Is there anything more energizing than a morning cup of coffee? Is there a more decadent yet refreshing dessert than a scoop of gelato? What if you didn’t have to have them separately? This article will teach you everything you need to know about the popular Italian dessert drink, the affogato Shot!
What is an Affogato Shot?
Have you heard of an affogato? It is an Italian beverage with two key ingredients: espresso and gelato. But despite the apparent simplicity, this dessert drink is an indulgent and delicious treat.
The dark, bitter, hot coffee mixes with the cool, creamy, and sweet gelato to create a divine combination. You can either sip it out of the cup or eat it with a spoon. If you drink it, you will taste rich espresso that has been diluted and sweetened with cold cream. If you take it by the spoonful, your experience will be more so eating coffee-flavored ice cream.
The word affogato means “drowned” in Italian, and the term “affogato al caffe” translates to “drowned in Coffee” in English. This name certainly fits the affogato because of how the gelato is drowned in espresso.
Affogatos are sometimes consumed instead of a traditional morning cup of coffee. However, they are more often served after dinner instead of a fancy dessert. If you are cautious about drinking too much caffeine and not being able to sleep at night, you can also order an affogato dessert with decaf espresso.
Usually, Italian cafes serve affogatos with fior di latte or vanilla gelato. However, you can experiment by asking for different flavors of ice cream. Caramel, hazelnut, and chocolate are all flavors that pair excellently with coffee.
Liquor is sometimes added to an affogato to make it even more indulgent. Traditionally, amaretto is the alcohol that is most often used in these desserts. You could also experiment with a cream-based liqueur such as Baileys or Kahlua!
How much Coffee and Gelato should be used in Affogato Shot Recipe?
While there is not a single correct ratio for coffee and gelato in an affogato, you do want to ensure that the two ingredients are in a proper balance with each other so that one does not overpower the other. The precise amounts of coffee and gelato mostly come down to personal preference, but there are a few guidelines in the industry that serve to regulate portion sizes.
The standard amount of coffee in an affogato is either a single or double shot of espresso. This will vary depending on your location and the barista making your drink. A single shot contains one ounce of coffee, and a double shot has two. Typically, a serving will contain between one and two scoops of gelato per espresso shot.
How to pull a shot of espresso for an Affogato
Pulling espresso shots is an art, but one that does not take long to master. You will need an espresso machine and a coffee grinder. Start by grinding about 20 grams of beans and carefully set them up in the portafilter. Next, distribute the coffee by tapping lightly on the side of the portafilter to make sure that there are no clumps or uneven piles of grinds.
Then, you will tamp the coffee with firm pressure using the designated tamper. This step compresses the coffee so hot water can travel at the appropriate speed.
Lastly, insert the prepared portafilter into the espresso machine and start the device. Make sure there is a cup or mug underneath the portafilter to catch the espresso shot pulled. If you want to save a step, you can have the espresso poured directly over the scoop of ice cream by placing it underneath the dripping coffee. A double shot of espresso usually takes around 30 seconds to pull.
Once you’ve pulled your shot, make sure to fully clean the portafilter before turning off the machine. Discard the used espresso grounds and wipe out the portafilter thoroughly so that it is ready to go the next time you want to pull shots.
Getting served drinks “Affogato Style”
Getting a drink served “affogato style” means you will get the espresso shot poured over the top of the other ingredients or drinks like a frappuccino rather than mixed in the usual fashion. Starbucks introduced the concept of affogato-style shot and is credited with popularizing it.
When a barista makes a latte, they typically pour hot milk into the espresso. If you ask for a latte served “affogato style,” the barista will instead pour the espresso into the cup of milk. This technique is most commonly applied to frozen, blended beverages like Frappuccinos. In Starbucks, Vanilla Bean, Caramel, and Mocha flavors are the most common.
In some places, “affogato style” means a scoop of ice cream added to the drink instead, while in others, they may pour a shot over the whipped cream.
How to make a great Affogato at home
Since there are only two ingredients in an affogato, you will want to make sure that both your coffee and your gelato are of the highest quality that you can afford. Spending an extra few dollars to splurge for a bag of fair-trade coffee beans and a pint of high-quality Italian gelato is an easy step to take that will elevate your affogato to the next level.
Pull your shot of espresso by following the instructions in the previous section, as well as in the owner’s manual of your home espresso machine. We recommend placing one or two scoops of ice cream into a cup or small bowl and pulling the espresso shots directly over the top. You will be able to watch the hot liquid drip onto the cold confection and melt it as the shot pulls.
Once your shot has finished pulling, it is time to either enjoy the dessert drink or make any adjustments with add-ins, such as amaretto or flavored syrup. If you have never tried an affogato before, we recommend you have your first one the traditional way: just hot espresso and cold vanilla ice cream.
While freshly pulled espresso is the best choice, if you do not have an espresso machine at home, you may try double-strength strong brewed coffee or even an instant coffee.
Tips to make your affogato the ultimate dessert drink
Here are a few tips to ensure that your affogatos are as delicious as they can be!
Aside from using high-quality gelato, you can play around with your chosen flavors. A chocolate ice cream will result in a decadent dessert reminiscent of a mocha latte, for example.
Additionally, adding just a splash of alcohol to an affogato will take it to the next level in terms of flavor.
Play around with the ratio of espresso and gelato to figure out what the ideal amounts are for your taste!
Have you tried making an affogato at home? Did you enjoy it? Let us know in the comments section below!