Affogato float and a grilled chocolate sandwich

Let's have a little fun, shall we?  In this case, let's go a little crazy with desserts!

Let's start with something cold.  We'll make an affogato float...with coffee ice cream, a shot of espresso, some milk, and seltzer.
Affogato float with coffee ice cream, espresso, milk, and seltzer
Then, we should have something to eat so let's make a sandwich.  Not just any sandwich but a grilled chocolate sandwich!  Because...well, why not!  And I'm telling you, this sandwich is totally delicious!
Grilled chocolate sandwiches made with crusty French bread and bittersweet chocolate 
I was feeling a little "crazy" so we made both these things one recent afternoon and it was so much fun! 

Affogato Float
Shall we talk float first?  Now, ice cream floats are the best - it's sometimes my dessert of choice on my birthday.  For a twist, this is a chilled affogato float - made with coffee ice cream, espresso...
...and topped with a touch of milk and finally, some plain seltzer.
I seriously love myself an affogato so when I spotted a little recipe (more like some quick directions) for a chilled affogato float in the July/August 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living, I had to try it.  This is just totally fun and a great afternoon treat for a coffee lover. 

For kids, take the seltzer you're using for this recipe and make chocolate egg creams.  That's what I did for my little guy.  We love egg creams in our house.

Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches

Grilled cheese sandwiches are great but how often do you have a grilled chocolate sandwich?  This was a first for us and honestly, it turned out totally delicious!  Picture crusty slices of baguette, smeared with salted butter on one side, filled with your favorite dark chocolate, and then toasted on the griddle til golden brown, crispy, and warm.  It's crunchy, chocolaty, and slightly salty in every bite...in other words, it's really good!
This was one of my kitchen projects with my little guy.  I've made it something of a small mission of mine to do some cooking "lessons" with him this summer.  We've been making simple savory as well as sweet dishes and I'm trying to come up with ideas that are fun, do-able, and quick that he would enjoy (and love to eat).  This was definitely on the fun side of things.

When I told my son we would make grilled chocolate sandwiches, his reaction was: "what?"  He thought his mother had possibly lost her mind and wasn't convinced by the idea.  But going through the steps and tasting it, he (and the rest of us) were totally on board.  Not only is it a fun idea, it's really a very tasty one! 
You could serve the sandwich alone as a sweet snack or round it out with some ice cream for a full-on dessert!  Talk about an ice cream sandwich!  This makes for a whimsical kind of unexpected dessert.

Now these are my ideas of summer fun!

I've been hooked on affogatos ever since I started making them at home so I had to try this float version!  Coffee ice cream reinforces the coffee theme but you could use another ice cream flavor (I particularly like chocolate, and there's always classic vanilla) and even spike it with a splash of liqueur if you like.  

The affogato float isn't very sweet, particularly with coffee ice cream.  I was wishing I had some Vietnamese coffee ice cream on hand; it's a recipe from The Perfect Scoop that uses very strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk for a very easy coffee ice cream to make at home. The sweetness of that ice cream would work very well here.
Try it with chocolate or vanilla ice cream!
I keep things really simple by using instant espresso powder to make the espresso.  Follow it up with about a shot's worth of milk and then top it off with plain seltzer.  It's not too heavy as far as "floats" goes, particularly if you choose to go with a lighter, slow-churn ice cream.

Now...the grilled chocolate sandwich idea comes from baking/chocolate-expert Alice Medrich (who I have to thank for those incredible cocoa brownies); I find her column of "rogue baking tips" on Food52 really interesting.  I had faith that any chocolate recipe by Ms. Medrich would likely be good, and my faith was justified.

Aside from the "traditional" sandwich style for this non-traditional sandwich, we also tried a tartine, or open-face version (sort of like a chocolate bruschetta).  If you're grilling outside, you could put it together on the grill for dessert.  Just put some butter (or even olive oil) on the bread, grill it until nice and crispy before topping it with some chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate.  Then, close the grill and let it cook until the chocolate is just melted.  Remove it from the grill and top it with some sea salt before serving.
An alternative, tartine-style, chocolate sandwich
Trying both versions, my family and I liked the 2-slice of bread, sandwich version better.  There's just something about the double-crunch from the toasty bread and that delicious, warm dark chocolate filling tucked inside.  Who knew a grilled chocolate sandwich would be so good!


Recipes:

Affogato Float
Adapted from the July/August issue of Martha Stewart Living

- For one - 

One shot of espresso:
  3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  2 tablespoons boiling water

2 scoops coffee ice cream (or other flavor, such as chocolate or vanilla)
2 tablespoons milk
Cold seltzer

In a small heat-proof bowl, dissolve instant espresso powder with the boiling water.  

Place ice cream into a large serving glass.  Pour in espresso and milk, then top with seltzer.


Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches
Adapted from Alice Medrich via Food52

- For 2 sandwiches - 

Butter (I used salted butter)
4 slices French bread, each sliced no more than 1/2-inch thick
2 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used 60% bittersweet chocolate)

Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan over medium heat.  While pan is heating, butter one side of each slice of bread evenly (the more generous you are, the more golden brown and toasty it will be).  Flip two slices over so that butter side is down, and place chocolate on top.  Top each with a slice of bread, butter side up.

Carefully place sandwiches on top of the skillet.  Cook until the bottom is golden brown, then gently flip and brown the other side.

Remove from the skillet, slice each into two pieces, if desired, and serve immediately.  Vanilla ice cream goes very well alongside.




   

50 comments:

  1. This is a GREAT afternoon snack, Monica, esp. that sandwich...can't wait to give it a try!

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    1. A bit indulgent but really not too bad. We made and shared these treats and it's amazing how a few bites makes the world sane again. : ) haha

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  2. How fun is this???? I think I need to make me a float and sandwich to celebrate the fact that it's friday! haha That float with the coffee ice cream and espresso... is it bad that I would so eat that for breakfast right now??

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    1. haha...definitely was little fun afternoon snack project for us! : ) Have a great weekend!

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  3. This looks amazing! I wish I had one for breakfast!

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    1. I always said breakfast was the best meal of the day (well, tied with dinner, maybe?). : )

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  4. What a fun treat Monica! I love that you and your little guy had a great time with this snack project :) I am a sucker for coffee desserts and could definitely go for one of these floats right now to cool off from the heat :) Love how simple the sandwich is but it sounds absolutely incredible with the float :) Happy Friday and hope you guys have a wonderful weekend :)

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    1. I picked the 'crazy' grilled chocolate sandwich since I figured he'd be intrigued and I knew he'd like it. I've heard of putting chocolate into warm bread and clearly, that has to be good...and this was! Have a great one!

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  5. Yum, this looks delicious! I love coffee drinks and this one sounds so yummy. That grilled chocolate sandwich makes my mouth water! I need that in my life :D

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    1. haha - thanks, Cindy. I have become a much bigger coffee and coffee-dessert fan in recent years. Can't beat an affogato with chocolate gelato but this is fun for a bigger summer treat!

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  6. Certainly a fun treat for the summer holidays Monica! Both look absolutely delicious and I think my kids too would look at me twice for suggesting a grilled chocolate sandwich - yummy! We will have to try this. Love the photos too Monica (and the colour coordinated straw). Hope you are having a good summer :-)

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    1. yes, he was like "huh!?" I tried to show him how this was so similar to making a grilled cheese. : ) Anyway, it was fun and delicious! Good of you to mention the straw...truth be told, I do not enjoy paper straws beyond their aesthetic appeal for blogs! ; )

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  7. Great idea filling a toasted sandwich with chocolate! And affogato float is another clever idea :D

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    1. Wish I'd come up with these things! : ) Have a great weekend!

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  8. Great minds think alike. My boys were just telling me that I don't offer enough desserts in Bam's Kitchen and wanted that to change. Here you have, not one, but 2 fun and easy desserts for this weekend and both together are blissful. Have a super weekend. BAM

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    1. I'm a big fan of your boys, my friend! : ) They obviously have excellent taste and speak their mind. Here's to more desserts on your blog to look forward to!

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  9. Yum! This is making me very hungry. :)

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    1. Hi Sara - hunger-inducing is good. : )

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  10. Yum! Affogato is one of my favorite way to enjoy dessert. :) Love your chocolate sammy too! What a great combo!

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    1. Crazy combo and totally works! Thanks, Amy.

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  11. This sounds like the perfect lunch/afternoon treat for me!! :) Both of these look amazing!! I'm not too much of a fan of affogato, because the versions I've had at restaurants are always too strong in coffee flavour for me- but I think I'd love your because the ratio of coffee to ice cream and milk sounds perfect for me!

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    1. Yes, definitely make it at home and adjust to your own liking! : )

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  12. Grilled chococlate sandwiches??? What a brilliant idea! I cannot decide whether I like the affogato of the sammie better - both look terrific! What a perfect afternoon snack!
    Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend xxxx

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    1. Thanks, Consuelo! I couldn't decide either so I just made both.

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  13. Can I tell you how ABSOLUTELY in love I am with both the affogato float and that grilled chocolate sandwich????? The affogato sounds like a coffee extravaganza and I have only recently purchased my first ever espresso // cappuccino machine and I have never been sooooo excited so I am going crazy with coffee and this is just perfect for me to get even crazier! <3 OMG the grilled chocolate sandwich is making me drool! There's a cafe in my locality where they actually serve grilled nutella and cheese sandwich! Sounds gross and something that is enough to give you cardiac problems but it is soooo worth it! I am totally making this sandwich with dark chocolate !!!!!

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    1. That espresso/cappucino machine sounds wonderful! You need to make a good cup and have a grilled chocolate sandwich asap. : )

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  14. Why NOT have dessert for lunch?! This is such a fun meal and I'm sure your little guy loved it!!

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    1. exactly! fun was the name of the game. : )

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  15. You know I will be all over a grilled chocolate sandwich! I'd like the chilled affogato on the side, too :)

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  16. Hi Monica, I bet this was a big hit in your household. Looks delicious!

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  17. Oh YES! Let's go crazy with desserts. They both look to-die for. Gorgeous ideas!

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    1. Thanks so much. It was definitely easy to eat.

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  18. Hmm, lovely ones, but i'm affraid it's cost too much to burn in the gym, lol
    btw, grilled choco sandwich is my dad's specialities....

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    1. haha - just cut that sandwich to tiny portions and share that affogato...it's "lighter" than most shakes. Your dad is one cool dude, I bet.

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  19. I need to start having meals like this asap. And seriously grilled chocolate sandwich? Can there be anything better in life than this?

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    1. I know...such a fun idea, I think. Thanks, Pamela.

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  20. I've never tried a float! Crazy right!? Apparently there's lots of things i haven't tried! But i think its time to give this recipe a try:) I'll let you know how it goes!

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    1. Nothing's crazy. I have tons of things I've never tried and things I've only recently discovered I liked! : )

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  21. Monica, Monica, Monica - you have sold me on both of these recipes! I have never had either one but will make it my life's mission - haha. That sandwich does look and sound amazing. My husband adores root beer floats and loves coffee - so this would be a special treat for him. Thanks! Hope you are doing great.

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    1. haha - thanks, Tricia! You would make some beautiful grilled chocolate sandwiches, I know!!

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  22. Mmm grilled chocolate sandwich does sound delicious! I'd totally go for it! Salty and sweet with a little crunch is my favorite combo.

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  23. This looks insanely delicious!

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  24. LOL! I can imagine my kids would respond the same way with surprise! I kind of want to see that. The grilled sandwich looks so delicious!!! I should try that with my kids this weekend. And the affogato float! That's going to be my treat after kids go to bed!! ;)

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    1. I totally wanted to make it to see my son's reaction, too. It worked out well.

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  25. Thanks mam for sharing this yummy recipes now my Sunday will go awesome............

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