Shavuot is the best holiday ever! At least, it’s the best holiday ever if three of your favorite things are butter, milk and coffee. (Spoiler alert: I am such a person. But not all three mixed together, I promise.)
Shavuot comes with its share of strange customs. Some are easier to explain than others. The Tikkun Leil Shavuot, a tradition to stay up all night long and learn Torah, makes some sense. After all, Shavuot is a celebration of receiving the Torah, so it’s fitting that we take some extra time to appreciate it. Another common custom is eating dairy foods at holiday meals, instead of the more usual cholent and chicken. Not as straightforward as learning Torah on a holiday that celebrates the Torah. However, you won’t see me complaining. With 90 degree weather looming, it seems like a very appropriate time for light dairy dishes and cool ice cream treats.
I like to combine these two separate customs into one delicious dessert. To help fortify you for your night-long Torah study (or just give you an extra boost to stay up late and shmooze with friends) and to appreciate the best part of a dairy meal (the sweet stuff!), an affogato brownie sundae is the way to go. An affogato, a traditional Italian dessert, is sort of like a root beer float. You take ice cream and you pour liquid over it–except instead of root beer you use a strong espresso. Yes.
I have taken it upon myself to improve upon the Italians by adding a bit less espresso and a bit more sweetness through the wonderful American invention, the brownie. So it goes like this: you take a scoop (or many) of ice cream. I prefer vanilla, though you can shake things up if you wish. You take a shot of espresso–or strong coffee, if you don’t have any espresso on hand. You pour the espresso over the ice cream. You crumble brownie bits on top. That is it.
Then smile quietly when your guests ooh and ahh over how fancy you are. (Just make sure you tell them it’s called an “Affogato” in the fanciest tone you can muster.)