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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

Affogato, meaning "drowned" in Italian, is a sublimely simple dessert. Pour a shot of espresso over vanilla gelato and, if you like, top with a dollop of whipped cream. Biscotti are a natural accompaniment.


  • 2 1/4 cups (18 fl. oz./560 ml) milk
  • 3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) heavy cream
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz./185 g) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 8 to 10 shots freshly brewed espresso


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. Stir in the vanilla bean seeds. 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 the spoon leaves a path, 5 to 7 minutes.

Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve set over a clean bowl. 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 glasses and pour 1 shot of espresso over each portion. Serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10.

Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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