It’s a hot summer day. You’re staring at your ice cream. It sits naked in its bowl, looking like it’s missing… a little something. What that sultry sucker needs is to be drowned, in a bit of classic matcha tea. Hello, 21st century, meet my dessert needs—the matcha affogato.
Not only will it look great on your Instagram feed, but using matcha is a delicious way to dress up your ice cream without using sugary syrups or other crap. Alternatively, it’s a way to make your morning matcha a little bit extra.
First let’s deconstruct this ‘affogato’ bit. An affogato is an Italian dessert—a scoop of cold ice cream or gelato ‘drowned’ in a shot of hot espresso. Affogato literally means, ‘drowned.’
Luckily, for a fancy-looking dessert, it is delightfully easy to make, letting you savour it again and again (and again, like when I was shooting these) with minimal effort or preparation. It’s so easy, I literally tried to make this three steps, but couldn’t justify having ‘scoop ice cream’ as a step. I mean, come on. So here’s your Two-Step Guide to making really yummy matcha affogatos as your semi-healthy post-barbecue summer dessert.
1. Make Matcha
If you want to drink good, clump-free matcha, the best thing you can do for yourself is to treat it like icing sugar and sieve it into the bowl before you whisk it. Sieves are cheap—I bought mine at the local dollar store—but they elevate your matcha game to a whole new level. Want that creamy, smooth consistency? Work that sieve.
Slowly pour in 80˚ water, whisking all the while. I use about 1 tsp. Of matcha for a 6 oz. cup (about a mug). Whisk in the shape of an ‘M’ (for Mel Had Tea! Or Matcha!) until you have a nice, thick froth.
2. Pour Matcha Over Your Ice Cream
Hold the phone—is that it? Yes. It is actually that easy. You can make this work in a mug, or a traditional chasen (Japanese tea bowl). I’ve got a friend—Lesley—who sits behind me at work, and she makes this beautiful pottery that I’m always checking out on her desk. You can check out more of her work on Instagram, or follow her thrifting chronicles here.
Lesley made the white and black mug in these photos with the black sesame ice cream, and the blue and white bowl with the macarons in it (I had to sneak some macarons in here—gives me an excuse to buy them/eat them).
When you pour the matcha, I recommend aiming for around the edges of the bowl, leaving you with a charming little ice cream mountain in the middle. This will slowly dissolve as you sip, like the best marshmallow ever. So you get a sip of hot matcha, cool ice cream, and it’s all the goodness in the world.
That being said, it’s your party. If you wanna pour the matcha straight down the middle, I support you, you wild thing.
My only recommendations are that your ice cream be as rock hard as possible. Super freezing your ice cream will keep your matcha affogato from turning into a matcha au lait as soon as your pour the matcha on.
I tried this with Black Sesame and Ginger ice cream from Pete’s Fine Foods on Dresden Row in Halifax (in the very back, frozen section, right hand side, near the vegan ice creams).
I’m a big, BIG fan of the matcha and black sesame combination. Black sesame is a popular ice cream flavour in Japan. It hasn’t quite made its way to North American hearts and stomachs yet, although you can find it in the dessert menu of a lot of Japanese restaurants here. Not only is the sweet and savoury combo a nice nod to Japanese culinary aesthetic. Also, let’s face it—black ice cream just looks cool.
If you try it with other flavours I’d love to see! I also fully support making an ‘adult’ version with a shot of amaretto. Tag me on Instagram @melhadtea so I can see all your matcha affogato creations!