The classic Italian treat gets an easy upgrade.


  • 185 grams self-raising flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3⁄4 cup ground hazelnuts or almonds 275 grams caster sugar
  • 100 grams butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1⁄2 cup strong espresso coffee, cooled {see tips}
  • 1 litre vanilla bean ice-cream


  • 220 grams caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup hazelnut-flavoured liqueur
  • 1⁄2 cup hot strong espresso coffee {see tips}


PREHEAT the oven to 180°C. Grease 10 holes of a 12-hole mini cheesecake pan with removable bases. Line bases and sides with baking paper.

SIFT flour, cocoa and baking soda into a large bowl; stir in hazelnut meal and sugar. Add butter, eggs, milk and coffee; whisk until smooth.

SPOON mixture into holes. Bake cakes for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

SCOOP ice cream into 10 balls; place on a chilled tray. Freeze until ready to serve.

COFFEE SYRUP Stir sugar and liqueur in a small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil; boil, without stirring, for 3 minutes or until syrup thickens. Cool for 2 minutes. Stir in coffee and cool. Leave cakes in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a large plate. Drizzle with half the syrup. Serve cakes warm or cooled, topped with ice cream and drizzled with remaining syrup.

TIP: Affogato, meaning ‘drowned’ in Italian, is an instant dessert, made by dousing ice cream with a shot of hot espresso and liqueur. We’ve kept our cake version simple, creating a hazelnut-based cake topped with a scoop of ice cream, drenched with a hazelnut liqueur and coffee syrup.


Coconut, Lime & Star Anise Syrup Cake