This simple but elegant Affogato, an Italian coffee dessert, is a showstopper!
It's so easy to learn how to make an affogato that it hardly needs a recipe. It's so amazingly delicious, however, that I just have to share it with you!
What is an affogato?
An affogato is an Italian coffee-based dessert. While Italians have enjoyed it for years at the end of a meal, it became more popular in North America as a beverage when Starbuck's put Affogato-style Frappuccino blended beverages on their menu.
Hot espresso poured over an icy Frappuccino made beautiful pockets of rich coffee as it mingled with icy coffee and cream. No wonder Starbuck's sold so many!
Can you imagine just how delicious this coffee dessert is?
And now you can easily learn how to make an affogato coffee dessert at home and customize it how you wish!
A simple 2-ingredient dessert!
All you need is good quality gelato or vanilla ice cream and some freshly brewed espresso.
Affogato translates to "drowned" in Italian. Drown a scoop or two of very cold vanilla gelato or ice cream in a shot of hot espresso, watch the swirls as it melts, and enjoy every spoonful of the simple but spectacular flavours for which Italians are known.
You don't need an espresso machine
Of course, if you have one, brew yourself a shot. However, you can substitute strong brewed coffee (even decaffeinnated). Instant espresso powder works perfectly, too.
While it's the easiest dessert you'll ever make, I have a few tips to make this impressive dessert extra special.
How to make an affogato
- Chill the dessert glass or mug.
- Make sure the gelato or ice cream is very cold.
- Brew the espresso just before serving.
- Either pour the espresso over the ice cream and serve immediately, or serve the espresso on the side and let your guests pour it on themselves.
- Garnish is optional, but try sliced almonds or other nuts, chocolate curls, or a shot of liqueur like Amaretto or other coffee liqueur.
Variations. Add your own special touch!
Of course, you can always customize this espresso dessert any way you wish.
Top with a few rich dark chocolate shavings.
Try it with a swirl of chocolate sauce and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
Add a swirl of homemade caramel saucee and a few chopped pecans or pistachios!
Cool the coffee first if you don't want your dessert to melt too quickly.
Add a little whipped cream on top and garnish with a few flaked almonds or other chopped nuts.
The bittersweet flavours in this dessert stand on their own, however, and its simplicity is what makes it so appealing to me.
A delicious dessert for coffee lovers! And if you love coffee desserts, check this luscious recipe for Creamy Ricotta Coffee Mousse.
Enjoy, everyone! This coffee dessert will be as welcome on a chilly winter night as it is on a warm summer evening! Let me know in the comments section below how you added your own variation to this affogato!
How to Make an Affogato
- ½ cup vanilla ice cream or gelato
- 1 shot espresso or 3 Tbsp strong brewed coffee
- Put a few small scoops of vanilla ice cream or gelato in a chilled glass, bowl, or mug. Pour a freshly brewed shot of espresso or strong brewed coffee over and serve immediately. Garnish with nuts or shaved chocolate, if desired.
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