I am obsessed with coffee. I love it all… hot, cold, latte, cappuccino, ice cream, etc. You name it, I love it. But there’s one coffee confection that I have yet to try but have always wanted to… coffee granita. If you’re not familiar with a granita, think of it as part shaved ice, part slushy, all amazing. So since we are melting under another heat wave in the Nation’s Capital, I decided that this was the week to give this cold dessert a try. And, it was AMAZING!
The flavor of the slightly sweet frozen coffee with the creamy and rich whipped cream reminded me a bit of tiramisu but not nearly as heavy. While I will definitely be making this dessert again because it is ridiculously simple, it should be noted that it does require some of your time – raking the freezing coffee every 30-40 minutes over the course of 2-3 hours. It’s not hard work but the periodic raking ensures that your coffee freezes in light and fluffy crystals.
Coffee Granita (adapted from Ina Garten)
2 cups strongly brewed coffee or espresso, lukewarm
1/4 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for 1/2 but I don’t think that’s necessary)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, like Kahlua
Sweetened Whippped Cream (recipe below)
Combine the coffee, sugar, coffee liqueur, and vanilla and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture in a flat pan that’s about 9 by 9-inches. Place the pan in the freezer for one hour, until it starts to become slushy around the edges. Rake the mixture with a large fork to break up the crystals and place it back into the freezer. Every 30 minutes, rake the mixture until it is completely frozen and granular throughout. Freeze until ready to serve. Spoon the granita into glasses and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Sweetened Whipped Cream (from Ina Garten)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium and then high speed until the cream just forms stiff peaks.