I love simple. I love easy. I also love delicious and incredibly chic desserts. Especially those that combine coffee and ice cream. Meet, the Affogato, meaning "drowned" ice cream. Italy, you've done it again.
We recently hosted a couple of couples for a very easy, relaxed dinner. It was not the typical, outdoor barbeque party (though the grill was still involved), but a menu with more of a European flare - with a focus on simple and seasonal. We sipped on chilled rose before dinner, and had grilled steaks marinated with rosemary, with a side of summer squash and parmesan gratin.
We served dinner outside, late after dark and set the table with potted herbs and lots of candles. After, we lounged on our side porch and had affogatos for dessert. It is the sort of party I imagine Italian people have every night of the week after the kids go to bed. We enjoyed our little slice of dolce la vita.
You might remember around Christmas time, the very nice people at Nespresso sent me a Pixie and hosted a giveaway on my blog. Well, a couple of months ago they sent me their newest machine, the VertuoLine. It is the machine we've all been waiting for... it brews espresso and coffee. As you can see from the photo, every cup (the coffee and espresso) is brewed in a very magical (my technical term) way that creates a frothy foam on top, even before adding any milk or cream. The coffee underneath that creamy, caramel colored froth is a deep, rich brown. I have loved my Pixie, but I have to say, I love having just one machine on my counter that does both coffee and espresso perfectly every time.
There is not really a recipe to this, it is literally just vanilla ice cream with hot espresso or strong coffee poured over the top.
For this cup, I actually used a coffee pod. You can see how rich it is. It really is just heavenly. I recommend using the decaf espresso for late night parties like ours.
I like to serve my guests (or just myself...) the ice cream in a mug, then bring a mini pitcher of the espresso around to pour over the ice cream. After each bite, the ice cream melts a little more and the espresso turns into a cold, creamy drinkable treat. The perfect grownup luxury after a hot day.
A nice crumbly cookie or piece of chocolate would be a great treat to go along with it, too.
Visit the Nespresso site to read more about their new VertuoLine. Thanks Nespresso for the new machine... it has gotten a lot of use!