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What is an affogato and how to make it

The popular Italian dessert consists of only two ingredients, espresso, and ice cream, yet the result is utterly extravagant and delicious. Along with coffee and chocolate, this freshening drink is one of the traditional chocolate pairings in Italian café culture.  

An intoxicating blend of aromas, colours, and silky textures, affogato can be easily prepared at home. The Venchi recipe is all about contrasts, between hot and cold, bitter and sweet, and will quickly become a new favourite.   

What is an Affogato?

Affogato translates to "drowned" in Italian and is one of the simplest desserts you can create. It's a big scoop of vanilla ice cream with a hot espresso shot poured over it. When the affogato is ready to serve, the ice cream looks as if it has drowned in the coffee.   

Affogato is usually classed as a dessert, but it can also be found on the drinks menu of countless cafes.   

Traditionally, affogato was prepared with Fior di latte ice cream, which means "flower of milk". It is Italian gelato at its purest, made without any eggs, chocolate, or vanilla: the only ingredients are milk, cream, and sugar. 

Venchi has a myriad of gelato flavours in store to choose from: if you can't find Fior di latte, then you could use true Italian delicacies such as Bronte Pistachio, Hazelnut or Stracciatella. 

A traditional alcoholic version also exists called affogato corretto. Add a teaspoon of your favourite liqueur to the coffee and pour over the ice cream. Amaretto, Kahlua, or Baileys are popular choices.   


What is the History of Affogato?

The history of the affogato is a mystery. While it comes from Italy, the land of coffee and gelato, the when is a little unclear.   

The dessert-beverage fusion uses espresso, so it must have originated after the invention of the first espresso machine in the 19th century.   

Oxford Dictionary lists the first use of the word affogato in the English language as the early 1990s. Its classic flavours mean it's still a sought-after dessert today.


How to make a perfect Affogato

Making a perfect affogato is simple  choose the finest quality ingredients. It's all about using the best coffee and the best ice cream. Venchi gelato would be a perfect choice.   

To make affogato at home, use an espresso machine or cook the coffee on the stove. Just remember that the coffee should be highly concentrated. Plus, don't add any milk or water to it. If you're a lover of coffee, you can add a double shot of espresso rather than just one for maximum intensity.   

  • Step 1. Grab a chilled bowl or glass.   

  • Step 2. Into a bowl, add a generous scoop of ice cream.   

  • Step 3. Prepare the espresso.   

  • Step 4. On top of the ice cream, pour the hot espresso.   

  • Step 5. Eat the affogato with a spoon before it melts.   


How to eat your affogato 

Just like the best Italian cooking, affogato is famed for its simplicity and effortlessness. Therefore, it's lovely served on its own. But if you're hoping to pair this dessert with something special, we have a few suggestions.   

Affogato is full of smooth textures, from the gelato to the espresso. Adding some crunch and contrast to the recipe will enhance the tasting experience. A sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts or pistachios would work well, as would crushed biscotti and amaretto biscuits. For chocolate lovers, top your affogato with shaved Venchi dark chocolate to enrich the flavour.