Since the last time we talked, I have:
Written 40 pages for a paper about pie; survived a week of exams; become a college senior; turned 21 (bring on the booze!); eaten an official Hot Brown in Louisville; and moved to Cleveland! (for the summer).
One thing I have not done? Baked, with the occasional exception (including making an apple pie OUT OF RITZ CRACKERS. It fooled everyone and is now my new party trick). I didn’t even get to make myself a birthday cake, even though I’ve had Alice Medrich’s pistachio cake bookmarked since September.
And to be honest, I’m not entirely sure if this granita counts as baking. It’s so ridiculously easy and turns out as one of the most refreshing things you could enjoy on a hot summer day. I’ve only made granita once before, and haven’t really given it a second thought since until the other day, when a dude started chatting all about his trip to Rome and raving about the espresso granita he had there. And then, armed with a lingering Starbucks giftcard, I knew I had to make it.
(PS: Unless you have your own espresso maker, the 2 cups worth of espresso you’ll need for this recipe is kinda pricey. I haven’t tried it, but I imagine you could also just use some super strongly brewed coffee instead.)
This granita is a sweet, cold, bitter mess that remains pretty for all of two seconds before your spoon digs in and that beautifully whipped cream becomes stained brown and runny from the coffee, but you don’t care because it’s basically like you took your favorite latte and turned it into a grown up frozen dessert that has so much more coffee flavor than you could ask of your typical ice cream cone.
That’s the most offensive run on sentence I’ve ever written but I honestly don’t care.
Make this make this make this. It’s way more simple than making your own ice cream and far superior to your morning cup of coffee. Promise.
* * *
Espresso Granita with Coconut Whipped Cream
Makes 6-8 servings
2 cups brewed espresso (about 14 single shots or 7 doubles)
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated at least 7 hours or overnight
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (omit to make this vegan)
1-2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Dissolve the sugar into the espresso (this works best when it is still hot). Chill the espresso in the fridge until cold. Pour into a baking dish (such as a 9×9 inch square pan), then place in the freezer. Leave there for 1 hour, then remove and use a fork to scrape through it and break up any ice that has formed. Place back in the freezer for another 2 hours, scraping with a fork again roughly every 30 minutes.
While your granita is solidifying in the freezer, make your whipped cream. Open the refrigerated can of coconut milk and scoop out the thick white cream that has separated. Drink the remaining coconut water or save it for another use. Using a whisk or electric beaters, beat until completely smooth. Beat in the greek yogurt. Add the powdered sugar, using 1 or 2 tablespoons depending on personal taste. Chill in the refrigerator to thicken until ready to serve.
To serve, layer a few spoonfuls off whipped cream into the bottom of a small glass. Scoop granita on top. Add a spoonful or two more of whipped cream and serve immediately.