Dreamy, refreshing, creamy and heavenly! The affogato is my caffeinated drink of choice on a warm afternoon while exploring Italy. Many people stop to rejuvenate with a shot of espresso or two, but nothing can refresh me and give me that jump start that I need like a cool cup of frothy goodness.
Since my very first Affogato experience in the little seaside town of Camogli on the Ligurian coastline in northern Italy, I have been smitten by them. An affogato is simply a scoop of vanilla gelato “drowned” in a fresh shot of espresso, which is what the word affogato means. It makes the perfect hot-cold pairing with the creamy sweet gelato and the bitter espresso. Who knew gelato and espresso could marry so well?
The basic Italian affogato is my favorite, often sprinkled with biscotti crumbs, but there is a variety for every taste. Try splashing on some of your favorite liqueur. Chocolate gelato gives a rich and delicious twist to the espresso bitterness. Or try some Pistachio gelato sprinkled with amaretto and sliced almonds, guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser.
I simply substitute a good quality ice cream for the gelato when I’m not in Italy and I’ve never been disappointed. All you need is an espresso maker and the gelato, or ice cream. The cup should be as cold as possible since once the espresso is poured over the gelato, it will melt fast. The frothiness is delightful and morphs quickly into a glorious bittersweet puddle.
So if you find yourself in a mid-afternoon slump on a warm day, you know what the answer is….affogato!