Editors' Picks

Affogato (Ice Cream + Espresso)

May  6, 2011


- Amanda

I grew up eating a bastard version of affogato, the Italian dessert that cleverly melds gelato and espresso. At night, I'd pour the leftover coffee from my parent's drip coffee maker over my ice cream. I liked the coffee-flavored ice shell that formed on the ice cream and the puddle of coffee milk in the bottom of the bowl. This caffeinated treat may also explain why, as a child, I was often up with my father watching ice hockey on TV late into the night.

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Proper affogato has much more going for it. The mix of hot and cold, the bitter and sweet, and, of course, the fluffy cream cap that pools beneath the gelato.

This is the dessert that you want in your back pocket, ready for guests at a moment's notice. Keep a good stock of ice cream (a good life rule, generally), and I'm sure you have espresso or strong coffee around. If not, let's not discuss it. And spoons. Yes, you'll need spoons!


Serves 4

  • 1 pint vanilla gelato or ice cream (the good stuff!)
  • 4 long shots espresso

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

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A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).

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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.


midasw May 9, 2011
Yes! Where can we find that pitcher? Writhing with jealousy!
Amber May 9, 2011
Love the pitcher too! Where can we find it?
shortnmorose May 9, 2011
Living in the LA - San Gabriel Valley we have the amazing Fosselman's ice cream next door. And one day I thought of pouring some delish french press coffee (no espresso machine sadly) right over their taro ice cream. I swear it was divine!

That Le Cube is definite eye candy.
sdr1959 May 8, 2011
Love affogato. I make mine with a locally scourced vanilla ice cream and instant espresso. Yummy and easy for those of us without an espresso maker.

Add my to the list of spoon and pitcher lovers. Where can they be purchased?
Sam1148 May 7, 2011
We'd have ice-cream with Sanka (freeze dried de-cafe) on top.
NM E. May 6, 2011
We love ours with chocolate ice cream, too! Great on a relaxed Friday evening!
Lexmccall May 6, 2011
I have always preferred an affogato with chocolate ice cream, which probably makes me a heathen or a philistine of some kind. A friend used to work at an ice cream shop/bakery called Sweet Daddy's in Wayne, PA, when we were in high school, and she'd make me one whenever I came by to visit. Very fond memories.
Love this -- one of my favorite desserts. And ditto about the pitcher -- so adorable!
wssmom May 6, 2011
I love the pitcher!!
melissav May 6, 2011
I'm experiencing major spoon envy.
drbabs May 6, 2011
me, too! How cute are those?!
boulangere May 6, 2011
I'd like to spend the rest of my life with that spoon.