What is it?
Cold ice-cream ''drowned'' in hot, strong, espresso coffee; liqueur optional. No, come to think of it, not optional at all, or the whole thing wouldn't melt into an irresistible hot and cold mess of melting, creamy, caffeine-rich, boozy wonderment.
Where is it?
Affogatistas head for Enmore's Cow and The Moon gelataria, which has an ''Affogato Project'' with Single Origin Roasters that might see chocolate orange jaffa gelato teamed with an El Salvador La Provedencia espresso. But Australia's most extravagant affogato belongs to Gowings Bar and Grill, where the deep, dark chocolate ice-cream is mixed with crunchy Valrhona chocolate pearls and served with organic prunes, an Allpress double ristretto and a shot of Patron XO Coffee Tequila, with a chocolate mocha log grated over the top at the table.
At every self-respecting Italian joint, serious cafe and coffee-loving gelateria in town. In the city, Roberto Scheriani’s The Italian does a classic affogato with house-made vanilla ice-cream, Dimattina Prima Tazza espresso and Frangelico liqueur. ‘‘It’s beautiful, like an Italian Irish coffee,’’ he says, laughing. At Mazzitelli in Richmond, the affogato is becoming the dessert of choice. ‘‘People don’t always want a big dessert, but they do want a coffee, so the affogato becomes the perfect little something after dinner,’’ general manager Melanie Console says.
Why do I care?
Because it's by far the best way to eat ice-cream - and one of the best ways to drink coffee as well.
Can I do this at home?
Can and should. Use a really good vanilla-bean ice-cream - I prefer gelato - or play with different flavours (hazelnut, almond, coffee, or chocolate) and different liqueurs, from Nocello and Sambuca to aged dark rum.
Gowings Bar and Grill 49 Market Street, city, 8262 0062
The Cow & The Moon 181 Enmore Road, Enmore, 9557 4255
Single Origin Roasters 60 Reservoir Street, Surry Hills, 9211 0665
The Italian 101 Collins Street, city, 9654 9499
Mazzitelli 144 Bridge Road, Richmond, 9427 1887
RECIPE: Chocolate affogato
Experiment to get the right ratio of ice-cream to cup size, and to strike the right balance between hot and cold, bitter and sweet. The gelato's sweet richness should be balanced by the strength of the coffee and the kick of the booze.
1 or 2 scoops of chocolate gelato
1 double espresso
1 tbsp Frangelico, Nocello or similar
Grated dark chocolate
Place one or two scoops of gelato in each coffee cup. Spoon the espresso coffee and liqueur over the top, scatter with grated chocolate and serve immediately.