www.marissa.co Afagato

Affogato (Vanilla Ice Cream Drowned in Coffee)

Someone asked me what this was the other day, so I thought I would remind those who make affogato to make it more often and write up how to make it for those who are unaware of this wonderful and simple dessert. 

Affogato means drowned in Italian and in essence, you are drowning a scoop of vanilla ice cream, in a shot of espresso. It is so quick and easy to make although it seems counterintuitive, as you may think that the coffee will just melt the ice cream, all it does is releases a little creamy deliciousness at the bottom of the cup or bowl and the balance sits in its ball composed. You and your guests enjoy teaspoonful after teaspoonful of this coffee and dessert in one.  There is a trick though, this isn’t the dessert to make in the kitchen and bring to the table. 

In some restaurants they will give you a little biscuit on the side, either an amaretti biscuit or a cantuccini, it looks pretty on the plate and adds the crunch some are looking for. The photo shown is from a restaurant that prettied the plate with a few berries, the glass was not photographed.

This is my go-to dessert for a mid-week lunch. A few years back, when my kids were in school, my friends and I would celebrate birthdays at lunchtime before pick up. An hour and a half of wonderful soul-filling friend time and a quick lovely lunch, followed by a cheeky dessert, felt decadent. Our lunches together would be dishes we could make ahead of time like a quiche, healthy quinoa and bulgar wheat salad, or prepared when everyone was sitting at the table like a bowl of steamed mussels and crusty bread or a delicious prawn pasta.

On the days when we talked a little more and ate a little slower, the affogato ticked serving coffee and dessert in one wonderful box.

Afogato in Italy Gelato al fior di latte
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A quick and easy dessert that ticks the coffee and dessert box in one. A scoop of vanilla ice cream drowned in a shot of espresso
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: Unlimited
  • 1 shot of freshly brewed espresso for each person you are serving
  • 1 scoop of vanilla ice cream (the best you can afford)
  • Optional
  • Biscotti or Amaretti biscuits
  1. Brew/make the coffee.
  2. Scoop the ice cream into a V-shaped glass or small bowl.
  3. On a plate, slate or small tray give each guest or yourself a separate shot of coffee and a scoop of ice cream.
  4. When everyone is ready for dessert each guest pours the coffee over their scoop of ice cream and enjoys this simple, dessert.
I always serve just the vanilla ice cream and the coffee, however you can get creative if you like crunch and a shot of your favourite liqueur.
You can add 'toppings':
Grated chocolate
A shot of your favourite liqueur Frangelico, Rum, Baileys etc
Crushed praline or chocolate coated coffee beans, if you like crunch