You may be wondering why this recipe is called ‘My Cousin Vinny’. It’s because it’s a loveable Italian hot mess, that’s why.
This recipe is a concoction I came up with that’s a hybrid of two amazing desserts. Last year, I had Thanksgiving dinner at Vancouver’s Four Seasons hotel where for dessert, I experienced Nutella ice cream with salted caramel popcorn. I remember seeing that on the menu and thinking ‘this is going to be insanely wonderful’ and man, was I right.
The crunchy salted popcorn in nutty ice cream was such a bizarrely brilliant combination that was a delight and surprise that I’ll always remember. Such a perfect blend of cold, sweet, salty goodness that’s perfect for recreating at home.
‘Affogato’ is an Italian dessert that combines gelato or ice cream and a shot of espresso. I love serving affogatos with some crumbled cookies on top as a quick yet decadent dessert when entertaining, especially during weeknights when I really want something assembled and quick yet ‘homemade’ and satisfying.
I served this dessert last week after whipping up a rustic Italian-inspired dinner that started with an antipasta platter, followed by pasta ala Norma (fried eggplant and pasta in tomato sauce), crispy chicken thighs, and arugula salad. I kept the decor pretty casual to go along with this theme and it was a relaxed and fun evening that was both a joy to cook and to eat. And everyone’s favourite part was ‘My Cousin Vinny’ for dessert (a very close second was that crispy chicken… recipe to come).
Recipe ‘My Cousin Vinny’ (Caramel Popcorn Affogato)
- Gluten-free vanilla ice cream (see here for brands)
- Gluten-free caramel sauce (store bought brands like this or this or homemade)
- Gluten-free chocolate covered popcorn (from Popcorn Indiana)
- Espresso, Americano or coffee (homemade, store bought, or instant all work fine)
Scoop ice cream into individual serving dishes or bowls. Pour caramel sauce onto ice cream. Add scoop of popcorn on top of ice cream. Pour hot espresso along edge of dish around ice cream and serve immediately. For kid-friendly version, try decaffinated coffee or hot chocolate.