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Italian for drowned, affogato is a sublimely simple dessert: Pour a shot or two of espresso over vanilla gelato and, if you like, top with a dollop of whipped cream.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1⁄4 cups milk
  • 3⁄4 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3⁄4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
      and reserved, or 1 Tbs. vanilla bean paste
  • 8 to 10 shots freshly brewed espresso

Directions:

In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, cream and salt. Heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Slowly add the warm milk mixture, stirring constantly until blended. If using a vanilla bean, stir in the seeds now. Transfer the mixture to a clean saucepan, set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens and a finger drawn across the back of a spoon leaves a path, 5 to 7 minutes.

Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. If using vanilla paste, stir in now. Place the bowl in a larger one filled halfway with ice and water and let cool, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Transfer the custard to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the gelato to a chilled container, cover and freeze for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Scoop the gelato into bowls and top each with 1 shot of espresso. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.