Are you ready to prepare a dessert that’s a showstopper and will knock the socks off of everyone? It’s the snow affogato. Click the video above and see. The first time we heard of this dessert from Cafe Maji in Arcadia, CA we thought it was some mash up of Taiwanese shave ice with the classic Italian dessert of espresso and ice cream. Then we went and tried it and we were in awe. It wasn’t shaved ice at all, but instead, a mountain of white cotton candy on top of ice cream. Espresso is poured over and the cotton cotton magically dissipates, revealing the scoops of ice cream underneath.
As it turns out, we have had the pleasure of using The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Americano single serve coffee and espresso maker for the last few months, so when we discovered this snow affogato, we had to make it at home to share with everyone. But first, let us tell about our CBTL Americano. We actually already have a Keurig machine thats been collecting dust for some time now, because both Kim and I prefer espresso and espresso based drinks. We love the CBTL Americano for many reasons but love it’s compactness that we leave it on our dining room console all the time for daily use and entertaining. Our dinner guests unanimously would choose an espresso based drink over coffee after dinner so we’ve been making plenty of espressos, capuccinos, cafe lattes, and machiatos.
What’s great about the CBTL Americano is that it has a twin pressure brewing system designed by Caffitaly. It uses low pressure for brewing coffee and teas and a high pressure (15 psi) system to extract espressos. We’re not experts and by no means does this replace a high end espresso machine by any means, but we’ve been really impressed not just with the coffee, but with the espressos the Americano has been putting out. The espressos we’re making at home are smooth, rich, and not at all bitter or harsh. The temperature is hot and it has great a great crema thats perfect for making espresso drinks.
Just simply pop in the coffee or espresso pod and with one touch, you can get great espresso in 30 seconds. Different portions such as larger volume espresso, 8, 10, or 12 oz coffees and teas are also made with a touch of a button. We also have the CBTL milk frother to play with as well. Again we’re not coffee snobs, but the milk frother does a great job with consistent, reproducible results at a touch of a button. It comes with two wands, a frother and a stirrer. The frother makes large airy foam for capuccinos and the stirrer makes the microfoam for cafe lattes. It takes about 2 minutes for the foam and about 5 minutes for the microfoam, but the great part is that it heats the milk to a perfect temperature every time which, as we learned is really important. Between 60-70°C is your target temperature because in that range, the natural sugars in milk are activated, and the milk is noticeably sweeter making any additional sweeteners obsolete. Prior to frothing our milk, we would but in sugar or other sweeteners into our coffees, but since frothing our milk we basically stopped using any additional sugars to our espresso drinks.
Ok, back to the snow affogato. All you need is unflavored cotton candy, ice cream, and a shot of espresso. The cotton candy does add a bit of sweetness to the affogato so adjust the amount according to taste. Also, choosing a plain not too sweet ice cream such as vanilla would help too.
Simply pour the freshly brewed espresso over your cotton candy and icecream and just watch the magic happen! Overall we have been really pleased with the CBTL Americano and use it regularly. Retailing for around $80 on Amazon, it’s a great deal for something that can do both coffee and espresso. The only negative, which may not be a negative at all is that your choice of beverage cups are limited to CBTL. But we enjoy their espresso selections so it’s not really a negative at all.