Espresso granita with whipped cream is a classic Italian treat. It’s said to have originated in Sicily but has spread throughout the country as a delicious way to cool down in the summertime heat.
This version, from cookbook author Jessica Battilana, takes it one step further. Her recipe calls for adding a heavy pour of aged rum to the mix, the spirit’s flavors of tropical fruits, spices and caramel mixing with the coffee’s bitterness, each accenting the other. Top it all off with a dollop of freshly made whipped cream for a hit of richness to balance out the caffeinated intensity.
One bite and you’ll be instantly transported to the Trevi Fountain. How’s that for la dolce vita?
- 4 ounces aged rum
- 1 cup strong espresso, brewed and cooled to room temperature
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- Garnish: whipped cream*
Stir together the rum, espresso and simple syrup. Pour into a wide glass or stainless steel pan; the liquid should be about 1-inch deep. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for 2 hours.
Remove from the freezer and rake the tines of a fork across the surface of the granita to break up any ice crystals that have formed. Return to the freezer and let freeze until solid (about 8 hours).
Just before serving, remove from the freezer and rake the fork across the frozen granita until it resembles fluffy shaved ice.
Divide the granita among four paper cones or chilled coupes and top each with a spoonful of whipped cream. Serve immediately.
*Whipped cream: Just before serving, beat 1/4 cup heavy cream with 1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar until soft peaks form.