Italians. Enter the favorite bar and order an intense espresso, creamy and with an enveloping taste, for many it is a veritable ritual that can not be renounced. But there are those who went further and created something that is proposed as an alternative for those who do not want or can not drink coffee. Is called Chokkino and it is a hot drink served in a small cup composed of two simple natural ingredients: cocoa powder and water.

170495Chokkino speaks Italian and is the first product designed by Live Better, a young woman startup founded by Elena Luzi: "I never drank coffee in my life, every time I entered a bar I did not know what to order and ended up taking a glass of water. That's why I invented Chokkino: I wanted a coffee-like drink that would supply energy and could be drunk quickly at the bar counter".

"Free from" and nutritional properties
Inspired by the thousand-year-old Mayan tradition, Chokkino is unsweetened, milk, gluten and coffee, in line for those suffering from food intolerances. Many are concentrated in just one cup micro-nutrients, fibers, proteins, mineral salts and antioxidants. To select the cocoa to be used, one was carried out research with the University of Teramo to calculate the polyphenol content of 60 cocoa samples, molecules currently studied to understand its antioxidant potential. The chosen one is grown in the Dominican Republic using organic methods and comes from fair trade.

170498Cacao is the new coffee?
The cocoa espresso it could have all the credentials to replace the typical features of coffee, in fact it contains a small amount of caffeine, but it is mainly rich in theobromine, a molecule belonging to the same family of caffeine but with a gentler action on the nervous system and that gives one pleasant feeling of well-being. Among the benefits related to the consumption of cocoa that today science hypothesizes, there are among others the lowering of blood pressure, the improvement of blood circulation, the improvement of mood, the protection from UV rays, the decrease in insulin resistance and LDL cholesterol, the improvement of bacterial flora and a neuroprotective action.

Who are the new cacao addicted
From children to the elderly, to all those who do not like coffee or current alternatives, to those who can not drink it for health reasons and new ones health addicts. But was not there already barley to fulfill this function? "Those who do not drink coffee do so to avoid consuming caffeine – explains Elena Luzi – or because they do not like the taste, or even for health reasons. Chokkino contains about 11mg of caffeine so it's not good for people who consume barley as it has no caffeine. 170501The barley has a particular taste, which not everyone loves, while cocoa has an enveloping aroma, usually much appreciated. Chokkino can be an excellent alternative to those suffering from problems such as stomach acid, because has a PH7, therefore neutral. In addition, Chokkino is a functional drink that provides energy, albeit more gently than coffee. And then cocoa is a superfoood e Chokkino contains only cocoa powder mixed with water".

If you are thinking of being able to drink an espresso cocoa even at home, at the moment it is not yet possible, but never say never. Currently exists a network of bars and cafes where Chokkino is delivered thanks to a machine developed by Live Better and called Kaya in honor of the Mokaya population, who first in 1600 BC consumed a cocoa-based drink. The instrument, through a patented process, emulsifies pure cocoa powder and water and is controlled remotely to protect the consumer on the exclusive use of the original product, to be enjoyed in its classic version, long, spotted, Choppuccino, Chokkolatte, corrected, shaken or with a whipped cream curl. I bet someone is already thinking of replacing it with coffee to prepare a tiramisu suitable for children.

Mariacristina Coppeto
February 2019
Cover photo: Pixabay

Recipe Chocolate in hazelnut cup and oil cookies – Italian Cuisine

  • 150 g peeled toasted hazelnuts
  • 150 g dark chocolate 60 al%
  • 150 g flour 00
  • 100 g buckwheat flour
  • 80 g brown sugar
  • 60 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 40 g dehulled buckwheat
  • an egg
  • baking powder for cakes
  • flour

For the chocolate cup recipe with hazelnuts and biscuits with oil, prepare the biscuits first: emulsify the oil with the whole egg and a tablespoon of water, add the emulsion to the flour, sieved with a pin of baking powder , and brown sugar; knead and roll the dough between two sheets of baking paper to 3-4 mm thick; cut out small cookies.

Toast the buckwheat for a few moments in a non-stick pan. Spread the beans over the biscuits and bake them for 12-15 minutes at 180 ° C. Prepare the chocolate: blend the hazelnuts for a long time with 500 g of cold water (4 ° C), let stand the smoothie for 2 hours, then filter it by pressing it well or compressing it into a gauze; at the end you will have to make 350 g of hazelnut milk. Break the chocolate into a saucepan, add the milk of hazelnuts and keep on the heat until the chocolate has melted. Add a teaspoon of starch to thicken the chocolate a little. Serve with cookies.

Turkey Matzo Ball Soup – That Old Thanksgivingukkah Classic

Soup is always an obvious choice for leftover-turkey-themed videos, but it wasn’t until I heard about “Thanksgivingukkah,” that I knew that soup would be turkey matzo ball.

This year, Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah fall on the same date for the first time since 1888, and this rare occurrence has been deemed, “Thanksgivingukkah.” And when we say rare, we mean rare, as this convergence will not happen again for another 77,000 years!

As I mention in the video, while pleased with my matzo ball skills, I’m not sure I’ve ever had the real thing (if that even exists), and so I don’t have anything to measure mine against. I’ve had it at delicatessens out here, but never in NYC, or other more legit locations. I’m using what seems to be a fairly standard formula, and they are quite light and tender, so until informed otherwise, I’m going assume these are pretty good.

However, there is one thing I would love to know. Why do “we” boil the matzo balls in salted water, instead of the soup? I’ve heard it’s so the broth doesn’t get cloudy, but is that really all there is to it? Speaking of the broth, yours will undoubtedly be superior to mine. By the time I got to this video, I only had a few scrawny pounds of meat and bones left, and yet it still came out wonderfully flavorful.

If you use all the scraps from a decent sized bird, you should get an incredibly rich broth, which is exactly what you want to be ladling over your matzo balls. As far as extra ingredients go, I like a minimalist approach with this soup, but of course, feel free to embellish your stockpot with whatever you see fit.

Some of this will be determined by how you season your Thanksgiving bird, and I can personally verify that this year’s Peruvian version worked nicely. So, I hope you enjoy the coming Thanksgivingukkah, and here’s hoping the end of your turkey means the beginning of a delicious matzo ball soup. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions (I only served one matzo ball, but this will make enough soup for 4 portions with 2 matzo balls per serving):

For the turkey broth:
3-4 pounds of roasted turkey bones and meat scraps (use everything you have, the fattier the pieces the better)
at least 2 quarts water or chicken broth, or enough to cover
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery
– simmer on low for 3 hours or until all the meat falls off the bones and it’s flavorless.
– skim and reserve at least 4 tbsp of the melted fat that rises to the top
– strain, and you should have about 6 cups of broth. If you have more, reduce down to 6 cups (do not season with salt until reduced). If you didn’t get quite 6 cups, just add some chicken broth to make up the difference.

Note: my turkey was already very well seasoned, so I didn’t need to add much to the stockpot. You can adjust your broth according, and can certainly add things like bay leaf, thyme springs, parsley stems, etc.

For the matzo balls (makes 8):

2 large beaten eggs
2 tbsp rendered melted turkey fat
1 tsp fine salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp seltzer or club soda
1/2 cup matzo meal
– Mix and chill 30 minutes at least
– Boil in salted water (1 1/2 quarts water with 1 1/2 tablespoons salt) for 30 minutes and serve with turkey broth

For the soup:
2 tbsp rendered melted turkey fat
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
6 cups very rich turkey or chicken broth (see recipe above)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped dill
8 cooked matzo balls!