Affogato
December 15, 2023

What is an Affogato?

An Affogato is a delightful Italian dessert combining two simple yet indulgent components: ice cream (usually vanilla) and hot espresso. The word "affogato" in Italian translates to "drowned," which perfectly describes the preparation process of this dessert.

The Affogato first appeared in Italy, with no one place or person claiming to be the originator. However, its popularity grew massively in the 1950s, coinciding with the industrialisation of ice cream production in the U.S. and the connection with Italian immigrants.

How to Prepare the Perfect Affogato

Get a punnet of ice cream. Scoop some into a bowl and pour an espresso on top. Enjoy. The secret to the success of the Affogato is its simplicity. It is a hard thing to get wrong. But of course, there are things to consider that I will outline below.

Ratio

The ice cream to espresso ratio in an affogato is all down to personal preferences. And probably the sizes of the serving dishes you're using! However, a good starting point is approximately 50g of ice cream to 25ml of espresso. This ratio (2:1) allows for a balanced blend of ice cream and coffee flavours without either overpowering the other. But you do you. You might find 1:1 is more to your taste. 

Coffee Type

Generally speaking, medium to darker roasts will work best in an Affogato, like FiXX Organic or FiXX Cubano. Their rich, dark, chocolatey notes and robust flavours balance the sweet ice cream well. But fruity, lighter roasts like FiXX Single Origins can work really well, too. Trying different coffees and ice cream to discover your perfect match will be a delicious journey.

Ice Cream Type

Non-dairy and vegan ice creams absolutely work in an Affogato. In fact, in some cases, work better. Eggs and coffee don't make great bedfellows. The proteins can skew the flavour of the coffee. If you don't believe me, eat a runny poached egg, take a swig of your favourite coffee and tell me something isn't quite right. So, if you can find an ice cream that is egg-free, vegan or otherwise, this will marry best with the flavours of your coffee.

Brew Method

If you don't have an espresso machine at home, then worry not. You can brew a full-flavoured coffee using any of the below. You won't have the same rich mouthfeel of espresso, but you'll be able to recreate the harmony of hot and cold, sweet and bitter. It's these combinations that make Affogato a classic. 

Can you customise an affogato with different flavours of gelato?

Vanilla and espresso is a classic for a reason. But there is no end to the ways you can play with flavours. Here are a few to get you started. But play around.

  • Mocha: Chocolate ice cream and coffee is an obvious winner. But why not sprinkle with some crushed hazelnuts, too?
  • Nutty Delight: Hazelnut or almond ice cream with a shot of espresso. Nutty flavours and coffee create a harmonious combination.
  • Caramel: Another winning combination. But why not jazz it up with salted caramel ice cream? 
  • Fruit Fusion: Fresh fruit sorbet (such as raspberry or mango) with a shot of espresso. The fruity and tangy sorbet pairs particularly well with lighter roast coffees.
  • Top Toppings: Add a drizzle of caramel, chocolate sauce, or a sprinkle of cocoa powder to your Affogato for an extra layer of flavour and presentation. Crushed nuts like hazelnut, almond, pecan or roast peanuts work well with many ice cream flavours. 
  • Boozy Affogato: Add a small amount of your favourite liqueur, such as amaretto, Kahlúa, or Bailey's, to your Affogato for a sophisticated adult twist.

Let your imagination take you on a flavour journey. The beauty of Affogato is its versatility, so don't hesitate to construct your signature combination! Who knows what creations you'll come up with? 

Is Affogato a Coffee or Dessert?

Yes.

How is Affogato pronounced?

Easy. It's Affogato (/ˌɑːfəˈɡɑːtoʊ, ˌæf-/). 

Or, if, like most people, you don't have a clue how to decipher those pronunciation symbols, Affogato is pronounced as ah-fuh-GAH-toh in English. The stress is on the second syllable, "fuh." The "a" in the first syllable is pronounced like the "a" in "father," and the "o" at the end is pronounced as "oh." So, when said quickly, it sounds like "ah-fuh-GAH-toh."

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