Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream
- SERVINGS: makes 1 pint
Top the granita with a hefty portion of whipped cream; you'll need the mild sweetness of the cream to balance the strong espresso. If you're cutting down on caffeine, you can use decaffeinated espresso beans instead of regular.
- 3 cups water
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups ground espresso beans
- 1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons sugar, or more to taste
- Using an espresso machine, make coffee with the ground espresso and the water. You should have 1 3/4 cups strong espresso. Alternatively, make 1 3/4 cups espresso using a French press or drip coffee maker. Add the 1/4 cup sugar and stir until dissolved. Taste the espresso and add more sugar if necessary. Chill in the refrigerator, or, to hasten the process, pour the espresso into a stainless-steel bowl, set it in a larger bowl filled with ice, and stir the coffee until cold.
- Pour the chilled coffee into two 9-by-9-inch stainless-steel pans. Freeze for 15 minutes. Stir well and return the pans to the freezer. Continue freezing, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granita is completely frozen, about 40 minutes in all.
- In a medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat the cream with the remaining 4 teaspoons of sugar until the cream holds soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Scoop the granita into chilled serving bowls and top with the whipped cream.
For extra speed, buy the espresso ready-made from a coffee shop.
You can put the warm espresso directly into the freezer, but it will take much longer to freeze.
Granita will freeze faster in a metal pan, but you can use Pyrex; just allow more time. Or freeze the liquid in metal bowls.
Stir the granita with a fork to get a nice fine grain.
Granita melts quickly, so serve it in bowls or glasses that have been chilled in the freezer.