A plate with a clear dish of affogato
Photography, Stacey Brandford

How to make an affogato

Celebrating the elegant, last-minute dessert for sweet lover who are short on time.

The affogato is an Italiano creation that translates to “drowned.” An affogato is essentially one to two scoops of vanilla gelato or ice cream doused by a shot of fresh espresso. This marriage of sweet ice cream and bitter coffee mingle, melting into a puddle of goodness. It’s the best way to finish a meal.

What does the word gelato mean?

“Gelato” is the common Italian word for “ice cream.” What’s the difference between gelato and ice cream? Gelato uses more milk than heavy cream and fewer (sometimes zero) egg yolks. But the textures of both silky gelato and creamy premium ice cream are the ideal mates for a hot shot of espresso.

What kind of coffee do I need to make an affogato?

While robust coffee will work in an affogato in a pinch, espresso is the way to go. Brewed with finer beans for a more concentrated flavour, the layer of bitter crema – a.k.a. velvety foam – found on top of a fresh shot of espresso is a dream when combined with cold gelato.

Can I use any flavour of ice cream in an affogato?

Let loose with your affogato. Instead of classic vanilla, try complementary mocha flavours, like caramel, chocolate, pistachio, hazelnut or coconut gelato or ice cream. For the ultimate switch-up, add a splash of Frangelico, orange liqueur or whisky for a delightfully tipsy dessert.

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