Affogato : Italian Coffee, Dessert & After Meal Drink All Rolled Into One

Affogato is a traditional Italian coffee-dessert where hot espresso is poured over gelato or ice cream, with the option of adding a splash of liquor. It’s coffee, dessert, and an after-dinner drink, all rolled into one. The contrast of hot, bitter coffee with cold, creamy ice cream is utter perfection. And the fact that it’s so simple with a bonus DIY fun factor?

Coffee, dessert and your after dinner drink, all rolled into one. This is what you have when you’re “too full for dessert”! Just pour espresso coffee over vanilla gelato or ice cream, enjoy the melty swirls and dig in. The Italians are genius.

Ingredients in Affogato

All you need for affogato is a shot of hot espresso (coffee), ice cream or gelato and optional half a shot of liquor (Frangelico, amaretto, rum). A little more information on each of these below!

  • Espresso – This is a small concentrated shot of hot coffee. The standard size for a shot of espresso is 30 ml (1 ounce). It goes without saying that the better your coffee, the better your affogato!
  • Vanilla gelato or ice cream – Traditionally gelato though ice cream is just as good, in my opinion! More important is the flavour. Vanilla is the classic choice because it pairs so well with coffee. Feel free to experiment!How much ice cream – Use one large(ish) or two small(ish) scoops for one shot of coffee, for a good balance of the two. Though if using liquor, I lean towards two medium scoops, as pictured.
  • Liquor (optional) – To roll your after dinner drink into this all-in-one dessert, add half a shot of liquor! Amaretto (almond flavour) and frangelico (hazelnut) are probably the most common. Rum, sambuca and Kahlua are also standard offerings at Italian restaurants, and multiple readers suggested orange liqueurs (such as Grand Marnier and Cointreau). Though really, you can add anything you think/know goes well with coffee!PS A shot of liquor is 30 ml / 1 ounce so half a shot is 15 ml / 0.5 ounce which is 1 tablespoon. Though nobody will hold you back from dialling the quantity up.

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