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2-Step Affogato Recipe Perfect for a Quick Dessert

It's just the right size and comes in under 150 calories, so you're going to keep coming back to this treat!
2-Step Affogato Recipe Perfect for a Quick DessertMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Leave it to the Italians to come up with a two-ingredient dessert that satisfies as thoroughly as the most intricate cakes, pies, and pastries we normally find forced upon us at the end of a meal out. Yet, while the wave of dessert “shooters” to hit restaurant menus like Chili’s, Macaroni Grill, Ruby Tuesdays, or Applebee’s provide healthier alternatives to the regular dessert menu, but at 450 calories for a tiny portion, they’re no bargain. This Affogato recipe, however, is a dessert that earns its keep. In this recipe, we do things a little differently: here we take two traditional caps to a meal—ice cream and espresso or coffee—and combine them into one happy glass of gustatory joy. If you don’t have an espresso machine, no problem: simply brew a brute-strength batch of coffee by using 1⁄4 cup grounds and 1 cup water. It’s important to use the best beans you can find, though, because the intensity of the coffee magnifies both flaws and finer points. This dessert will wake you and your palate up, and you’ll save over 300 calories than you would ordering the chain restaurant alternative.

Nutrition: 140 calories, 7 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 16 g carbohydrates

Serves 4

You’ll Need

2 cups vanilla ice cream or gelato
1 cup hot espresso (Want to make excellent espresso without a $1,000 machine? The Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker brews top-notch shots.)

How to Make It

  1. Place one good scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato in each of 4 small glasses (rocks glasses work nicely).
  2. Pour 1⁄4 cup hot espresso over each scoop. Serve immediately.

Eat This Tip

Americans’ thirst for top-tier coffee and espresso has grown precipitously in recent years, much in part because ambitious coffee roasters have been popping up across the country. Skip the freeze-dried coffee crystals, and while you’re at it, you can skip over the twelve Starbucks you likely passed today and instead you can pick up a bag of beans from one of America’s top java experts. Here are some of our favorite companies:

Find them all online, or at your local coffee shop.

This recipe (and hundreds more!) came from one of our Cook This, Not That! books. For more easy cooking ideas, you can also buy the book!

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