Weeknight Cooking: Tiramisu Affogato

Still building a repertoire of quick after dinner deserts, I ran across this stripped down, chilly version of a Tiramisu, the coffee-soaked Italian treat. Rather than going through the fuss of making a layered dessert, this employs the use of ice cream. What made this such an attractive option to me is that the person I live with does not like coffee, and different ice cream options would allow me to create different versions. Mine tasted like a tiramisu, his did not.

Tiramisu Affogato

The recipe’s original instructions are a little unclear, so I’ve changed them a bit. Basically, you want this to look like the photograph you see above, and the instructions don’t necessarily suggest to make it as you’re seeing it.

Tiramisu Affogato
Courtesy of Gourmet

3/4 cup chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pint coffee ice cream
9 savoiardi (Italian crisp ladyfingers), broken into quarters
1 1/4 cups freshly brewed espresso (10 ounces) or 1 1/4 cups boiling water and 3 tablespoons instant-espresso powder
A small piece bittersweet chocolate

Beat cream with sugar until it just holds stiff peaks.

Divide vanilla and coffee ice creams among glasses, then top with ladyfingers. Pour hot espresso on top and dollop with whipped cream. Grate chocolate on top.

I didn’t want to brew up a cup of coffee for two reasons: First, it was late at night and second, I was cooking for someone who does not like the taste of coffee. That left me with the water and instant-espresso powder option, since that is as un-coffee-like as you can imagine. Our long time readers may recall the following mathematical formula:

Powder + Water =/= Mocha

With that coffee issue out of the way, the only other thing left for me to do was to eliminate the coffee ice cream from his, substituting it with a scoop of chocolate ice cream.

Savoiardi cookies are then placed on top, and the hot water-instant espresso mixture is poured on. The cookies instantly soak up the liquid and provide the soft, spongy texture enjoyed in tiramisu. Thanks to the ice cream, the liquid is quickly chilled.

The mistake I made in this was I put my savoiardi cookies in my food processor, because the original recipe said to coarsely crumble them. Unfortunately, the chunks of soaked cookie were not big enough for me, and I was left with wanting more — not just larger pieces, but a lot more of them. Don’t go light on the cookies; they’re magnificent soaked in the liquid and accompanied by the ice cream. Top it off with the sugared whipped cream and enjoy. If you want to go the extra mile, shave off some chocolate to sprinkle on top.

As a dessert, this was fun and refreshing, and I’m going to love serving this up come summertime. It’s a fun play on tiramisu but without all of the fuss. You’ll not be ashamed to serve this at home or at a gathering. It’s also versatile for those strange individuals in the world who do not care for the taste of coffee. Everyone will get their fix with this one.

As a weeknight dessert, this isn’t hard to put together. Sure, you’re having to beat up the whipped cream and sugar, but that takes all of 60 seconds. The utensils used are at a minimum, making clean up easy. My favorite part of all is that each dessert is served in a separate little cup. I don’t know why I’m so enamored with that, but I am. I guess it was just so good that everyone else can go get their own!

Overall Dessert Grade: A-
Weeknight Cooking Grade: A-

One thought on “Weeknight Cooking: Tiramisu Affogato

  1. Instant coffee powder tastes absolutely nothing like coffee. This is a beautiful thing, because I would have noticed.

    My recommendation for the savoiardi is to just break them in half or thirds rather than processing them at all. The texture of tiny, soaking wet cookie bits was a bit offputting.


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