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One of the easiest dinner-party desserts: Buy the components ready-made, or create them at home.

ashley hutcheson The Globe and Mail

These days, one of the best ways for me to end a meal - and one of the easiest desserts you can serve after a dinner party - is with Affogato al Caffe: vanilla ice cream drowned into espresso coffee. It can be made to in different grades of sophistication by just adding layers of flavour like chocolate sauce, crunchy brittle, fresh fruit and liqueurs. Don't forget the whipped cream for that extra oomph!

This recipe here is a more modern version introducing Chai tea and fresh berries into the mix.

Servings: 4


4 ounces chocolate sauce

4 scoops (2 ounces each) vanilla ice cream

16 ounces Chai tea, brewed

4 ounces raspberry Coulis

4 teaspoons raspberries

2 tablespoons almond brittle, crushed

4 tablespoons whipped cream

You can purchase all the ingredients pre-made, but here are a few basic recipes for that homemade touch..

Chocolate sauce

5 ounces dark chocolate, best quality possible

2 ounces light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 fluid ounces water

4 ounces granulated sugar

2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder

Raspberry coulis

1½ cups raspberries

4 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

½ teaspoon grated lemon rind


Chocolate sauce

Cut the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl along with the corn syrup and vanilla. Place the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the stove and slowly whisk in it the cocoa powder, then pour over the chocolate and syrup, mixing until all the ingredients have dissolved. Set aside to cool before using.

Raspberry Coulis

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until well combined. Press mixture through a fine mesh strainer and serve immediately.

Place the chocolate sauce in the bottom of four eight-ounce bowls (glass will show better).

Top the sauce with a scoop of ice cream and pour over it hot Chai tea.

Drizzle with the raspberry coulis and place raspberries on top. Place the raspberry on it. Sprinkle the crushed brittle and top with whipped cream.

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