Using an electric mixer, beat the cream in a medium bowl until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate the whipped cream.
Whisk the boiling water and espresso powder in a 1 cup glass measuring cup until the powder is dissolved, or use an espresso machine to make 4 shots of espresso. Scoop 1/2 cup of the gelato or ice cream into each of 4 dessert bowls or glasses. Pour 2 tablespoons or 1 shot of hot espresso over each. Top with the whipped cream and serve immediately.