There are distinct advantages to making granita. One is that you don’t need an ice cream maker or any special tools. Chances are you have all the necessary equipment: measuring cup, spoon, metal pan, and fork. Of course you need a refrigerator, since this is a frozen dessert. Before you start preparation clear a shelf in your freezer.
This is a budget-friendly dessert, another advantage. Thanks to the few ingredients–juice or coffee, sugar, and your choice of garnishes–it’s relatively cheap to make. Use frozen whipped topping instead of real whipping cream to lower the cost even more.
A variety of flavors is the third advantage of granita. And you have many to choose from: orange, lemon, lime, grape, grapefruit, cranberry, cherry, pineapple, pomegranate, or a mixture of juices. The choices are yours and depend on the menu and your palate.
Fewer calories are the fourth advantage, something that’s important to me and may be important to you. Granita has fewer calories than regular ice cream. You also have the option of using a sugar substitute.
Easy preparation is yet another advantage. Still, you need to keep scraping the ice regularly. Otherwise, you will have a pan of hard ice, not the snow-cone mixture you want. It’s best to make this recipe the day you want to eat it. It can be made a day ahead, however. Take the pan out of the freezer and, as soon as it starts to thaw. Start scraping with a fork. Continue to scrape until the granita looks fluffy.
I’m sensitive to caffeine, so I used decaffeinated coffee for this original recipe. You may use half-regular and half-caffeinated coffee, or regular coffee, or flavored coffee, such as cinnamon. The Kahula (coffee-flavored liqueur) in this recipe is optional. It you choose not to use it, sweeten the whipping cream with 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Serve the granita in plain or fancy bowls. Instead of chocolate, you may garnish the dessert with ground cinnamon, a sprinkle of cocoa powder, or colored cookie sprinkles. The dessert is sweet, but not overly so, just the right ending to almost any meal, I think it’s a winner!
2 cups strong, decaffeinated coffee
1/3 cup granulated sugar (or your choice of a sugar substitute)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream
2-3 tablespoons Kahula (may be omitted)
1 plain chocolate candy bar, such as Hershey’s
1. Put whipping cream bowl in fridge.
2. Brew coffee. Add sugar, vanilla extract, and cool to room temperature.
3. Transfer liquid to an 8-inch metal baking pan.
4. Put pan in freezer. As soon as it starts to freeze, scrape with fork every half hour. Scrape from the sides towards the center.
5. Freeze until granita is firm enough to spoon or scoop.
6. Whip cream in chilled bowl until soft peaks form. Stir in Kahula.
7. Shave chocolate bar over small bowl with vegetable peeler.
8. Spoon into 4 serving dishes. Garnish with Kahula-flavored whipped cream and chocolate shavings.