Part dessert, part beverage, affogato, Italian for "drowned", is vanilla ice cream or gelato served with a shot of hot espresso that satisfies two cravings in one fell 'scoop'. It is a paradisal coupling of hot and cold, sweet and bitter, to be eaten quickly and not so much savoured unless of course you have a particular fondness for lukewarm soup.
Vanilla is the most popular pairing with espresso but coconut, chocolate or dulce de leche ice cream would do just as well. If you feel compelled to dress it up, the affogato will happily accommodate. Spike the coffee with liqueur, top with nuts, crushed cookies, granola, shaved chocolate, cinnamon, sugar or sea salt - there is no end to what you can do. Not a fan of coffee? Experiment with tea instead. Something strong like spiced Indian chai or Earl Grey should hold up nicely.
Ingredients for 4 generous servings
2 large, really ripe bananas, frozen overnight
1-2 Tbsp nut butter
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
Soy or nut milk
Shots of really strong, freshly brewed espresso for the adults
Hot chocolate for the children
Break down the bananas in a high speed blender using a splash of nut or soy milk to help things along. Add nut butter and vanilla. Blend until smooth, fluffy and creamy. Tip into a container and freeze until ready to assemble.
Prepare the espresso or hot chocolate.
Scoop into cups or glasses and pour a shot of hot espresso.
Garnish and serve.