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Making Affogato at Home

Words by Taylor Stark Recipes by Truman Severson Photographs by Chantelle Grady

Truman Severson’s affogato recipes will keep you refreshed and alert all summer long.

Affogato is an Italian-style dessert beverage that consists of a shot of espresso poured over vanilla ice cream or gelato. In search of unusual variations, we asked Truman Severson, manager of Portola Coffee Lab’s concept coffee bar Theorem, for some ideas. He came up with recipes for affogato two ways (Traditional and Less Traditional), a pair of Nightcap Affogatos and Simple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Recipe: Traditional Affogato (made with an espresso machine)

Ingredients
1 extraction of recently roasted, freshly ground, distributed and tamped espresso (roughly 19 grams dose to 30 grams beverage weight)
1 generous scoop of Simple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (see below for recipe)

Method
Pour espresso over ice cream and garnish with a lemon peel or sea salt.

Recipe: Less Traditional Affogato (made with an AeroPress)

Here we use a concentrated brewed coffee rather than espresso. Although not the same, this version is equally lovely in its own right. We use an AeroPress but you can use whatever brew method you like.

Ingredients
30 grams freshly ground coffee
200 grams 98ºC water
1 jigger (45 milliliters) of concentrated brewed coffee
1 generous scoop of ice cream

Method
Boil filtered water.
Rinse paper filter and preheat AeroPress.
Add coffee to inverted AeroPress, then place on scale and tare.
Add 50 grams water and bloom for 30 seconds.
Add remaining 150 grams water and steep for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Add filter and cap, invert and press into a vessel.
Pour coffee over ice cream and garnish with a lemon peel or sea salt.

The Nightcap Affogatos

Option One: Port

Port is a lovely companion to coffee, fruit-forward, woody, sweet and viscous aptly describe both of these lovely beverages.

Ingredients
1 jigger (45 milliliters) of concentrated brewed coffee
1 ounce (30 milliliters) port wine
1 generous scoop of ice cream

Method
Pour coffee and wine over ice cream.

Option Two: Whiskey

Bourbon whiskey must, by law, spend at least two years in new oak barrels, where it leaches the wonderful tannins and sugars found in the wood, as well as the phenolic aldehyde, vanillin, which is responsible for the flavor we perceive as vanilla, making it a lovely bridge between coffee and ice cream (not that any bridge is needed, but when bourbon can be consumed, it should).

Ingredients
1 jigger (45 milliliters) of concentrated brewed coffee
1 ounce (30 milliliters) bourbon
1 generous scoop of ice cream

Method
Pour coffee and bourbon over ice cream.

Recipe: Simple Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 

Ingredients
6 egg yolks
125 grams granulated sugar 

400 milliliters whole milk

1 vanilla bean
300 milliliters cream

Method
Beat the sugar and yolks until pale and thick.
Split and scrape vanilla bean pod and add to milk and cream in a saucepan, heat until scalding.
Remove the pod, and slowly add 100 milliliters of the hot dairy to the egg mixture, once tempered add the egg mixture back into the dairy and over low heat stir the custard until it it’s thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.
Chill in an ice bath until cold.
Freeze however you’d like (ice cream maker, two coffee cans and salt).
Let rest in freezer overnight.

Read our interview with Truman Severson about the art of the coffee cocktail here.  

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