Coffee Granita with Whipped Cream

A Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamI 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.

A Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamA Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamA Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamA Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamCoffee Granita (adapted from Ina Garten)

Ingredients

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)

Directions

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)

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

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.

Cocktail Hour: Almond Milk Horchata Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Almond Milk Horchata Cocktail

I love, love, love the versatile Mexican drink Horchata (and the Vampire Weekend song by the same name, btw) and when the weather gets warm, I start craving some of that sweet goodness. But the drink is traditionally made from rice and I’m attempting to eat (and drink) more cleanly these days (yeah, yeah, I know alcohol isn’t clean either. but I’m trying to be more realistic here). So I hit the AFL Test Kitchen to see what I could craft up and I’m pretty happy with the result, if I do say so myself. And not having to soak and blend rice makes it much simpler. Now kick your feet up and pretend you’re beachside.

p.s. for a brunchy version, add 1 shot espresso to each serving or try adding the Horchata Cocktail as a creamer to our Cold Brewed Iced Coffee. Or, if you want to get really crazy, use it as the base in our Almond Milk Chia Seed Pudding for a yummy dessert (I tried it without the rum, it’s delicioso).

Almond Milk Horchata Cocktail (A Feteful Life)
(makes 6 servings)

Ingredients

Р 6 cups unsweetened almond milk
– 1/2 cup raw honey, melted
– 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
– 6 ounces favorite dark rum (about 1 ounce per serving — adjust as you wish)

Directions

Add all ingredients to a pitcher and combine. Pour over crushed ice into glass. Enjoy.

Cocktail Hour: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

A Feteful Life: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

When the temperature starts rising, I can’t bear to drink a hot cup of coffee in the morning so I trade in my usual cup o’ joe in for a refreshing glass of iced coffee instead. Over the last few years I’ve become a little obsessed and have definitely come to the conclusion that cold brewing is the way to achieve the perfect cup.

A Feteful Life: Cold Brewed Iced CoffeeCold brewing is when you let the coffee grounds steep in water in the fridge for up to 24 hours (although overnight usually works enough for me). It’s more time consuming than a normal drip hot coffee but the results are worth it: flavorful yet mellow coffee perfection. I’ve tried just brewing extra strong coffee in the past and pouring the hot coffee over a cup of ice and the result was a bitter & watery mess.

A Feteful Life: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Believe me, once you go cold brewed, you’ll never go back.

A Feteful Life: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Iced Coffee (by A Feteful Life)

Ingredients

1/4 pound coffee grounds (ground a bit coarse to make it easier to strain later)
2 quarts cold water

Directions

Measure out 1/4 pound of coffee with a food scale. I make iced coffee half-decaf/half-caf so I measure 2 ounces decaf and 2 ounces regular coffee.

Add the coffee grinds to the water and stir the grinds to incorporate them into the water being sure that all of the grinds are covered. If the container you are using has a lid, cover with the lid or use plastic wrap to cover the container. Place the container in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

Remove some of the excess coffee grinds with a slotted spoon and discard the grinds. Place a fine mesh strainer over a pyrex pitcher and do an initial strain to remove the remaining coarse grinds. Some of the smaller grinds will remain so do a second strain with a coffee filter or cheese cloth in the mesh strainer.

Store the concentrated iced coffee in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for about month but I can guarantee it will be gone way before that. To serve, fill a large glass with ice (medium size ice works best since you want the ice to melt some since the coffee is concentrated but not so fast that it waters the whole thing down too much). Top off with half & half and you’re good to go!

A Feteful Life: Cold Brewed Iced Coffee

Cocktail Hour: Batida de Cafe

Coffee Drink

A traditional Batida de Cafe is a cocktail of rum with coffee and egg white, but while the drink looked delicioso, I just couldn’t stomach the thought of a raw egg white in there. So, as the recipe I generally followed suggested, I substituted cream for the egg white and it was in fact delicious. And given that it’s holiday time at Trader Joe’s and I simply can’t pass up all of the yummy goodies they have this time of year, I garnished mine with dark chocolate covered ginger. I’d say this would be a big winner at any winter brunch.

Batida de Cafe {slightly adapted from What Katie ate)

Ingredients
1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled
1/8 cup cream
1 jigger dark rum
1 teaspoon sugar
crushed ice
dark chocolate covered ginger for garnish

Directions
place all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker and give it a good shake
pour into glass and garnish with skewered dark chocolate ginger