This is a very cheap and easy recipe for coffee mocha granita – the ideal way to wake yourself up mid-morning or mid-afternoon on a hot, sunny day. You can also serve smaller portions of it up in ramekins or espresso glasses as a way to finish up a dinner party on a warm summer’s evening.
This will get you through the heatwave without needing to go out for an expensive iced frappe coffee.
Ingredients (serves 4 for a coffee break, or 6-8 for dinner party portions)
- 1 heaped dessertspoon of instant coffee (or 3 shots of home made espresso)
- 1 heaped dessertspoon of demerara sugar
- 1 heaped teaspoon of instant hot chocolate powder (or 1 level tsp cocoa and an extra 1tsp sugar)
- Boiling water to make up to 500ml
- Put the coffee, sugar and chocolate powder into a heatproof jug.
- Pour over boiling water to make the volume in the jug up to the 500ml mark, and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.
- Pour the cooled liquid into a plastic freezer box with a lid, cover and place in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Remove semi-frozen mixture and break it up with a fork, scraping ice crystals away from sides and corners of the box.
- Refreeze for another hour, then remove again and mix with fork again to break up ice crystals. Return to freezer for 1 more hour.
- Remove mixture from freezer 10 minutes before you want to serve it, breaking it up again with a fork to create a crushed ice texture.
As you can see, this is very simple to make, and the preparation time is really quick. The only time limiting factor is the time it takes to freeze the mixture.
Granita is much quicker to make than sorbet, mainly because you don’t need to spend time making a sugar syrup if you don’t want to, and because it has a grainy, granular texture rather than a smooth one. I quite like how you can get away with adding less sugar too, as I find it less sickly and more thirst quenching when the sun’s blazing down.
If you have a blender with an ice crushing function, this cuts the prep time right down. All you need to do is freeze the mixture into ice cube trays and leave it, then blitz the ice cubes in the blender just before serving. As an added bonus it will freeze faster too.
The last time I made this recipe, I added three drops of old fashioned bitters to the cooled mixture before freezing, and served the granita in martini glasses. This added some extra depth to the flavour, and it would also work with orange bitters or some of the new chocolate bitters.
If you don’t have lots of cocktail ingredients to hand, don’t worry – it’s just an option. You could add a teaspoon or two of dark rum, brandy or whisky though, if you were feeling that way inclined.
This recipe’s also a handy way to use up those sample sachets of coffee that various companies keep handing out. These seem to build up in my house and the first time I made this recipe it was mainly to get rid of the samples that were cluttering up a drawer.