Have any of you ever had an Affogato from Starbucks in the past couple of years? I would hear people order them but had no idea what they were. I ‘might’ do the occasional latte but I’m an Americano girl through and through so I never usually opt for the fancy schmancy drinks that are so sweet they make my teeth ache. Well, except for that fateful Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate with a shot of Espresso that inspired my Espresso Chocolate Brownie with Salted Caramel Glaze.
Before writing this post, I did some quick research and found that Starbucks Affogato is/was (might not be available anymore?) an iced frappucino with caramel sauce on top that has an espresso shot poured on top of it that supposedly helped to pull the caramel syrup down through the drink. Really? I have a better idea. Or rather, the Italians did!
Bon Appetit had a short bit about this very ‘adult sundae’ in their April issue this year, explaining that Affogato (Italian for ‘drowned’) is simply espresso poured on gelato or vanilla ice cream. Though the classic use expects hot espresso, I decided with my version to let the espresso cool down a bit; I thought it better suited for summer if the ice cream didn’t all melt into a puddle right away. This was a great, easy dessert for guests who popped in to visit unexpectedly the other day (that’s what a pretty garden gets you sometimes; we all love hanging out in my backyard!).
I don’t have an espresso machine, I simply use a stovetop Moka coffee pot, it makes just enough for this use or a couple of cups of espresso and sure does save both countertop space and the hassle of cleaning up a much more complicated espresso machine; I just love mine! The water goes in the base, the grounds reservoir then fits inside the base and then the grounds are tamped down with the flat filter. The coffeepot gets screwed on top of the base and filter and when the base is heated, the hot water is forced up through the grounds and the espresso ends up in the coffeepot on the top. Pretty simple. Pretty cool. This is actually my second pot and it’s got an electric base which is a nice convenience since the size of the base is much smaller than any of my stove elements.
I decided to make it company worthy by dressing it up a bit with some caramel and salted nuts; still it is un piatto semplice* and I hope you love it as much as I and my guests did!
*Un piatto semplice – A simple dish. Thanks to my friend Lora, the Cake Duchess, otherwise know as ‘my Italian translator!’
Affogato – Vanilla Ice Cream, Espresso, Caramel Sauce and Salted Nuts
A classic Italian dessert made with espresso and vanilla ice cream, gelato or sorbet.
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Espresso or strong coffee, cooled to room temperature
- Caramel Sauce - If not making your own, I've found that Dulce de Leche available in a Mexican market or foods section is the best.
- Chopped, salted nuts - any kind. I had a container of salted, mixed nuts from Costco on hand. I thought they were perfect.
- Scoop ice cream into dish
- Pour espresso over ice cream
- Drizzle caramel sauce over ice cream and top with salted, chopped nuts