Sure, you can call it winter, but isn't hot chocolate season more evocative? Doesn't it show where our priorities truly lie? Few things take the chill out of a day of sledding like a steaming mug of that creamy, chocolatey sweetness -- whether produced from a powder or made from scratch in a double boiler. We'd like to suggest actually adding a little more chill to your hot chocolate (and creamy sweetness too) by adding a scoop of ice cream to the cup just as you would when making an affogato. You'll get the same dark deliciousness without taking as much of a caffeine hit.
For those of you not yet acquainted with the utter magic that is an affogato, it's nothing more than a scoop of ice cream topped with a shot of espresso. The ice cream begins to melt and blend with the deep, toasty flavors of espresso and ... you get the idea. Heaven. The word "affogato" is not, in fact, Italian for "I forgot." Rather, the full name of the drink -- affogato al caffè -- means "drowned in coffee." Perhaps it's time to drown your ice cream in hot chocolate. The potential flavor combinations alone should inspire multiple iterations.
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Okay, so we're starting with what is essentially milk chocolate, right? No matter how heavy you go on the cocoa powder in your hot chocolate recipe, the added cream of a hot chocolate affogato should balance that out. So, what are some potential ice cream flavors for this (frankly impossible to mess up) experiment? Vanilla is a no-brainer for those who like to play it on the safe side. After that, things only get more interesting. Try nut flavors like butter pecan, almond vanilla, peanut butter, or hazelnut -- all milk chocolate's lifelong friends. Consider some fruit options such as cinnamon apple, orange creamsicle, coconut, or cherry; each would pair wonderfully.
Lastly, you will be well rewarded for experimenting with adding a scoop of salted caramel or honey ice cream to your hot chocolate. If you're making the drink from scratch, experiment with the basic recipe in anticipation of the ice cream you'll be using -- why add vanilla extract when you've got a scoop of French vanilla ready to go? No one -- and we mean not a soul -- will turn down the role of guinea pig for these particular pairing experiments.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.