Christmas is a time for indulgence, but also for relaxation. This pudding really combines the best of both, taking just minutes to prepare, but being made up of all the very best things - booze, ice cream, coffee and sugar. If you're looking for a low maintenance dessert to serve to guests over the Christmas period, this is a great option. The combination of the hot, boozy coffee and the cold ice cream is quite delightful, but it's taken to another level with the crunchy, sweet hazelnuts. You can prepare the hazelnuts a day or two before and, once cool, store in a sealed container until you're ready to serve up, which will save you some time if you're eager to get back to the table for some cracking anecdotes and cheesy cracker jokes. As with so many of the best desserts, this one is infinitely customisable - swap the Irish Cream for your favourite liqueur, or mix up the ice cream flavours (salted caramel would be to die for, no doubt) or even try some candied almonds or pecans. Kids can be served a decaf, non-boozy version, or just given some ice cream and chocolate sauce. This pudding really is the gift that keeps on giving.
For the Candied Hazelnuts
- 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
- 20g caster sugar
For the Affogato
- 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 4 shots espresso
- 4 shots Irish Cream
- For the Candied Hazelnuts
- Heat the hazelnut pieces in a heavy non-stick pan over a medium heat for a minute until warmed through.
- Stir in the sugar and turn down the heat slightly to prevent burning.
- Continue to stir and cook until the sugar melts and coats the hazelnuts.
- Remove from the heat and spread the hazelnut pieces onto a piece of greaseproof paper. Leave to cool.
- Store in a sealed container for up to 2 days.
For the Affogato
- Place your serving glasses into the freezer well ahead of time. They need to be very cold to stop the ice cream melting as soon as the coffee is poured on top.
- Mix together your espresso and Irish Cream in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat until warmed through, but not boiling.
- Meanwhile, remove the glasses from the freezer and serve a scoop of vanilla ice cream into each glass. Pour over a quarter of the coffee mixture into each glass.
- Divide the hazelnuts and scatter over the top of the dessert. Serve immediately!
You can use any kind of glass to serve the Affogato - I used martini glasses, but you can use wine glasses, tumblers or glass mugs. You could also use bowls, in a pinch.