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December 10, 2010

Affogato: Suprisingly Easy, Yet Elegantly Snooty

Filed under: Dessert,Ice cream,Spirits — Erik Nabler @ 7:52 pm

Affogato, easy and snooty to boot!

When I was asked to do a guest post by the Manolo I was stunned by the compliment. The Great Manolo Blahnik asking me to write a piece for him. Awesome! Sadly, my joy did not last when I learned that it was Manolo the Shoeblogger.
Affogato: try this, hoi polloi!
So, back to reality. Mostly I write about alcohol related items. This is a food blog, though. So, we need to combine the two.

I remembered years ago being taken to an Italian restaurant in the Marina District of San Francisco. We apparently went there because our companions did not cook. I found out how much they could not cook when they ordered plain spaghetti. When I say plain, I do not mean with a simple marinara or a nice putanesca, but boiled pasta. Just boiled. For God’s sake, learn to boil at least!

The dinner was good, though, and the dessert menu had an item I had never eaten, affogato. Affogato is Italian for “drowned”. It is a simple dessert where you pour a shot of hot espresso over a scoop of good gelato or vanilla ice cream. We loved it and were also suitably impressed by their ability to charge so much for a scoop of vanilla with coffee on top.

So, make this dessert to impress your friends. First, always refer to it as affogato, never “coffee and ice cream”. You can even buy good espresso at a coffee shop and reheat immediately before serving. Make sure that you use gelato or a very good, dense vanilla ice cream such as Ben & Jerry’s or Godiva, or, if you are lucky, the Holy Grail of ice cream – Dr. Bob’s.

And now to pimp the alcohol. To make this dessert truly impressive, find a bottle of Firelit Spirits Coffee Liqueur. This is simply the best coffee liqueur ever. It truly tastes of coffee and is not overly sweet as Kahlua or Tia Maria or others. Our review on this wonder beverage is here. Find a bottle of this, heat it, pour it over Dr. Bob’s or gelato and it will be almost impossible to top you in the dessert department. (For those poor souls who cannot find this spirit, try mixing Amaretto and espresso. It is good, just not divine.)

There you have it, an easy dessert that takes little time but will impress your Christmas or New Year’s guests just the same.

N.B. Guest blogger Erik Nabler blogs regularly about drinks and drinking at the Liquor Locusts.


  1. Let’s hope this is a one-time-only post, as he is not worthy of the Manolo or the manolosphere. While Affogato is wonderful, the snideness of the writer is off-putting, IMHO.

    Comment by klee — December 11, 2010 @ 10:08 am

  2. Snideness is off-putting? well, there goes my career…

    Comment by raincoaster — December 11, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

  3. Yes, because there’s absolutely no snideness in the Manolosphere. *eyeroll* I think this is a perfectly fine entry, and also that the snideness directed at the couple who can’t even boil water is well-deserved.

    Comment by Chicklet — December 14, 2010 @ 10:20 am

  4. Well, I didn’t think much of his snideness toward the Manolo either.

    Comment by Nancy — December 15, 2010 @ 6:20 pm

  5. Actually, I know the Manolo from long standing and only gentle humor was directed at him. Snideness towards my friends who can’t cook, though.

    Comment by Erik Nabler — December 15, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

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