Affogato is the Italian word for "drowned". Traditional Italian affogato is gelato drowned in espresso. Is it a dessert or a drink? Enjoy it as both, after your meal. You put scoops of gelato in a glass, you pour in hot espresso and you serve it. If the amount of coffee is generous, it will likely melt the gelato and you can serve the affogato as a beverage. If there is very little coffee in proportion to the gelato, the gelato will soften but not melt right away — in short, it can be served as a dessert that requires the use of a spoon.
- 2 to 4 scoops gelato (see notes after the recipe)
- ½ cup espresso or strong brewed coffee freshly made
- toasted nuts optional
- dark chocolate chips optional
- Place one to two scoops of gelato in a glass.
- Pour in a quarter cup of espresso.
- Sprinkle with nuts and chocolate chips. Purely optional but they do add an interesting texture to the affogato.
- Repeat with the remaining gelato and espresso.
- Serve the affogato immediately.
If you can get your hands on Italian gelato (denser than ice cream), the better. If not, good quality ice cream will do. Use a flavor that will go well with coffee. Remember that you are serving the ice cream and coffee in the same glass so the ice cream flavor shouldn’t clash with the flavor of the coffee. So, what ice cream flavors are good for making affogato? Think of all the overpriced flavored coffees you’ve ever had in those trendy coffee shops. Vanilla, almond, hazelnut, cinnamon, caramel… Or even a combination of one or more of these. After all, your affogato can have more than one scoop of ice cream. How large or small the scoops of gelato / ice cream should be depends on the size of your serving glass. Remember that you will be pouring in espresso over the gelato / ice cream so don’t pack the glasses with too much gelato / ice cream.
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