Affogato: You’re Welcome (Plus a Simple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe!)

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AffogatoIn the world of food, there are some magical combinations, the sums of which are so much more than the parts they are made of. Affogato is one of these. Friends, I don’t know how I went through most of my life without knowing about it, and I consider this post a kind of public service announcement to make sure that it doesn’t happen to anyone else. When I had affogato for the first time a few years ago, I was incredulous. How could something so simple be so amazing? This is one of those things I start craving fiendishly on a regular basis. Well, now we make ours at home– and you can, too.IMG_8571Affogato is just vanilla ice cream with espresso poured over it. That’s it. It’s incredibly simple, but also perfect.

If you want it to be all yours, from start to finish, you can make your own vanilla ice cream. I love to make our ice cream, and I also have no problem buying some really high-quality local ice cream at the grocery store. Here’s my recipe for vanilla ice cream.

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream & Affogato Recipe

What You’ll Need

  • 2 cups of heavy cream (you can also use 1 cup of full-fat milk if you want, but then you will definitely need an ice cream maker.)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, split open
  • 1/3 cup sugar (you can use raw sugar or xylitol, honey is an option but will definitely change the flavor)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • An ice cream maker (this is my favorite one) would be ideal, but because of the very high fat content of this recipe, you could also freeze it in a glass container, and scoop it pretty successfully.
  • For the espresso for the affogato, you will need something to generate a shot of espresso with– my favorite is an aeropress, but I think a really strong, short shot from a moka pot could work, if that’s what you have.

What to Do:
1. Pour half of the cream into a saucepan, and add the vanilla bean, sugar and egg yolks, and sea salt. (Keep half of the cream in the fridge, or really chill it by storing it in the freezer for the first part of this recipe– this will speed up the cooling process for the “batter” so you can churn it sooner.)

2. Turn the heat on low, and gradually warm the cream. Use a whisk to incorporate the egg yolks into the cream and keep things moving, whisking more as the mixture thickens. You are turning the cream into a custard and infusing it with vanilla at the same time. You don’t want to boil or simmer the cream– just heat it until it thickens.

3. Once the cream mixture has thickened up a bit, turn off the heat. Add the cold cream, and stir to incorporate. Remove the vanilla bean pod. You are almost done. Taste it to see if you need a little more sweetness (freezing it will dull the sweetness a little, so you should aim for a tad sweeter than you want your ice cream to taste.)  Chill it to at least room temperature before adding to your ice cream maker.

4. Pour it into your ice cream maker, or into a container to freeze. Give it time to solidify, and then scoop it up!

IMG_85685. Now, to turn this scoop of vanilla ice cream into affogato, you need a shot of espresso. We used to have a little espresso machine that we used for our daily coffee. But we have done away with it, now that we have a super handy gadget  that honestly produces a better shot of espresso than our machine ever did. We are completely hooked, and now making affogato is as easy as heating up a little water and pressing it through some espresso grounds.

Pour it on over– err on the side of too little vs. too much espresso, because you don’t want to melt all of your ice cream. Honestly, I pushed the limits a little with this one. You can always pour in little more. Enjoy!!IMG_8573The strong flavor of the espresso mingles beautifully with the creamy vanilla, and as it gets colder, forms little ice crystals against the ice cream. IMG_8576I think I need to go make one right now.

Are you already a big fan? Anyone out there new to Affogato?

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Affogato + A Simple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe

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8 Responses to Affogato: You’re Welcome (Plus a Simple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Recipe!)

  1. f292 April 2, 2014 at 9:13 am #

    Is the one cup of full fat milk in addition to, or instead of, the cream? If in addition, when is it added? Looking forward to making this …

    • ariana April 2, 2014 at 9:17 am #

      The milk is instead of half of the cream, and will be chilled in the fridge while the cream infuses and is cooked into a custard. Enjoy!

  2. Karen Wood April 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    Oh yum! I must and will try this!

    • ariana April 16, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      Oh, I’m glad! SO good.


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