Affogato al caffe --- less formally known as affogato -- translates as "drowned in coffee," and that's exactly what it is: a scoop of ice cream (or more properly, gelato and most often vanilla) with a shot of espresso poured over the top. It honestly doesn't get any simpler than that.
Slowly pour the espresso over the top of the scoop,
Serving Suggestions, Garnishes and Variations for Affogato
The basic affogato too simple for you? Try some of these variations and/or garnishes to dress it up for company.
The glass you choose can make a world of difference in the presentation. Pick a glass that tolerates temperature extremes and freeze it for about 10 minutes to frost the glass before pouring.
There are actually affogato glasses available from many top servingware companies, but you don't have to go that far. Most affogato glasses are narrower at the base than the top. The shape catches the ice cream partway down the glass and leaves empty space at the bottom to fill with melting ice cream and espresso, creating a sophisticated layered look.
If you're serving affogato to a crowd, scoop the ice cream into glasses in advance and put them into the freezer until the coffee is ready. Make the coffee in a moka pot or transfer the shots into a pitcher as they're done. Pour the espresso over the ice cream at the table. Serve with a bowl of freshly whipped cream and an assortment of garnishes.
Coarsely ground coffee beans
Finely ground (Turkish grind) coffee
Crumbled cookies or biscotti
Drizzle with chocolate syrup
Pirouette cookies or wafer straws
Substitute chocolate gelato for vanilla ice cream. Top with whipped cream and drizzle with chocolate liqueur.
After the espresso has started to pool, drizzle the ice cream with Amoretto liqueur and top with crushed almonds.
Drizzle the affogato with Kahlua liqueur.
Place a small square of sponge cake in the bottom of the glass. Drizzle with Amoretto. Add a scoop of vanilla gelato. Pour espresso over the ice cream and top with freshly whipped cream.