Living the Sweet Life: Coffee Granita

If there’s anyone who knows how to life the good life, it’s Italians. They are, after all, the ones who coined the whole philosophy of la dolce vita, the one smidge of Italian almost everyone knows, even if they don’t speak a single word of actual Italian.

Coffee Granita

It turns out that Sicilians totally take the sweet life to a new level, though. Did you know they actually eat ice cream for breakfast?

(Yes, I know we’ve all done it at least once in the comfort of our homes, but you have to admire a culture where it’s actually acceptable to do it right in the open.)

Coffee Granita

Granted, most of the time we’re actually talking about granita, sorbet’s crunchier, icier, less-sweet cousin. Sometimes they’re made with almonds, sometimes with fresh seasonal fruit… but my favourite is strong dark espresso. It’s the perfect way to get going on a hot summer morning – it’s really just your morning coffee in frozen form, after all.

Coffee Granita

This month, the Lavazza Passionistas are sharing our favourite Italian Summer Escapes, so a big bowl of coffee granita made with this month’s featured coffee, the rich, dark and perfectly balanced Perfetto espresso blend.

Perfetto is an especially perfect choice because coffee granita is traditionally made with espresso, but as far as I’m concerned, ain’t nobody got time to pull that many shots of coffee when it’s hot outside. Instead, I used a pot of fresh brewed double-strength coffee as my base, which I mixed with a little sugar and infused with a cinnamon stick.

Coffee Granita

Once the coffee had cooled to room temperature, all it needed was an afternoon in the freezer and an enthusiastic stir with a fork every half-hour until it had reached the perfect consistency, an airy mound of coarse, flaky ice crystals. It’s about as easy (and lazy) as summertime desserts get.

Coffee Granita

Topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate shavings, it was the perfect antidote to the muggy Toronto summer heat. Granted, my little backyard deck ain’t got nothing on a charming Sicilian sidewalk cafe, but I’ll happily settle for what I can get.

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Disclaimer: I am being compensated for my participation in the Lavazza Passionista blogger program. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.

You can get more info on Lavazza products at http://www.lavazza-canada.ca/, or by following Lavazza on Facebook.

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Coffee Granita
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Get your summertime coffee fix like the Italians do with this super-easy frozen dessert. All you need is a fresh pot of coffee and a spot in your freezer... no ice cream maker required!
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh brewed Lavazza Perfetto coffee, double-strength (see Note)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • Whipped cream, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a shallow metal or tempered glass dish, combine the coffee and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Add the cinnamon stick and set aside to cool completely to room temperature.
  2. Once the coffee is cooled, discard the cinnamon stick. Transfer the dish to the freezer to chill.
  3. After 30 minutes, stir the mixture with a fork, breaking up any large ice crystals that may have formed. Repeat this process every half hour until the mixture is almost completely frozen, usually about 4 hours or so (though this will vary quite a bit depending on your freezer and the dish you’re using).
  4. Give the granita one last enthusiastic stir to break up any chunks of ice you may have missed.
  5. Cover and keep frozen until ready to serve. To serve, fluff up the granita with a fork, and spoon a generous amount into a small bowl or a large mug. Top a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon, then dig in.
Notes
Granita is best served the day it’s made. To make double-strength coffee, use 3 tbsp coffee grounds for each cup of water, and then brew as per usual.

 

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Guest Post: Maple Peanut Butter Donuts with Bacon Bits

I like to say that everything’s better with bacon, and my latest recipe for Peanut Butter and Co’s All-Star Recipe blog is no exception.

Maple Peanut Butter Donut with Bacon Bits

I’ll admit, these Maple Peanut Butter Donuts were plenty delicious on their own, but I just couldn’t resist topping them off with a sprinkling of bacon bits.

This recipe is based on my very favourite Peanut Butter & Co flavour, Mighty Maple, using it in both the tender cake-batter donuts, and again in the sweet peanut butter frosting. The aforementioned bacon bits are just the thing to elevate them from ho-hum to sweet-salty-smoky-peanutbuttery bliss. Trust me on this.

Maple Peanut Butter Donuts with Bacon

(US residents, you can enter to win a jar of Mighty Maple peanut butter of your very own, you lucky bums you. Check out the full post and recipe on Peanut Butter & Co’s site for details.)

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Watermelon Salad with Grilled Haloumi Cheese

Watermelon and cheese? Yeah, I know, probably sounds like a really gross combination, but if you’ve ever experienced the awesomeness that is watermelon salad with feta, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Watermelon Salad with Grilled Haloumi

In theory, the combination shouldn’t work. Watermelon is sweet and juicy and crunchy, and feta is briny and creamy and soft. These are two polar opposites on the flavour spectrum, and not in a good way.Continue Reading

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Ice Ice Baby: Vietnamese Coffee Frappe

If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know I go out for Vietnamese food pretty often. (And by pretty often, I actually mean on a more-or-less weekly basis.)

Vietnamese Coffee Frappe

It helps that there’s a perfect Vietnamese dish for basically any kind of weather. Hot and muggy? Time to go get a big bowl of vermicelli and fresh vegetables topped with grilled beef. Cold and snowy? Time to huddle over a steaming hot bowl of pho. Rainy and miserable? Make that a steaming hot bowl of satay-style pho. Just an ordinary not-too-hot-not-too-cold-just-perfect day? Lemongrass pork chops on rice topped with a fried egg and drizzled with lots of sriracha, thanks.

And always, always, always, no matter what the weather or time of day… an iced Vietnamese coffee, a beverage that I love because it is a lesson in patience and a delicious treat all in one.Continue Reading

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