Iced Espresso Floats with White Chocolate Ice Cream


Italians are as crazy for gelato as Americans are for ice cream, and there are many Italian dessert ideas we can import to this country. Affogato—it translates as “drowned”—is one of them. It is a combination of cold espresso and/or alcohol and any flavor of gelato. The gelato is drowned in the liquid. In Italy, it takes many forms; there is no one classic way to serve it. Here, I take the original concept and flood the ice cream even more for a drinkable version.


White Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • cups milk
  • 1⅔ cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped


  • 6 cups cold brewed espresso or strong coffee
  • 7 tablespoons superfine sugar


To Make the Ice Cream

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the salt. Cook the milk, cream, and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Slowly pour the milk and cream into the egg-and-sugar mixture, whisking as you pour.

Return the cream mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-resistant plastic or wooden spatula, until the custard reaches 175°F and lightly coats the spatula. Whisk in the white chocolate until smooth.

Strain the custard into a clean bowl and cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or up to overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze until scoopable, about 4 hours, depending on your freezer.

In Advance

The espresso should be made the same day the float is served.

To Serve

Mix together the espresso and superfine sugar in a large pitcher. Fill 6 tall glasses two-thirds full of cold espresso. Place a big scoop of white chocolate ice cream in each glass. Serve immediately, with a long spoon and a straw.