Freshly brewed espresso is poured over creamy vanilla ice cream to create Affogato, an Italian dessert that is a marriage made in flavor heaven.
As a bona fide, lifelong lover of homemade ice cream, Affogato is an absolute dream come true. It’s the perfect blend of hot and cold, as the warm espresso meets cool ice cream.
Because the ingredients are not mixed or blended, you end up with a wonderful range of colors, textures, flavors, and temperatures in this recipe. Eating it is such a treat, because each bite is a slightly different experience.
What is an Affogato?
If you’re wondering “What is an affogato?”, it’s really quite simple. Affogato is simply a shot of espresso poured of a scoop of gelato or ice cream. That’s it. No stirring required, just start eating.
The hot and bitter espresso is cooled and sweetened by the ice cream, while the freezing cold ice cream is softened and warmed by the espresso. Together, they become something more, something magical.
Don’t happen to have a fancy espresso machine? NO WORRIES! (The one pictured above is a very new addition to my kitchen and I love it dearly, but it is not a requirement!)
You can use freshly brewed dark coffee from any kind of coffee maker, you can brew espresso with these K-cups (I really like them!), or you can brew authentic espresso shots with an inexpensive stovetop espresso maker like the one above that I’ve used for years to make Cafe con Leche.
When making the espresso for an affogato shot, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind:
- Freshly ground coffee is best for making a quality shot of espresso. Also, you typically will want to grind the beans as finely as possible when making this type of coffee.
- Your first few shots might not be ideal, and that’s okay! Just as when cooking, you’re going to want to taste it and make adjustments. If it’s too bitter, try a coarser grind. If it’s too sour, adjust for a finer grind.
- The amount of time it takes the water to finish moving through the tamped coffee grounds and reach the cup is known as extraction time. If it takes more than 30 seconds, you will probably benefit from a coarser grind.
- Make sure to clean the espresso machine well between uses, and to run a shot of hot water through it before brewing. This will give you more consistent results.
You may have heard of an affogato-style shot, too. Starbucks offers it for their blended Frappuccino drinks. It’s not exactly authentic, but it is certainly a delicious way to get an extra shot of caffeine.
It is possible to use espresso in this way at home, too. Iced drinks, milk shakes, smoothies, etc. would all be viable candidates to have a shot of piping hot espresso poured over the top of them.
How to Make Affogato
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:
- vanilla ice cream or gelato
- espresso or strong coffee
Want to make your Affogato without caffeine? We like this decaf espresso by Lavazza for after-dinner drinks and desserts.
As the espresso or coffee brews, place a scoop of ice-cold ice cream or gelato into a small serving bowl or cup. Then, pour the hot espresso over the ice cream. Serve immediately.
You can garnish an affogato with a number of optional toppings. While I usually enjoy mine simply with espresso and ice cream, it could be fun to try it with chocolate shavings and homemade caramel sauce. You can also add fresh berries, mint leaves, or even biscotti.
Coffee Ice Cream Recipe
Interested in another coffee ice cream recipe? I’ve got you covered!
Cafe con Leche Ice Cream ~ rich, creamy, coffee-flavored ice cream. Just sweet enough to take the bitterness out of the coffee, without so much sweetness as to be overwhelming and cancel the richness of the coffee.
Irresistibly rich, Coffee Ice Cream is a dessert that captures the morning joy of a freshly brewed cup of your favorite java. Perfect any time of day. I’ve got my eye on this Hot Chocolate Affogato recipe, too!
I love a simple, smooth yet rich and creamy authentically coffee-tasting ice cream. Espresso Ice Cream is quite easily one of my favorites.
The perfect creamy, thick, and frothy coffee milkshake doesn’t require a single scoop of ice cream! Two ingredients, plus time to chill, are all that you need in order to blend together an awesome Coffee Milkshake.
- ½ cup vanilla ice cream or gelato
- 1 ounce espresso (1 shot) or strong-brewed coffee
- Scoop the COLD ice cream into a small serving bowl or glass.
- Pour the HOT espresso or strong-brewed coffee over the ice cream and serve immediately.