The Italian dessert Affogato is simplicity at its finest—all you need to make it is a scoop or two of gelato and a shot of hot espresso. Here, we've added almond liqueur to the mix for a little extra flair, and candied almonds and crushed amaretti cookies for some crunch. The elegant treat comes together in just a few minutes, making it an easy and impressive option for entertaining. (Plus, it can be doubled or tripled seamlessly.) Feel free to substitute orgeat syrup for the amaretto if you'd rather keep the affogato non-alcoholic. The gelato can be switched up, too—we call for vanilla, but almond, dulce de leche, or pistachio would also work beautifully. You can use an espresso machine or a mocha pot for the coffee, but we've included directions for making strong coffee in a French Press as well. 


Credit: Photo by Antonis Achilleos / Prop Styling by Christina Daley / Food Styling by Ali Ramee

Recipe Summary

30 mins
10 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper, and set aside. Cook almonds and sugar in a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium-high, stirring constantly using a heatproof rubber spatula, until sugar melts, browns, and coats almonds, 5 to 6 minutes. Scrape almond mixture onto prepared baking sheet, and quickly spread into an even layer. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes. Break candied almonds into small shards, and set aside until ready to use.

  • Place coffee in a miniature French press coffee maker; set aside. Pour water into a kettle, and bring to a boil over high. Remove kettle from heat, and let cool 30 seconds. Pour enough hot water into French press to cover coffee grounds completely (about 1/2 cup water). Let coffee bloom 30 seconds. Pour remaining water over coffee in French press. Place lid on French press, but do not plunge. Let steep 4 minutes. Press down on plunger using steady and even pressure. 

  • Divide gelato evenly among 4 chilled small shallow bowls or glasses. Slowly pour 3 tablespoons coffee and 1 1/2 teaspoons amaretto over gelato in each bowl. Top evenly with crushed cookies (about 1 1/2 tablespoons per bowl) and desired amount of candied almonds. Serve immediately. Remaining candied almonds can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.