I’ve been to my fair share of Italian restaurants, but had never tried an affogato until last year. Also known as “affogato al cafe” or “drowned in coffee” in Italian, an affogato consists of gelato topped with a shot of hot espresso. Man oh man…this is my kind of dessert! It’s not overly sweet and the bitterness of the coffee, with the sweet, creamy gelato is just perfect. My husband loves these so much that he wanted to eat at the same restaurant every night of our cruise just so he could have another one! Needless to say, these have become a staple at home and he gets just as excited every time I make it.
To make an affotago:
- Add 1/2 cup of gelato or ice cream to a shallow serving bowl.
- Pour 2-3 tablespoons of hot, freshly-brewed espresso on top.
- Top with grated chocolate, cinnamon, or whipped cream if desired.
- Serve immediately. I like to serve this with Italian cookies. My favorites are mini biscotti and Amaretti because they are good for dunking!
Making them is easy enough but here are some tips:
- Use gelato if you can. If you have to use ice cream, use one that’s extra rich and creamy.
- Experiment with different flavors of both coffee and gelato, or make an “adult” version using Amaretto or other liqueur to the coffee.
- In place of espresso, you can also use extra-strong coffee. Instant coffee or espresso powder are perfect for this.
- In my opinion, organic coffee is best because it is very smooth (cheap coffee can be acidic).
- It’s easier to eat out of a shallow serving dish. The first time I made it, I put it in glass Irish coffee mugs, which was pretty but too hard to eat. Now I like to serve it in these mini martini glasses!