The Affogato

As temperatures warm up here in Melbourne, we're taking a look at a refreshing Italian coffee-based dessert that's nice and easy to make at home!

Affogato literally translates to "drowned" in Italian, and at its most basic, an Affogato is a scoop or two of Vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over it (hence the drowning). Whilst this traditional version only requires these two ingredients, there are a few variations which we'll discuss below.



1) Vanilla or similar Ice Cream / Gelato

Vanilla ice cream is readily available at any supermarket, however if possible, choose a higher quality variant that is made with real vanilla beans. These will usually have little black vanilla specks scattered through the ice cream and provide a more natural and authentic taste. We're big fans of the Over The Moo coconut based vanilla ice cream (see link)

Whilst vanilla is the simplest to purchase here in Melbourne, if you can get your hands on it, try using Fior di Latte gelato. This is the traditional gelato used in Affogatos and typically only contains dairy, sugar and starch, without the egg yolk found in other ice creams. These are a little harder to find, and usually will need to be purchased from an Italian or international market.

2) Coffee

The real star of the show for this dessert is of course the espresso. If you're fortunate enough to have an espresso machine at home then it's as simple as using this. If you don't, fear not! Our TNB Italian Cafetera's will do a fantastic job, and add even more Italian flair to this dessert. You can view our Cafetera at the following link.



Preparation is simple, find a cup or narrow bowl and place one or two scoops of ice cream inside. If you're making many Affogatos at once, a handy tip is to prepare a few beforehand and placing in the freezer. This ensures your ice cream is a little harder before it gets melted by the espresso shot.

Once you've placed your ice cream in your cup or bowl, pour over the espresso (as seen in the picture). If you're using a Cafetera, you can use the spout to pour straight onto the ice cream, just give it a few minutes to cool down so it doesn't melt the ice cream too much.



As delicious as the original is, there are a few variants you can experiment with to suit your individual taste, some examples include:

  • Using an alcohol base such as Bailey's, Kahlua or Frangelico
  • Adding crushed biscuits like Tim Tams, Oreos or Biscotti into the ice cream mix
  • Different types of ice cream for the base, try using a dark chocolate or even a fruit flavour! We love Connoisserrs' Murray River Salted Caramel.


Affogatos are a great afternoon treat on a warm day or an easy win for dessert if you're entertaining friends and family. If you have any questions or comments please reach out to us at TNB and we'd be happy to assist!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published