An affogato, which means “drowned” in Italian, is a simple dessert of gelato that gets topped with a shot of espresso. It creates a dessert that’s creamy, decadent, and hot and cold all at once for a really lovely contrast of temperatures.
This is my holiday spin on the Italian sweet. It starts with a simple syrup that I infuse with some of my favorite seasonal flavors: cinnamon, fresh ginger, and cloves. It adds a great fall-and-winter flair to the dessert that I just love.
Top off your favorite vanilla gelato or ice cream with a bit of the spiced syrup, a bit of espresso, and even some hazelnut liqueur if you happen to have it – and there you go. A delicious, festive dessert! Serve with seasonal cookies or biscotti to make it really feel like a “complete” dessert.
Cinnamon Ginger Affogato
- For The Syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1- inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3 whole cloves
- For The Espresso:
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 1 to 2 tablespoons hazelnut liqueur, recommended: Frangelico, optional
- 1 pint vanilla gelato or ice cream
- For the syrup: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and allow the syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Remove the ginger, cinnamon, and cloves and discard.
- For the espresso: In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, whisk together the boiling water, espresso powder, and liqueur, if using, until the powder is dissolved.
- Scoop the gelato into 4 dessert bowls or glasses. Pour 1/4 cup of the syrup and 2 tablespoons espresso over each. Serve immediately.