a really good idea

hot chocolate affogato

I was lucky enough to be in Melboune town last week for a couple of days of learning how to make chocolates for work (have I mentioned that I love my job?). Anyway, as seasoned chocolate professionals, dedicated to a tireless expansion of our chocolate knowledge, my colleagues and I decided that after a hard day in chocolate school, we really needed a few beverages and a snack or two to tide us over until dinner.

But rather than head to the nearest wine bar, as my former winemaking colleagues would have done, we caught the first cab we could straight to an outlet of one of Melbourne’s fine chocolate purveyors. As I opened the glossy menu, it took a few mere seconds for me to decide. A hot chocolate ‘affogato’, of course, it’s so obvious… now why hadn’t I thought of that myself.

I first became acquainted with the brilliant Italian coffee based dessert known as affogato when I was lucky enough to be hanging out in Florence for a few days before a friend’s wedding quite a few years ago. A whole gang of us were dining at a little local restaurant and one of the guys in our crew who had eaten there before insisted that everyone try the affogato for dessert. After a quick explanation that the dessert in question was a simple scoop of gelato served with a feisty shot of espresso on the side. We all agreed to give it a go.

With the contrast of the hot coffee melting down the gelato into oozy, creamy perfection, needless to say we were all very impressed. Since that night I’ve been a fan but unfortunately I seem to be more sensitive to caffeine in my old age and these days even the thought of a coffee late at night is enough to keep me awake so you could say it’s been a while between affogatos.

But with one good idea, that I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t think of it first, my affogato problem has been solved. A bitter, dark, dangerously rich hot chocolate is all you need to drown your icecream and make for contented tummies and nights of restful sleep. Not to mention that it’s a dessert you can whip up in the time it takes to bring some milk almost to a simmer…. definitely all good things.

 

hot chocolate ‘affogato’
serves 2

I’ve gone for a really bitter rich hot chocolate experience to marry with the sweet sweet goodness of rich vanilla icecream. But it’s all up to you. If you prefer a milkier sweeter option by all means substitute in milk chocolate or even white chocolate if that’s your thing. And you could always sweeten your hot chocolate with a little sugar but for me the dark chocolate contrast is the goods.

And it goes without saying that the better quality your icecream and chocolate are, the more you’ll enjoy this dessert. If you happen to have the time, equipment and inclination to make your own icecream, have a go with the recipe HERE.

200mL whole milk
70g dark chocolate (I used 70% cocoa solids)
2 large scoops vanilla icecream

First chill your serving glasses in the freezer. Place milk in a small saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Meanwhile break your chocolate into small chunks. When milk is ready remove from the heat and stir through chocolate until it is all melted.

Place a generous scoop of icecream into your chilled glasses and divide the hot chocolate between two espresso glasses or Chinese tea cups. Serve immediately on a plate so that each person can add the hot chocolate to their liking.

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