Ginger Gelato Affogato
Espresso affogato, one of my favorite desserts and an Italian coffee house specialty, was the inspiration for this months featured dessert. A traditional affogato, roughly translated as drowning, combines creamy vanilla gelato with a shot of hot espresso. The bitter espresso drowns the creamy gelato and together they create a satisfying and simple sweet treat.
Although we serve organic fair trade coffee at Big Bowl, we don’t serve espresso. However, we do feature a line of fine Asian teas. We also work with artisan ice cream and gelato shops at each Big Bowl location. Black Dog Gelato in Chicago, Sonny’s in Minneapolis, and Giffords in Reston supply Big Bowl with their ice creams and gelatos. We asked our ice cream makers to work on the ginger ice cream for our signature Ginger Gelato Affogato while we worked on the warm tea syrup.
Instead of espresso, we brewed our hibiscus iced tea triple strength, sweetened it with pure cane sugar, and created intense syrup to pour over homemade ginger gelato. In Minnesota, Sonny’s gelato used bits of candied ginger for added bursts of ginger flavor. Black Dog Gelato added fresh lemon; the perfect compliment to ginger root and hibiscus tea. The warm hibiscus tea syrup is served on the side in a tall shot glass. As the server pours the syrup over the cold gelato, a creamy pool of ginger and tart hibiscus forms in the bowl as the warm syrup melts into the gelato. The combination is delicious and of course we leave some hibiscus in the shot glass for you to add and continue to melt the ginger gelato.
We hope you will try our version of an Affogato at Big Bowl. We think it’s a fun spin on an Italian classic.