Have you ever had an Affogato before? In the part of the world where I live, it's not something you see on dessert menus all that often. In fact, I hadn't really heard of it until a couple years ago. The details are a bit hazy, like I can't remember the name of the restaurant I was at, but I do remember thinking something along the lines of: WHOA, THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!!
My brain thinks in all caps and uses too much punctuation sometimes.
It's a simple dessert, usually just vanilla gelato or ice cream with a hot shot of espresso poured over. I love the blend of hot and cold elements and I also sort of love how it's a very adult dessert with the addition of espresso. Sort of a grownup sundae, in a way.
Being only two ingredients, you really want those ingredients to be top quality. That's why I was so excited to get to work with Nespresso and the "Experience a cup above" campaign, which is all about highest quality coffee. Their VertuoLine Evoluo machine is so easy to use (no bean grinding or grounds tamping required), and it makes both large cups of coffee and shots of espresso that taste fantastic. Also, check out the box of Grand Cru capsules (in the photo above) that comes with a new machine. So pretty, right?! It seriously looks like an uber fancy box of chocolates. And what's nice is they're all made from recycled materials, so it's not so wasteful.
Even though a traditional Affogato is made with only two ingredients, I thought it would fun to put together a few ideas for a dessert bar centered around this fantastic dessert. This would be the absolutely perfect end to a dinner party or holiday meal you might be hosting this season. Of course you could also use one of the following ideas to just make a little weekend treat for you and a friend and skip the whole bar thing too. Whatever works for you. Now let's talk flavor combinations!
-Caramel & sea salt
-Peanut butter cups, chopped
-Crushed hard candies
-Cookies or cookie crumbs
But you don't have to stop at just the toppings. You could also have a few different ice cream or gelato flavors on hand.
A couple that I tried and LOVED were orange sherbet and chocolate ice cream. Orange and espresso pair really nicely together, sort of like orange and chocolate. And of course, if you or your guests are chocolate lovers, then you could switch out the vanilla ice cream or gelato for chocolate or really any other flavor you love.
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.