CAFFE’ IN FORCHETTA, A MONTALCINO DESSERT
This is a delicious dessert born at the beginning of the 20th century in Montalcino. It is called “caffè in forchetta” (coffee with a fork) but, in truth, it is eaten with a spoon
It is a Liberty-style dessert, an era when cafés became an important place in social life. In Montalcino, like in Venice or Turin, the local public places in the centre were re-qualified and enriched with velvet and mirrors so as to be able to welcome the bourgeois clients. These in Montalcino, the city of Brunello, comprised those who were noble, academics, business men, landowners and even a few artists.
CAFFE’ IN FORCHETTA IN MONTALCINO AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20th CENTURY
Montalcino has always, in fact, had a diversified social structure, cultured and open minded. Regardless of this liveliness the lifestyle of the women was controlled and certainly not as casual as in Paris. In particular, women were criticized if they drank coffee, it was considered too audacious. For this reason a cream caramel was invented where to the milk was added to coffee. This way it was possible to serve coffee to the ladies without it seeming so. This dessert was quite a success and was served in all homes, until like everything else it was no longer fashionable. I published a booklet called “66 ricette di cucina montalcinese” where the fine oral Montalcinese gastronomy was transcribed. This brought back into use the caffè in forchetta that is now once again very present in the restaurant menus in the Brunello territory.
Here it is. It is a simple dessert quite apt to sweetly conclude a meal.
INGREDIENTS FOR CAFFE’ IN FORCHETTA
4 eggs, 4 spoonfuls of sugar, 250 g of milk, 250 g of black coffee
PREPARATION OF CAFFE’ IN FORCHETTA
Whisk well two whole eggs and two yolks and the sugar. Add the milk and coffee both cold. Blend well, sieve, to get rid of any lumps, and pour into casserole dish. Oven bake at 150°C until the mixture solidifies. Leave to cool and serve with sweet whipped cream on top.
Coffee is never great company for wine. But in this case I would suggest a more cultural than gastronomic pairing by remaining in Tuscany with the most traditional dessert wine of the region, Vin Santo. The one we make at Fattoria del Colle, with its high ratings from the international specialized press will give you an experience from the old days in the Sienese countryside.