Well hello there again little blog! It has been a while. I don’t think I’ve ever been away this long.
What’s been keeping me away, you ask? Oh … this and that. But you’ve never been far from my thoughts. Every now and then I sat down and started this post, only to stop mid-draft and walk away to focus on other things.
I’m not about forcing it. I always knew I’d finish the post when I was ready.
You’ve been on my mind so much lately. I’ve missed you. I’ve been thinking about you as much as I’ve been thinking about Italy, which always happens at this time of year.
This is the time when I know that soon … very soon … I’ll be in Italy again. Wrapped in that warm blanket of family and love and memories and the sea and the mountains and yes … food.
This morning, when I woke up, I knew that I would finish this post. I just knew it.
Just as I knew that with my morning espresso I would have our favourite add-in of crema. What’s crema, you ask? It’s a little Italian secret that we use to make your espresso that much more enjoyable.
When I was little and asked what the origin of this mix was, I was told that it was a way of faking the elusive schiuma that everyone loves to see on their espresso. Schiuma, or foam, is that golden top layer that lives on a freshly drawn espresso. It’s a sign of a well-made cup of espresso and adds to the experience of that first sip.
When you make espresso using the old-fashioned moka, you don’t always get that foam layer so apparently, making crema was a way to fake it. It’s downright delicious so the origin doesn’t really make much of a difference to me anymore.
It’s a treat.
To make crema, you add sugar to a cup and as soon as the first drips of espresso start to flow out of your moka, you add them to the sugar and then you start to mix vigorously. While the rest of your espresso percolates, you just keep on mixing and mixing until your sugar and espresso mix turns into a fluffy, light-coloured, creamy paste.
Before you serve your espresso, dollop a generous spoonful of the crema in to your espresso cup and then pour over the freshly brewed espresso. The crema will start to melt and as it does, it will rise to the top foaming a magical foamy layer. The added bonus is that your espresso is pleasantly sweetened.
The best crema maker that I know is my mom. Hers always comes out the lightest and fluffiest. My Italian aunts make a mean crema as well. We don’t always make it, just once and a while as a very special treat.
So I’m bringing you this sweet little gift to say hello again!
This is one of those treats where there really is no “recipe” … as annoying as that can sound. For enough crema for four people, place four heaping teaspoons of sugar in a mug. As soon as your espresso starts to percolate, pour in a tiny bit (just enough to wet the sugar) and then start stirring vigorously while the rest of the espresso percolates. You should end up with a very fluffy and light mixture. Dollop a generous spoonful in each espresso cup before pouring over the espresso. Enjoy!