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Granita di Caffe

This is basically coffee ice, or slush, Make just over 1 litre/33fl oz/4 cups.


200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup strong coffee (about 5 generous cups of espresso or filter/plunger brewed using 80g/14 tbsp/1 cups of water)
400ml/14fl oz/1 2/3 cups water
140g/5oz/3/4 cup sugar
2.5ml/1/2 tsp vanilla essence (extract) (optional)
1 egg white (optional)
120ml/4fl oz 1/2 cup whipped cream, to decorate

Pour the brewed coffee into a large bowl or blender and set aside. Boil water (200 ml) with the sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar and vanilla to coffee, stir well until well blended. Whisk the egg white and fold it into the mixture to make the granita much smoother. Pour the mixture into a shallow freezer-proof tin pan, such as an ice cube tray or baking tin (sheet), and place in the freezer. About every 30 minutes, break the freezing mixture up with a fork to create the traditional grainy shaved-ice consistency. When it is well-frozen serve it in individual cups, and top them with a little whipped cream.