Lots of coffee chocolates in the Befana stocking - Gran Caffè Gambrinus

Article written by Michele Sergio and published in Rome on 05 January 2020

As every year, one of the most loved holidays by all Italian children returns, the Epiphany, the Befana festival. Tradition has it that on the night of January 5, parents hang (empty) socks on the fireplace or window so that the Befana fills them with toys and sweets to be found by the children the next morning. This ancient gift dispenser is depicted as an ugly old woman “with all her shoes broken and patches at the skirt” (as an ancient popular saying goes) and flying on a broom holding a sack full of gifts with one hand for good children than for bad children. Great is the expectation of the children but, even bigger, is the wonder of finding the sock full of candies, chocolates, biscuits and toys on the morning of January 6th.

Among the many delights in the stocking there are also coffee chocolates, good to eat and easy to make even at home.

Here is the recipe. Coffee chocolates are composed of an external layer of chocolate called “wrapping” and an internal heart of coffee ganache (cream and chocolate).

To make the external part, melt a chocolate bar in a bain marie (preferably containing a percentage of 70% cocoa) and bring the mixture to a temperature of 35-40 ° and then pour it into molds. After a few minutes at rest, the mold is turned upside down to allow the chocolate to flow (in a container that we will use again later) from the center of each cell and thus form the external coating.

The coffee ganache, on the other hand, is prepared as follows. Pour 100 g of liquid cream into a saucepan and bring it to the boil. Then add 100 grams of white chocolate and a small cup of coffee. Mix everything until a creamy mixture is obtained. Ready the cream is inserted inside each single cell of the chocolate-lined molds; then everything is left to cool until each individual praline crystallizes.

The last step is to “close” the chocolates with a layer of chocolate. After drying, the finally ready chocolates are pulled out of the molds.

This year we suggest not to put the chocolates in the stocking but to leave them on view so that the waiting old woman will be able to take some of them and enjoy it, even giving the right amount of coffee to face her long and demanding night. Good epiphany to everyone and be careful not to be bad otherwise the stocking will reserve us black coal and not the tasty coffee chocolates.