Affogato means drowned in Italian, and when you see it on a menu it generally means a dessert that has a shot of espresso poured over it. Gelato (or ice cream) is the perfect vehicle for this sort of treatment. My version is very simple. Just put one or two scoops of the Honey Ice Cream in a bowl and add one shot of freshly made espresso over it. The hot espresso will start to melt the ice cream, but that is fine, the flavor is wonderful and you have the perfect marriage of coffee and dessert.
Now, for a large dinner party, you are going to need a way of making all those shots of espresso in short order. I use an automatic espresso machine, so it’s a snap. If you have a manual espresso machine, decide in advance how many you can comfortably do. If it seems like it will be too much work, you may want to save this recipe for small dinner parties.
For the ice cream, I was inspired by Alice Medrich's Honey Ice Cream in Pure Dessert. I really liked the idea of showcasing honey in a ice cream. For my version I found it worked better if I changed the proportion of the milk and cream and added a little more salt. The flavor of the honey is key—use a really delicious, single varietal honey if you can find it.
Honey Ice Cream
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan just until it begins to simmer around the edges. Pour the milk into a medium bowl and allow it cool completely (this will keep it from curdling when the honey is added).
2. Add the honey and salt, stirring to dissolve the honey. Stir in the cream. Chill the mixture for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight or 12 hours.
3. Freeze according to the ice cream maker. I like to serve it as soon as it is done, but if you like your ice cream firmer, then transfer to a container and freeze for a few hours.
Makes about 4 cups