Affogato with chocolate gelato (and amaretto)

When I made this affogato the other day, it was late afternoon after a fairly long, hot, and busy day. I was tired but wanted to put one together so I could take a few clicks while it was bright out. Well...let me just tell you that I dug my spoon in, took one bite, and the world was right again.  I think I felt the earth shift back into place like a puzzle piece slotted into its proper home.
Maybe it was just the caffeine-sugar-chocolate-slightly boozy hit that I needed that late afternoon but I put the camera down and just sat back and enjoyed my first affogato - which translates into "drowned" in Italian.  It is simply gelato (or ice cream) topped with a shot of espresso.    
I highly recommend adding a splash or two of liqueur.  I'm not automatically one for alcohol in my desserts but the amaretto liqueur I went with works really well here.  The combination of rich chocolate gelato with the almond flavor of the amaretto, together with the hot espresso and teeny bit of fresh whipped cream created a little bit of magic in a glass.

I asked myself: How have I not only never made, but never had, this before?!
The marvelous thing is this is very easy to make.  I used homemade chocolate gelato, a wonderful recipe I blogged about here but you (and I) could certainly use store-bought gelato or ice cream, and any flavor at that.  For me, chocolate reigns supreme and we all know how wonderful the combination of chocolate and coffee is!

Once your gelato/ice cream is in place, all you need to do is pour a shot of hot espresso over it.  To make my espresso, I simply used espresso powder, which I always have in my pantry for baking. I'm no coffee connoisseur and while I realize that a true espresso with that coveted crema on top would make a far better affogato, taking this necessary shortcut more than sufficed (in fact, was excellent) for me.  Espresso is normally way too strong for me to drink straight-up but in this dessert, it's a whole other happy story.
Next, I added a healthy splash of amaretto liqueur and topped the affogato with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.  If you have any biscotti, ladyfingers, or amaretti cookies lying around the house, this is a great place to serve one alongside.  

Everything melds together - it's cold, it's warm, it's smooth and soothing.  It's sweet yet a little bitter.  It is a wonderful grown-up dessert.  As you can probably tell by now, I liked it a lot more than I thought I would.  I love a happy discovery!  My husband agreed with my assessment; when I made him his first one that night, his only complaint was that his portion was "too small"! 
I waited too long to have my first affogato but now that I'm in on the secret, I'm quickly making up for lost time.  Better late than never!


This has got me thinking that Starbucks should really start carrying and serving their ice cream in stores.  And not only that, they should put affogato on the menu!

In fact, we should see affogato more often in cafes and restaurants.  They'd be served with the ice cream ready scooped into a coffee cup or glass, with the espresso and any accompaniments alongside. That way, a person can pour the fresh espresso right over the ice cream just before digging in.  It's something people could enjoy all year round since it's both cold and warm.  I'd argue you can have it any time of day, too.


Recipe:

Affogato with Chocolate Gelato (and Amaretto)
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis and Martha Stewart

- For 2 servings (perfect for date-night) - 

Approximately 1 cup chocolate gelato (or ice cream of your choice)
1/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons espresso powder
2 tablespoons (or so) Amaretto liqueur (optional; or you could use another liqueur such as Frangelico)

Optional garnishes: Lightly whipped cream (I simply hand-whip about 2 tablespoons of heavy cream with a splash of vanilla extract); also consider serving affogato with biscotti, ladyfingers, amaretti or other similiar cookies

In a measuring cup, dissolve espresso powder in the boiling water.  Place approximately 1/2 cup of gelato into each of two small glasses.  Pour 2 tablespoons of the hot espresso over each glass.  Add about a tablespoon of amaretto liqueur to each.  Top each with a dollop of whipped cream, if using. Serve immediately.




46 comments:

  1. Hehehe, I love your first paragraph. A yummy dessert certainly has a way of making all right with the world :) I'm not a coffee drinker but this looks so good and creamy!

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    1. haha...a tad dramatic, eh? I'd be embarrassed if it wasn't so true. I really think I need some form of daily chocolate as "medication"...it has a really calming/happy effect on me. Anyway, I'm no coffee expert but I do enjoy a cup of coffee (or a frap or two) along with my daily jugs of tea as I've gotten older. I don't drink espresso so that's one reason I never tried affogato. I'm also not a big drinker and don't usually go for alcohol in my desserts so this was a surprise. I didn't think I'd love it as much as I did.

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  2. Oh Monica! I never thought of using instant espresso in this.... what a great shortcut. And the amaretto is a fabulous touch! My neighbor invited me over for dinner several months back and for dessert, she served Affogato and it was delicious! Come to think of it, she didn't have an espresso machine. Must be instant. Such a wonderful quick dessert to savor in on a hot day. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. :) xo

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    1. Thank you, Anne!! I'm excited about this simple dessert because it really is so easy and so surprisingly tasty. I'm so happy you know what I'm talking about! The instant espresso really works. I used it for tiramisu and it worked beautifully so it gave me confidence. If America's Test Kitchen uses it for some of their recipes, it's gotta be decent. : ) You can make it in minutes and I hope you do! xo

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  3. Wow, any dessert that can make the world right again definitely has my attention:) This Affogato looks absolutely decadent and delicious Monica! I have never had one before but it sounds so heavenly and it would definitely be perfect any time of the year. I have everything on hand except for the gelato so I think I will make a batch of your creamy homemade chocolate gelato since I can't stop dreaming about it :) Thanks for sharing Monica and have a great week!

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    1. haha, Kelly. It really did soothe my weary soul that crazy hot afternoon! This chocolate gelato is really smooth and rich even though it only uses whole milk, no cream. But I can tell you this works with anything. My hubby and I had affogato with vanilla gelato last night and it was awesome. We're hooked!

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    2. Oh my goodness, I finally just tried making this including the gelato on the weekend and it is out of this world! It was exactly the decadent kind of treat I needed girl :) My husband could not stop saying "mmmmm" - we were both savoring every last bite of this. Thank you so much for sharing friend and hope you had a great weekend!

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    3. So happy to hear that! I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it. We've done a few renditions (different ice cream and other liqueurs like frangelico, grand marnier) and the amaretto/chocolate is our favorite. I can't stop wanting to eat it all the time since making this and we just had it a few days ago. haha. Thanks for letting me know, Kelly! Appreciate it.

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  4. This is really making me wonder why I've lived my whole life without ever trying one of these!! So sad. Next time my world is feeling upside down I'm totally making one of these!

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    1. Same here, same here! I wondered the same. Never had it before til now and I think we've had about 4 already! I think you'd enjoy it, Joanne!

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  5. How perfect it is for a coffee addict. This is exactly what I wish for now and I don't care that is 8.47A.M..and I might even add the shots of booze:)

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  6. I could eat this for dinner most nights - ha ha. Something about cold creamy chocolate - and the way you describe the whipped cream swirling around and the amaretto - I'm in - all in!

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    1. That had me laughing out loud, Tricia! : ) You are my kind of lady!

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  7. SO so delish!! I could dangerously snack on this all day long!!

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  8. Oh my! I can see why this hit the spot! After one too many sleepless nights with baby, I could use one or two of these! Thank you for sharing. This is just delicious!

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    1. Hi Monet! Congrats again on your baby! I bet you could use loads of caffeine right about now. Probably wouldn't agree with the baby, though. One day, one day... ; ) Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Monica, this affogato looks wonderful...I absolutely love the amaretto in it...I will try this since I have all the ingredients at home.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe and hope you are having a lovely week :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Juliana. I love it when I see something I like and have the ingredients to make it. Hope you enjoy one real soon and think of me. : )

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  10. This looks great, I can imagine the world moving for this deliciousness!

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    1. hehee...yes, it made everything right again.

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  11. I like coffee mix ice cream but never had affogato. This looks wonderful!

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    1. I'd never had it either...so glad that's not the case anymore.

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  12. Ooh I've never had an affogato, but it seems right up my alley (I suppose it's up just about everybody's alley, to be fair!). My parents just invested in an espresso machine and I ate half of a 9x9 pan of tiramisu today... I feel like you're reading my mind.

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    1. Oh, Irina - I can imagine how insane it would be with a "true" shot of espresso. I hope you give it a try once you digest that half pan of tiramisu (I don't blame you for that)! : )

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  13. This looks utterly delicious and tempting.

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  14. I was actually planning on gelato real soon-this sounds like a great way to add to it! And it's so easy! I love it!

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Dawn. This works great with ice cream too...no need to actually make your own gelato or ice cream but if you are planning it anyway, definitely give it a try. Homemade ice cream is so good, isn't it!

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  15. What a great idea-I usually see it made with vanilla ice cream but a mocha dessert would be so much better! :)

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    1. It's naturally great with vanilla ice cream but I just love it with a rich chocolate ice cream or gelato!

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  16. I love how dark the chocolate in this is - what a dreamy dessert!

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    1. I love this dark chocolate gelato...it's made with milk but the chocolate in it gives it plenty of richness. It's dense and smooth, perfect to be used in this.

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  17. I was just thinking about affogato earlier! This looks heavenly. And yes, I'll definitely go with a splash of liqueur too!

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    1. I guess us chocoholics think along the same lines...the amaretto is really perfect here.

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  18. Amazingly enough I have never had an affogato! And I love the idea of espresso and gelato, so European. Sounds like a great way to just sit back and enjoy an afternoon.

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    1. My husband and I never had either but I think we've had about 5-6 in the last same amount of days! It's crazy good. A rich ice cream/gelato is the way to go.

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  19. Ooh this sounds delicious, Monica! You sure know how to sell your desserts! And this is coming from a non-alcohol lover haha.

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    1. haha - I'm sincere, that's for sure! : )

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  20. Affogato is one of my favorite desserts to enjoy on hot summer afternoons. Welcome aboard, myt friend. :) Your Affogato with chocolate gelato Looks amazing. I usually make mine with vanilla ice cream but I bet it's equally awesome with chocolate gelato. Cant' wait to make this version next time.

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    1. I'm very happy to be clued in on this one, Amy! I'm making up for lost time, too. : )

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  21. Oh this looks so good! I never heard of Affogato before (but I am not much of an expert in dessert department hehee) but now I do. Pouring espresso... LOVE IT!! I think I'll be VERY addicted to this. I know it!! :)

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  22. I have never had one of these, partly because espresso and I don't agree, but maybe I could try it at home with some instant coffee. I'll have to wait for a nice afternoon when I'm home to enjoy it. :)

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    1. I've heard of affogato with coffee. I'm sure it would be good...but don't make yourself sick - there are so many things to eat out there! : )

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