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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Disclaimer: I am being compensated for my participation in the Lavazza Passionista blogger program. All opinions, as always, are entirely my own.
- 2 cups fresh brewed Lavazza Perfetto coffee, double-strength (see Note)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- Whipped cream, for serving
- 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.
- Once the coffee is cooled, discard the cinnamon stick. Transfer the dish to the freezer to chill.
- 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).
- Give the granita one last enthusiastic stir to break up any chunks of ice you may have missed.
- 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.