Affogato al Cafe


What is it about Italian desserts and Italian accents that make the world swoon? I don’t have the answers to such mystical secrets. Yet I can tell you, once you taste Affogato al Cafe, you will most certainly feel a buckle in your knees, and pull out your best faux Italian “Nonna” accent while muttering aff-o-gaaaato, gel-aaaa-to, es-preeeeess-o… Merda Santa! (Holy Crud!)

Such a simple treat to cause a dramatic response; that is the Italian way.

You may have heard the old story about Julia Child snubbing Italian food because she didn’t believe it was real cooking. Well, no disrespect to Julia but, the simplicity of most Italian dishes is what draws me to them. Italian food, as a whole, is about celebrating the ingredients, not the chef. In theory, a tomato-based dish should uphold the integrity of the tomato, straight off the vine. Not muck it up with dozens of other flavors. Italians honor their food by preparing simple meals.

Affogato Al Cafe

Affogato al Cafe,  meaning “drowned in coffee”, is a sweet little treat that packs a punch! It’s an “adult” ice cream float, of sorts. The two crucial ingredient are vanilla gelato and espresso. All other variations with espresso beans, chocolate, or amaretto are considered Strav-a-gan-te! (extravagant!)

Here I did get a tad “stravagante” with the Affogato–couldn’t help myself. I combined the gelato and espresso with a nip of Kahlua (mocha liquor) and dark chocolate shavings. Shameful. *wink*

Such a simple yet “stravagante” treat can:  save a dinner party, spur on a love connection, mend a broken heart, keep you up at night to finish a project… get you in trouble. Be careful with this one. Affogato al Cafe is POWERFUL.

Affogato Italian


Yield: 1

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Affogato Al Cafe


2 scoops vanilla gelato (or GOOD ice cream)
1 oz. Espresso
1/2 oz. Kahlua
1 tsp. Dark Chocolate Shavings


Place two large scoops of vanilla gelato in a glass.

Pour one shot of espresso and half a shot of Kahlua over the gelato.

Use a veggie peeler to shave chocolate curls over the top. Perfectto!

How To Make Affogato

Other Favorite Italian Treats:

Tiramisu ~ David Lebovitz

Panforte ~ Joy of Baking

La Tavola Della Mia Famiglia ~ Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy

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70 Responses to “Affogato al Cafe”

  1. #
    Rosa — July 31, 2011 @ 8:59 am

    Those dreamlike affogato look so tempting and refreshing. What a divine treat!

    Congrats on making Foodbuzz’s Top 9!




  2. #
    Pudding Pie Lane — July 31, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

    Yum this ice cream looks delicious and truly grown up! :)


  3. #
    Shirley — July 31, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    I’m not a coffee person, but this is just beautiful. I’d try some. :)


  4. #
    Dmarie — August 1, 2011 @ 3:04 pm

    ooh, all your posts make me swoon–always an eye-full here!


  5. #
    Kita — August 1, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    Im not a huge fan of coffee like flavors, but with pictures like these, I know I wouldn’t be able to resist a bite either! These look wonderful :D


  6. #
    Chris and Amy — August 2, 2011 @ 9:32 am

    Heavenly, indeed. Those Italians know what they’re doing.


  7. #
    Eileen — August 3, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    I love your Italian treat. Definitely a must make one of these hot days. Beautiful pics as usual Sommer.


  8. #
    Marisa — August 3, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    This is just dreamy. This post has me swooning over affogato, for sure.


  9. #
    Tiffany — August 4, 2011 @ 7:40 am

    I’m swooning Sommer, SWOONING :D


  10. #
    a spoonful of yumm — August 4, 2011 @ 8:38 am

    i love the ingredients ….sinful dessert :D


  11. #
    Marie — August 5, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

    I think it would pair nicely with the Kahlua and espresso..?


  12. #
    Jess@BringYour Appetite — August 10, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

    My husband and I discovered Affogato al Café when it was described in a recent issue of Bon Appétit magazine, and ever since, we have been OBSESSED! We are not big sweets people, and we rarely eat dessert, but ever since we discovered this little piece of heaven, we gleefully fire up the espresso machine and pull the ice cream out of the freezer after dinner several nights a week so that we can indulge.

    Kudos to you for introducing more souls to this delicious Italian dessert!


  13. #
    Kadhyaa — August 11, 2011 @ 6:03 am

    First time here and nice place with yummy recipes. This post looks so awesome..


  14. #
    sarainitaly — August 26, 2011 @ 6:02 am

    Nice site, and your cafe affogato looks delicious! I’ve never had one with Kahlua. Will have to try that.

    One little note – Merda Santa! (Holy Crud!) isn’t quite correct. The saying is santa merda, and it means “holy sh*t”. Merda is not a very pleasant word, just like sh*t….


  15. #
    bhavani@ameanderingmango — August 31, 2011 @ 1:59 am

    Wow – what a dessert. Espresso and gelato together sounds like a perfect combination. Great photos too!


  16. #
    Nancy Long — May 18, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

    hubby doesn’t like coffee, but loves Kahlua (go figure), so will make this w/just the Kahlua. think he will love it!


  17. #
    Nancy Long — May 18, 2012 @ 6:33 pm

    hubby doesn’t like coffee, but loves Kahlua (go figure). will make this w/just the Kahlua and know he will love it!



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