Affogato al Caffè

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Affogato al CaffèHere’s another trick we picked up from our visits to Italy, and it’s one of the simplest, most sumptuous after-dinner treats around. Affogato literally means drowned, referring to the best kind of drowning—vanilla ice cream or gelato in dark, strong coffee. The warm coffee immediately turns the ice cream to a soupy, espresso-y mess. We’ve added a few touches of our own: a splash of bourbon and the crunch of toasted almonds. If dinner guests show up unannounced, this is our go-to.

  • Yield: 4 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1 pint high-quality vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup espresso or strong coffee (decaf if desired)
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon
How to Make It
  1. In a small dry skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Add 1 large scoop of ice cream to four serving glasses. Chill in the freezer while preparing the coffee (this helps the ice cream to be as cold as possible when serving).
  3. Make 4 shots of espresso in an espresso maker, or make a strong coffee using your normal method with half of the standard amount of water.
  4. To serve, remove the glasses with the ice cream from the freezer and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. At the table, pour 2 tablespoons espresso and ½ teaspoon bourbon per serving over the ice cream, then serve immediately.

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