The sun is shining and shriveling the mushrooms growing on my garden and my co-workers. This reminded me that it's summer and I thought of this almost immediately.
I first had one of these over 10 years ago at a little ice cream shop which is no longer there, and I've never seen it offered anywhere else. It may seem a bit odd at first. I mean, you'd expect that the result would just be tepid coffee and melted ice cream, right? Well, yes and no. The resulting synergy is a marvelously refreshing as well as somewhat naughty snack/beverage.
Part of the appeal is that this must be consumed immediately. It doesn't hold, or keep, or wait for your convenience. It demands your undivided attention to wonder at the perfection which is a Hot Coffee Float.
- What you'll need: (per person)
- 2 firmly packed scoops of ice cream
- I prefer to use vanilla, as I'm a bit of a float purist. However, any flavor sans chunks will do. Chocolate would be great. But leave out the solid bits, they'll just sink to the bottom as a sodden, tepid mess.
- 6-10 oz. or so of freshly brewed strong coffee, hot
- Yes, the range is large. It really depends on the size of your glass and how much you feel like having.
- a tall glass
- a long spoon (optional)
Most ice cream floats have the soda added to the ice cream so that the soda doesn't explode all over the counter when it contacts the ice cream. Although that isn't an issue with coffee, you can do the same for this. Keep in mind that it mixes the coffee and ice cream together more quickly, leading to cooler coffee and faster melting ice cream. Alternately, you can half fill the glass with coffee, add the ice cream, and then fill the rest of the way with coffee. Whatever floats your boat.
Drink it fairly quickly, directly from the glass. Don't use a straw, you won't notice the interesting temperature fluctuations using a straw and you'll be sucking up relatively undoctored coffee from the bottom of the glass.
Now, here's where this is pure nirvana. Sipped directly from the glass, the flavors will blend over your tongue as streams of cool, melting ice cream, all frothy and thick, meet up with the hot, now warm, bitter coffee. Since ice cream is already a balanced degree of sweetness, your coffee will be sweet but not cloying. If you drink it quickly enough, and trust me you won't need any convincing, there will be a small lump of soft, melting ice cream left in the bottom of the glass. This is the final perfection of this confection for which you've an optional spoon.
Drink up, eat up, and wonder when it won't be greedy to have another.
For a more sophisticated version; a a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a dish is topped with an demitasse of freshly made espresso. This is apparently common enough to have made it into a French movie, which one of my co-workers has seen.
Ouroboros tells me that affogato is what Italians call espresso over gelato. Yum.