Sunday, July 15, 2012

Affogato and the Magic of Cold Brewed Coffee

Michele and I are still in steamy Chicago, where the temperature is about 95, but the humidity makes it feel more like the sun. Man, could I go for an iced coffee right about now. I’ve been interested in trying this cold-brewed coffee technique for a while, but it was this lovely post on An Edible Mosaic that moved me into action.

Of course, the glamor shot (formally referred to as the “money shot”) is of an Affogato – the ultra-simple, Italian coffee dessert – but the real star here is the amazingly easy iced coffee concentrate recipe.

Apparently, since the flavors are extracted without heat, the results are a smoother, less acidic, less bitter product, which supposedly offers a purer coffee experience. All I know is that it made the best tasting iced coffee I’ve ever had. This would’ve been a complete success just for that fact alone, but that it also made possible this incredibly refreshing affogato, puts it way over the top.

You can use the coffee concentrate straight on ice cream or gelato, or dilute it with an equal part water for iced coffee. Of course, the purists will tell you that affogato is made with hot espresso, but the cold coffee works really well. The ice cream melted more slowly, and seemed to be even creamier than the standard technique.

Anyway, this only takes about five minutes to make, there are no special tools or equipment needed, and one taste is all you’ll need to become a believer like me. I hope you give this a try soon…while it’s still hot. Enjoy!

Cold-Brewed Coffee Concentrate (makes about 2 3/4 cups)
3 cups cold water
2/3 cup very freshly ground coffee (I used the medium grind on my espresso machine)
*Mix water and coffee in a large glass container. Cover and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours. Strain though coffee filter or paper towel, and serve!

For the Affogato:
1 or 2 scoops vanilla ice cream or gelato
as much coffee concentrate as you like (I like equal parts)
shaved dark chocolate