The espresso is the perfect coffee. It’s strong, aromatic and straightforward. There’s something special about shooting a stream of steaming water through coffee grains to extract their fantastic flavor, color and that foamy crema.
And although a shot of espresso is hard to improve, the affogato really elevates it to new heights and into the realm of desserts. What is an affogato? Think of a freshly brewed espresso topped with vanilla ice cream. The apparently simple combination is heavenly! Here’s all you need to know about this unique caffeinated treat.
The affogato is the most exciting short coffee drink, and it’s also a drinkable dessert. Whatever it is, we love it. Concisely, the affogato is an espresso shot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. And although the recipe seems pretty straightforward, there are some things to consider.
Is the affogato coffee or dessert? Should you pour coffee over the ice cream or top the coffee with it? Most importantly, what’s the correct type of coffee for an affogato? And what about the ice cream? Let’s learn all there is about the fancy affogato.
There are only two ingredients in a classic affogato recipe: coffee and ice cream. For the coffee, it’s worth splurging a little. Get your hands on premium quality beans from a local roaster. Here, you can choose between a chocolaty dark roast or a caramel flavored medium “city” roast — both flavors go great with vanilla ice cream.
You also want to make sure the ice cream is premium quality, flavored with real vanilla beans and milk. Poor quality coffee and dubious ice cream will become a mediocre affogato. If you want the real deal, work with the best ingredients available!
The perfect affogato starts with the proper coffee. When possible, use a steam espresso machine to make a concentrated shot with a lovely crema layer. If you don’t have access to these bulky machines, use a stovetop mocha pot coffee maker. Alternatively, use a pod coffee machine to make a short espresso.
The type of coffee matters too. A medium or dark-roast Arabica is your best bet for this one, as its roasted flavors are deliciously compatible with vanilla. Talking about vanilla, the affogato also calls for vanilla ice cream, so get the good stuff. Vanilla bean ice cream is a bit more expensive than the regular kind, but it’s delicious, so splurge a little.
To make this one, you must brew the espresso just before assembling the drink. Use a mocha stovetop coffee maker, a pod machine or a real espresso from one of those bulky, old-fashioned coffee machines.
What’s the right amount of ice cream for an affogato? For me, I like to use a melon scoop to create tiny ice cream pearls that fit exactly right in my small espresso cups. Of course, you can use a regular tablespoon, but the affogato just doesn’t look all that impressive.
Brew the espresso, top it with ice cream, and serve it immediately. The ice cream serves as creamer and sweetener, so you need not add anything else to your short drink.
Here’s the real question. Is the affogato a type of coffee or a dessert? Well, can’t it be both? After all, this is the perfect drink to end a wholesome dinner, and it’s so attractively sweet you don’t even need to serve dessert after this creamy drink.
Having said that, the affogato goes well with cream pastries, French choux pastry, flaky brioche and butter cookies. Actually, most desserts benefit from such handsome pairing. Just make sure the dessert is not overly sweet, or it will overpower the gentle affogato. Let’s learn how to make this tasty drink!
Make a round of affogato at every opportunity. For you and your guests, for warm days out in the backyard and chilly evenings in front of the fire. Affogatos are great any time, especially if you’re already into strong espresso shots or ice cream, for that matter!
As you might already imagine, the art of making this delicate drink is using the right ingredients, so here’s what you need to make a classic affogato coffee.
For the pastry:
Brew the espresso on a coffee maker, pod machine or stovetop mocha pot.
Pour the coffee into your serving cup and top with a melon scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Stir before enjoying.