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Frozen Affogato Shake with Espresso Granita

André Baranowski

Yield: Yields about 3-1/2 cups

Affogato is an Italian stroke of genius: a quick, elegant dessert made by pouring a shot of hot espresso over a scoop of cold vanilla gelato. The espresso melts some of the gelato, creating a bittersweet, creamy sauce. I borrowed that idea for this shake, but instead of using the hot espresso, I froze it into an icy granita with which I topped the a vanilla shake. You get the classic affogato flavor dynamic-intense coffee playing against smooth, mellow vanilla, and the granita even adds a bit of crunch to the shake. Granita couldn’t be simpler to make. As the sweetened espresso freezes, use a dinner fork to break up the ice crystals into a loose coffee snow.

This recipe is excerpted from Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes.

Visit our Drinks & Entertaining page for more fun summer drinks and shakes.


  • 8 shots freshly  pulled espresso (about 1 cup), at room temperature
  • 5 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold whole or lowfat milk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 8 medium scoops French vanilla ice cream (about 1 quart), softened until just melty at the edges


For the espresso granita:

  • Stir the espresso and sugar in a shallow container to dissolve the sugar completely. Cover and freeze until softly frozen (not solid), 2 to 3 hours. Remove from the freezer and gently run a dinner fork through the frozen mass to break it down into loose, icy crystals. Cover the container and return it to the freezer. Freeze until firm, checking and raking the granita with the fork every hour or two to keep the crystals loose and fine, at least 7 hours.

For the shake:

  • Place the milk, vanilla extract, and ice cream in a blender and pulse several times to begin breaking it up. With the blender motor off, use a flexible spatula to mash the mixture down onto the blender blades. Continue pulsing, stopping, and mashing until the mixture is well blended, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar, roughly 30 to 90 seconds. Pour into a chilled glass or glasses, top each with about 1/2 cup espresso granita, and serve at once.


Don’t substitute regular brewed coffee for the espresso; you really need that concentrated coffee flavor to counter the rich vanilla shake.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • smilealways | 06/25/2010

    This Frozen Affogato shake was so good,I didn't get to finish mine because my husband wanted mine after he had drank his in seconds,(Maybe a few minutes).My husband is a true Italian when it comes to his food. He is very picky because of the wonderful food he grew up with in Sicily. When he likes something I know it's good because of his Italian up bringing. You must try this! It was very easy and well worth the effort.

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