Affogato al caffè is one Italian dessert I can never resist. Made with a scoop of creamy gelato drowned (affogato) in a warm shot of rich aromatic Italian espresso, it’s my favorite drink for that needed pick-me-up during the day.
The portion size is so small :: piccola that you simply don’t feel guilty when eating this tempting dessert, unlike its American sister, the root beer float, that contains loads of ice cream and is drenched in half a can of soda. Or, at least that’s how we made root beer floats growing up in my household. The ice cream to root beer was always quite disproportionate.
The Italian affogato, however, is just the right size and can be consumed anytime of day; it’s perfect as a mid day pause from hours staring in front of a computer screen :: schermo or as an after meal dessert to wake you up before heading out to a club to dance with your friends. Since this drink only consists of two ingredients that you probably already have at home you don’t need to wait to come to Italy to try it. You can easily substitute the gelato for ice cream and use an Italian mocha pot to brew the espresso (they aren’t expensive and don’t take up room like an table top espresso machine does. After which you can use it to prepare espresso for daily consumption or for other desserts like Tiramisu.) I’ve also heard of non-Italians simply using strong coffee, although I’ve never tried it.
This dessert drink is also extremely versatile. You can experiment with different kind of gelato flavors or if you are craving something more decadent than just gelato and espresso, swirl some caramel or chocolate on the inside of the glass and top it with chocolate covered coffee beans :: i chicchi di caffè, white chocolate flakes or roasted hazelnuts. And, if your not in the mood for espresso, drown the gelato in Amaretto, an Italian liquor with a sweet almond flavor. The options are endless!
- 1 shot warm espresso
- 1 scoop gelato or ice cream (vanilla, coffee, chocolate or another flavor of choice)
- Prepare 1 shot of espresso and pour it over 1 scoop of gelato that has already been placed into a glass. Buon appetito!