Whilst I was in my teens my Dad worked for an Italian company. These were the days of company Christmas hampers and we always used to look forward to unpacking a hamper full of Italian delicacies. Some of them were gratefully accepted – the mortadella and pannetone, not yet widely available in British shops, went down very well. Other things went down less well. I can still remember a preserved pig’s trotter sitting on top of the kitchen cupboard. It was there for months. I have no idea whether it was eventually binned or turned into a ‘pork stew’ and given to us unsuspecting children.
Another benefit of Dad working for an Italian company was that he often had to travel to Italy on business and would bring back lots of great recipes. One of them was for affogato. Translating as ‘drowned’ in Italian, this is a dessert for coffee lovers, and although it is no longer new to our shores it remains a simple yet delicious after dinner treat. The combination of the strong, hot coffee with the cold, sweet ice cream is heavenly. It is rare that something so easy to make is so divine. I reckon you will love it.
It’s imperative that the cups or bowls you serve the dessert in are cold and that the ice cream has softened as little as possible. This ensures that the ice cream remains relatively solid when the coffee is poured over it. You will be rewarded with a fantastic combination of hot coffee and cold ice cream on every spoonful.
If you wish you can also pour over a little of your favourite liqueur. I particularly like Cointreau but Amaretto and Frangelico also work really well.
- Vanilla ice cream
- Freshly brewed espresso or strong black coffee
- Liqueur of your choice optional
- Place scoops of your favourite vanilla ice cream in a pretty serving cup or small bowl. Pour over a little hot, freshly made, espresso or strong coffee and a dash of liqueur if using. Leave the coffee on the table so your guests can help themselves to more as they wish.