Affogato. No, it’s not a swearword – as in ‘well affogato you too dude’. It’s Italian for ‘drowned’ and refers to one of the simplest, yet most delicious 2-minute desserts out there – vanilla ice cream ‘drowned’ in strong hot espresso. Some folks add a shot of hazelnut liqueur like Frangelico to their affogato too, and why not. Either way, it’s über yummy.

My thought processes are convoluted at the best of times, so I can’t really tell you how this recipe came about, but I was contemplating Christmas day lunch recently over a bowl of affogato. Now in my family Christmas lunch has always been a very classy affair. We’re all in our cozies, wobbly bits and all; the Alpha male is cremating chops on the braai; and for dessert there’s a 5L container of fake vanilla ice cream and fruit salad made with tinned peaches, guavas and, just to show willing, some fresh fruit too. Classy stuff.

That got me wondering. Is there a way to bling up ice cream and fruit for Christmas day? So I painted some moulds with chocolate. And I mixed vanilla ice cream with strong espresso and filled my chocolate moulds with the espresso ice cream. I dipped ripe, sweet cherries in edible silver dust, dusted the lot with silver glitter and icing sugar and, because I had them in the cupboard, chucked on edible silver balls too. A winter wonderland on a plate, and just right for Christmas lunch by the pool.

All you need is…

milk chocolate or dark chocolate, melted
good vanilla ice cream
strong espresso, cooled
fresh cherries
edible silver dust and glitter
edible silver balls
icing (confectioner) sugar

Use a pastry brush to paint plastic moulds with melted chocolate. (Click here for my foolproof way to melt chocolate.) Let it harden in the freezer and paint on another layer and freeze again. Allow ice cream to soften so it’s easy to stir. Stir in a few tablespoons of cold strong espresso (taste and see how intense a coffee taste you prefer). Spoon the coffee ice cream into the chocolate moulds and spoon over more chocolate to seal the ice cream. Freeze until needed. Turn the moulds upside down and tap them to de-mould the affogato ice cream cakes. Wash and dry cherries and dip them in the silver dust. Serve the lot on a large platter dusted with icing sugar, silver balls and even edible glitter. Bling, baby, bling. Merry Christmas!


20 min


2 min


1 hr


tips, tricks and trivia

More ideas for this recipe
  1. Leave out the coffee and stir cinnamon and chopped pecan nuts into the ice cream. Serve with peaches, apricots and nectarines.
  2. Leave the coffee out and add chopped pistachios to the ice cream. Serve with figs and blueberries.

The key to a fruit plate that’s elegant, is to limit your colour palette. Play on one colour only or mix no more thank two colours. Think all red or all blue, or red and yellow, or red and blue or yellow and green.

enjoy with

We’re incredibly lucky to live in a country where good bubbles can be had for very little. Of course we may not call ours Champagne as the French kind of mind, but our version, Méthode Cap Classique, is as good as anything French I’ve tasted. I recently had the opportunity to taste all three MCCs that Laborie makes. What a treat. There’s a Brut Rosé MCC (R98 online), a Brut MCC (R85 online) and a 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blanc MCC.

All three are exceptional value for money, but my choice with my affogato ice cream cakes is their prize winning Blanc de Blanc.

It’s complex and elegant, creamy and round with a hint of toasted bread, lime and lovely hazelnut. An absolute winner at R100 online.



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