I love affogato; especially on a hot summer day. Affogato, which means “drowned “ in Italian is a scoop of vanilla gelato “drowned“ with a shot of hot espresso. It is the perfect treat on a warm day…caffeine and cold gelato in one! It also brings back sweet memories of when I had just met my husband. We had been dating all of one week when he told me his Mom, sister and her family were passing through Rome and wanted to stop and see him. I was certainly a bit nervous since my Italian consisted all of ten words not to mention that I was meeting his family only after 1 week of dating?! We ended up going to a coffee bar in the center near the Parliament and his sister suggest I try the affagato. Not knowing what it was, but not wanting to be rude I said yes. When it came, I saw espresso and gelato in one dish…my two favorite things! Fueled by this wonderful concoction, my nerves dissipated and I am happy to say the evening turned out just fine.
So, I started thinking about a recipe that could mimic the flavors of an afogatto and bring back those first memories when my husband and I met. A chilled sweet treat that I can make ahead and involves NO baking scores big points in my book. We have been having a really hot summer here in Italy and the thought of turning on my oven makes me sweat, literally!
This recipe has a brilliantly light and cream texture and is so incredibly easy. In fact, you probably don’t need to make a trip to the store…well maybe for the mascarpone, but that’s it.
You can keep it simple as I did or add a little amaretto or even a coffee liquor to the the mascarpone mixture. Once you have made the filling you can either put it in the fridge to set up for a couple of hours. It will have a creamy cheesecake texture, but less dense. Alternatively, you can pop it in the freezer and you will have a delightful frozen custard texture. Either way, it is sure to please!
- 15 ounces (420 grams) digestive biscuits
- ¾ cup + 1 Tablespoon (180 grams) butter
- 1 cup (250 mL) heavy whipping cream
- 1½ cups (350 grams) mascarpone cheese
- ¾ scant cup (100 grams) powdered sugar
- 2 small (espresso) cups of espresso or coffee
- In a food processor or with a ziplock bag and a rolling pin and pulverise the biscuits until they are finely ground
- Melt the butter (either over the stove or in the microwave). Pour over the ground biscuits and mix until you have the consistency of wet sand.
- In a parchment lined springform pan (24 cm or 9 inch diameter), add the ground biscuit mixture and pat firmly into the bottom of the pan and also up the sides. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream until it forms stiff peaks. Set aside.
- Beat the mascarpone until it is light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Add the two cups of coffee or espresso, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Fold in the whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture.
- Pour the mixture into the chilled crust and put back in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours.
- To serve, you can drizzle some melted chocolate or Nutella over it or even chocolate shavings or leave as is.