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January knitting, and a recipe for Marocchino

January 26, 2015

January mantel

Winter pastimes

Primrose in progress

Knitterly tools

Afternoon pick-me-up

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you know that I’ve been plugging away on a pretty pink cardigan this month.  The pattern is Primrose, by Cecily Glowik MacDonald, and the yarn is The Woolen Rabbit Essence, in the colorway Blush.  I’m having a bit of a love affair with the color pink right now, so it seemed the natural choice.  I thought this would be the perfect project to get me dreaming about spring while stuck inside under a blanket of snow — but we haven’t gotten any snow this year, and it’s supposed to be almost 70° later this week!  Fortunately* I’ve been sick off and on for most of the month, so there’s been plenty of downtime for knitting anyway.  And I eventually resorted to making my own snow, from this tutorial, which really cheered up the mantel after the Christmas decorations were put away.  [*Obviously not great that I’ve been sick, but from the perspective of getting this sweater done, it’s been a terrific opportunity!]

Besides the knitting, there have been a few kitchen projects here and there.  A chocolate pie, an epic failed attempt at baking bread, some lovely apricot scones, butterscotch blondies, and my new favorite thing: the Marocchino.  It means ‘Moroccan’ in Italian, but the drink isn’t Moroccan at all.  Apparently the name derives from the color of the drink, which is reminiscent of Moroccan leather.  The first and only time I had a Marocchino was last winter at a little bar in Milan, where Flavio and I had stopped to get out of the rain.  It’s a mixture of cocoa powder, ristretto (a very short, strong espresso), and frothed milk, typically served in a glass cup with a metal handle.  Yesterday we were pretty bored and discussing what kind of coffee to have post-lunch, and one of us had the idea to try making a Marocchino at home.  It’s a little bit involved for such a small drink, although not at all difficult.

Marocchino (serves 2)

1.5 – 2 oz. ristretto
about 1/4 c. frothed milk
1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Sugar, for serving

To make the ristretto, we used our regular old 2-cup stovetop moka pot, but only used half the normal amount of water (and the usual amount of coffee).  The trick is to pay close attention as the coffee brews, because it doesn’t make the typical hissing/gurgling sound when it’s done.

The easiest way to make frothed milk is with one of those little electric frothing wands, but you can also use a small French press or the steamer thing on an espresso machine (although I could never make that thing work).  Any kind of milk will work, but low-fat and skim milk will be foamier than whole milk.

To assemble the Marocchino, first dust a little cocoa powder in the bottom of a small (about 3 oz.) cup.  Glass is traditional, so you can see the pretty layers.  Next, pour in half of the ristretto.  Carefully pour in a couple tablespoons of frothed milk, holding back the foamiest part with a spoon, then dollop a bit of the foam on top.  Finally, dust with additional cocoa powder.  Serve with sugar.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2015 10:54 am

    I love the sweater you are working on. It looks beautiful. And I love your mantel too. I hope you are feeling better. I am sorry you were sick but not so sick that you couldn’t knit. That is waste of being sick I think 🙂 I totally understand the “fortunately” being sick. I got a good head start on the sweater I am working on when we were all sick.

    • whitney marie permalink*
      January 28, 2015 11:53 am

      Thanks Christine! Yeah, being too sick to knit is a total waste…I did have one day like that, but for the most part I’ve just had plenty of nice knitting time. The biggest hindrance to my knitting has been Buddy deciding that my lap looks like a cozy place for a nap — especially if I don’t manage to move my knitting and/or yarn quickly enough. He’ll totally fall asleep with a needle sticking him in the side, he absolutely doesn’t care! One day he even chewed my working strand of yarn in two! And not to mention the time Sally absconded with a ball I was winding and unraveled it all over the house before I could catch her…

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