One of the faults of European tours, for the under- thirty set I believe, is the numerous and seemingly endless yet all alike churches, cathedrals and castles. So many, too many. Frescoes and stained glass and columns and gothic architecture, spires and statues, friezes etc. It’s a little much. But the Germans seem to have a cure for those days when another castles or cross-shaped building is just one too many, and you need a little something to pump you up for the next three-hundred year old building.
And those come often on a ten-day strike down the Rhine. Not to sound ungrateful or bored, of course. But I found, even if you’re just a little hungry, tired, weary, whatever. Not only will some schnitzel or Dutch fries help out, but they’re enough motivation to move on.
Deep fried veal and potatoes can do that sometimes. It’s all about the inspirational grease.
Another great thing the Germans do, in the Rhine town of Rudesheim, is make a great cup of coffee. Of course, the heavy whipped cream, bittersweet chocolate shavings, and, oh yeah, the brandy, might have something to do with it’s superb and caffeinated deliciousness.
Just maybe. It’s so good—hey, anything involving a flame to make is epic—that we brought a special cup back. Now, you don’t need a special cup to have a little brandy and fire party in your morning coffee, but it’s just that much more fun.
Perhaps have a cup of plain coffee before making a Rudesheim coffee, unless you’re totally confident in your ability to handle fire.
For two servings.
Two cups of hot brewed coffee
Two ounces Brandy or Cognac
Two teaspoons sugar
½ cup heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
¼ cup bittersweet chocolate shavings
1. To make chocolate shaving, heat a bar of bittersweet chocolate, about four ounce, in the microwave until just warm to touch but not melted, about five seconds twice. This will ensure large shavings. Using a vegetable peeler, shave chocolate. Sprinkle onto of the whipped cream, which has been divided into two portions.
2. Microwave the brandy or Cognac with the sugar in the microwave for about ten seconds, stirring before and after heating. Divided between two cups. With a large serving spoon for the whipped cream and the coffee ready, dip a spoon into the heated sugar and brandy solution. Light the vapors and residue on the spoon with a lighter or match and then slowly dip the light spoon into the cup, lighting the brandy on fire. Allow the blue flame to burn off some of the alcohol for about three seconds. (Or less, if you wish.) Pour in the hot coffee to put out the flame and then scoop the whipped cream and chocolate shavings onto the coffee. The cream will dissolve and create delicious and chocolaty foam.