by - Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The first time I saw the word on a dessert menu, I was baffled. The only clue was the mention of vanilla ice cream, so I had to ask the waiter. He smiled. "This is very delicious, just enough," he replied with a strong Italian accent. No need to order a separate cappuccino or espresso when I can have it on top of ice cream!

The Italian word affogato means drowned, appropriate for how the ice cream becomes submerged in hot coffee. The blend of contrasting flavors and febricity creates a confection perfect as an afternoon treat or end to a sumptuous meal. It is elegant for dinner guests and simple enough as a private pleasure. It is just the right combination of creamy, sweet, and indulgent. It is one of my absolute favorite desserts.

To create an affogato dessert is very simple. Start with a scoop of high-quality ice cream or gelato in a stemmed glass or coffee cup. Brew espresso or strong coffee then pour a shot or two tablespoons over the scoop. Watch it steam and melt into a glorious creamy delight in front of your eyes.

I like to add a sprinkle of cinnamon, and it's ready to enjoy! What's great about this is experimenting with different flavor combinations and toppings. This is a classic vanilla ice cream/coffee/cinnamon mix, but there are so many possibilities. Here are just a few ideas:

Coffee Lover: coffee ice cream with espresso and a sprinkle of chocolate-covered coffee beans
Mocha Mix: chocolate ice cream with strong coffee and a few semi-sweet chocolate chips 
Snickerdoodle: caramel ice cream with cinnamon flavored coffee and a sprinkle of brown sugar
Pumpkin Spice: pumpkin ice cream with espresso and a dash of nutmeg
Amaretto: butter almond ice cream with espresso and a splash of amaretto liquor and almond slivers
Salted Caramel: vanilla ice cream with caramel flavored coffee and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce

Yes, I would love to drown in the delight of an affogato, wouldn't you? xoxo-Sonya

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