Coffee fads: the ‘custardo’

Do you love affogato as a pudding? The name is Italian for ‘drowned’ and the dish/drink itself is a shot of strong espresso coffee with a scoop of ice cream. You can eat it with a spoon, or wait a bit, give it a stir and drink it. It’s the world’s easiest dinner party dessert, and tastes fantastic.

Now, hot on the heels of the affogato is the new kid on the block – the custardo. Invented by a cafe in Peckham, the original creation used creme anglaise (swanky, thin French custard, if you didn’t know) instead of a good dollop of the traditional stuff. The result is sweet, rich and still delivers that vital caffeine punch. The main beauty of this coffee/dessert hybrid is that it’s incredibly easy to make – even easier than affogato. You can experiment to put your own special twist on it, too – if you use thin, creamy, French-style custard, you’ll get something a little like a thick, sweetened latte. If you use either ready-made custard from a carton or make your own with milk and powder, you’ll get a dollop of custard that sits on top of the coffee for quite a while before slowly surrendering and sliding below the surface. Put a standard measure of espresso in a clear coffee glass so that it half fills it, and add enough custard to take the coffee just below the brim. The sweetness of the custard complements the espresso for an indulgent pairing. To make it into a real showstopper, sprinkle the custard with nutmeg, grated chocolate or chocolate powder and serve with long spoons so everyone can choose whether or not to stir.

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