Updated: Sep 19, 2020
Affogato is an Italian coffee dessert made using a scoop of gelato or ice-cream and topped with a shot of hot espresso. Most cafes will use vanilla ice-cream for the dessert but I had tried a couple of other flavours before — especially the unforgettable mango-gelato-affogato at one of the Malacca cafes.
And, gelato simply means "ice-cream" in Italian but many people claimed that gelato is different from other ice-creams, so it can also means "Italian-style ice-cream".
I was at a cafe with my friend when I suddenly had the idea of making affogato myself at home with different flavours of ice-cream with my espresso capsules. I expressed my thought and invitation to my friend across the table but she said that she would only try affogato with vanilla gelato. The question I had was: Why only vanilla?
I am not a person who accepts conventions without being convinced, so I decided to go ahead and try making affogato with different ice-cream flavours. Anyway, making affogato is not difficult, there is only one formula:
1 scoop of ice-cream
1 shot of hot espresso
A nice cafe (do you know I have a cafe in my house?)
My first attempt was using taro (or yam) ice-cream. And I used my coffee machine to make a shot of espresso. The first attempt failed with too little ice-cream (scooped using a spoon) and probably a little too much espresso. The dessert was overpowered by the bitter espresso and the yam flavour was a little too light (it stated "ice-cream with 7% taro" on the ice-cream box).
It dawned on me that a "scoop" and a "shot" were not really standard measurements, but depended on the sizes of the ice-cream scoop and shot glass. The content of the ice-cream also played a part.
I tried again the next day with more of the taro ice-cream and reduced the amount of espresso. This time, the dessert tasted much better than before with a yammy-bitter double tastes. I got it about right this time! I believed a third try would bring me closer to the perfect proportions.
Perhaps, it was due to such iterations to try every cup of affogato with different ice-cream flavours that most cafes would rather stick to just one vanilla flavour. And it took me two days to try just two cups of self-made yammy affogato.
Which ice-cream flavour did I try next?
Coconut. However, the flavour was much lighter than the taro ice-cream and was completely overwhelmed by the espresso. Adding more ice-cream did not bring out much of the flavour. Seems like ice-creams with stronger flavours are more suitable to make affogato, not just any ice-cream.
And I saw durian ice-cream in the supermarket! Yes, that flavour should be much stronger. I would try that next! Anyone wanna join me?
I can't make great affogato like in cafes, but it sure was fun making it at home, especially on weekends and at "my own cafe". It is easy. Really, try it yourself!
Do you love coffee?