Need a simple dessert after those big holiday meals? Try a scoop of coffee ice cream, a shot of frothy espresso and a Pirouline cookie. Dress it up with candied hazelnuts- because you’re so fancy.
After a large meal around the holidays, a refreshing dessert of poached fruit or simple ice cream often fits the bill. Hunky Hubbie and I enjoyed affogato in Chicago last June at the wonderful Italian restaurant, Coco Pazzo. The last thing I want to wrestle when entertaining is a cumbersome dessert and although this Affogato has a few moving parts, a well planned and executed dining plan, will result in a stellar treat.
To make this a pain-free dessert, I first scoop out the gelato and keep the serving dishes in the freezer . I make the hazelnuts a day or two before serving Be careful not to eat them all – they are delicious and a very addictive snack. Make pot of espresso and keep warm. Just before serving, froth the espresso and pour over the ice cream or gelatto.
This is dramatic to do tableside.
Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and serve with the cookie. Any type of crunchy cookie will work- I love the Pirouline, but try a wedge of shortbread, biscotti, or an Italian sandwich cookie like Baci di Dama. I like to crush a few of the hazelnuts and “dust” the ice cream with it for different textures throughout the recipe.
Ice Cream or Gelato?
I love gelato, especially coffee flavor, but ice cream works beautifully. Do not pick a flavor that competes too much with the espresso. Vanilla, coffee, hazelnut even banana are ideal. Avoid ice cream flavors like strawberry, chocolate mint or peppermint.