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Espresso Granita

Espresso Granita

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  • 2 cups hot espresso or very strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
  • Bittersweet chocolate shavings

Recipe Preparation

  • Stir espresso, 1/2 cup sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl until sugar dissolves. Pour into a 9x9x2" metal baking pan. Freeze for 1 hour. Stir, mashing any frozen parts with the back of a fork. Cover; freeze until firm, about 2 hours. Using a fork, scrape granita vigorously to form icy flakes. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover tightly with foil; keep frozen. Give it a quick scrape before serving.

  • Beat cream and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl until peaks form. Divide granita among bowls or glasses. Top with whipped cream and garnish with chocolate shavings.

Recipe by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez,

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 195.3 %Calories From Fat 48.7 Fat (g) 10.6 Saturated Fat (g) 6.5 Cholesterol (mg) 27.4 Carbohydrates (g) 26.3 Dietary Fiber (g) 0.6 Total Sugars (g) 24.7 Net Carbs (g) 25.6 Protein (g) 0.9 Sodium (mg) 10.6Reviews Section

Recipe Summary

  • 3 cups freshly brewed espresso
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream (for serving)

In a medium stainless steel bowl, combine the espresso with 1/4 cup of the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Taste and add more sugar if desired. Let cool slightly, then refrigerate until chilled.

Pour the espresso into a 9-by-9-inch square baking dish and freeze until ice crystals begin to form around the edges, about 45 minutes. Using a fork, stir to break up the crystals. Return the granita to the freezer and stir again after it begins to harden, 30 minutes. Continue freezing, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granita is completely frozen, with a texture of light shards, about 1 hour. Spoon the granita into glasses, top with whipped cream and serve


&bull For extra speed, buy the espresso ready-made from a coffee shop.

&bull You can put the warm espresso directly into the freezer, but it will take much longer to freeze.

&bull Granita will freeze faster in a metal pan, but you can use Pyrex just allow more time. Or freeze the liquid in metal bowls.

&bull Stir the granita with a fork to get a nice fine grain.

&bull Granita melts quickly, so serve it in bowls or glasses that have been chilled in the freezer.

Espresso Granita Flavors

The sorbet nature of the espresso granita means you can play around with the type of syrups used in this recipe. Although traditionally vanilla is used, other flavors that will prove delicious include: salted caramel, chocolate or cherry. When serving your espresso granita, consider placing it in clear cups or bowls and using an ice cream scoop to get a rounded presentation. Instead of whipped cream, other toppings that accent the coffee include ice cream, cinnamon sticks or chocolate shavings. For a low-calorie option, enjoy on a summer day as is with no toppings.

Zuni Cafe Espresso Granita With Whipped Cream

Why mess with success? San Francisco's Zuni Cafe follows the same basic recipe from Judy Rodgers's 2002 "Zuni Cafe Cookbook" that you see here. Almost equal parts whipped cream and granita, it remains not overly sweet and quite refreshing.

Be sure to start with a strong, rich espresso do not use instant.

Make Ahead: The granita needs to be frozen for at least 8 hours. After it's scored and cut, the frozen granita needs to return to the freezer for at least 30 minutes and up to a few hours. The whipped cream can be prepped and refrigerated a day in advance.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.


Pour the espresso into a mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup of the sugar and stir until dissolved. Taste it it should seem a bit too sweet. If it doesn't, add extra sugar by the 1/4 teaspoon until it does. Stir in the water. Pour into a shallow stainless-steel or glass pan that's large enough so the mixture is no more than 1 inch deep. Freeze until solid this may take up to 8 hours.

Choose a glass, plastic or metal container with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure it is dry, snap on the lid and place it in the freezer.

Once the espresso mixture has frozen solid, place the pan on a cool surface. Use a metal pastry scraper to cut a grid of evenly spaced lines, left to right and then top to bottom (to create squares). Use the scraper to gently toss the granita, then transfer it to the cold container. Cover and freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the heavy whipping cream, the 3 tablespoons of sugar and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer. Beat on medium-low speed until frothy, then on high speed until soft peaks form.

Just before serving, gently toss the granita with a large fork (to redistribute any separated sugar).

Layer the granita and dollops of whipped cream alternately, parfait-style, in chilled serving glasses. There should be almost as much whipped cream as granita. Serve right away.

Recipe Summary

Place espresso in a medium heat-proof bowl, and pour the hot water over it. Let stand to extract as much flavor as possible without becoming bitter, about 30 minutes. The brew should be very strong it will be diluted with the simple syrup.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a deep-sided 9-by-12-inch metal baking pan, and discard espresso grounds. Add simple syrup, and stir until it is well combined. Place in the freezer, uncovered, until mixture is nearly set, at least 4 hours, whisking it every hour.

Remove mixture from freezer, and scrape surface with the tines of a fork until it is the texture of shaved ice. (If necessary, the mixture can be frozen overnight without whisking remove it from freezer in the morning, and let sit at room temperature about 10 minutes to allow it to soften before scraping.) Serve.

Espresso Granita With Cardamom Cream

You probably already have everything you need to make espresso granita — the only tools required are a freezer and a fork. Italians serve espresso granita with unsweetened whipped cream, spiked here with cardamom, which is an ideal counterpart to the strong sweetened coffee.

Combine the hot coffee and sugar in a bowl, stirring until the sugar dissolves completely. Stir in the liqueur (if using). Pour the mixture into an eight-inch square or equivalent size dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze, using a fork to lightly scrape the surface to break up the frozen coffee into tiny crystals every hour, until the granita is fully scraped and a fluffy consistency, at least four hours total. (If you forget to scrape the granita and it freezes solid, don’t worry — it will still work. Just let it thaw very slightly, then use a fork to scrape and break it up into tiny crystals.) Cover the dish and freeze until ready to serve.

A few minutes before serving the granita, combine the cream and cardamom in a medium bowl. Whisk by hand until the cream holds very soft peaks. It’s better to under-whip than to over-whip here. As soon as the cream thickens and holds floppy peaks, stop whisking.

Layer a spoonful of espresso granita in the bottom of a pretty glass or small bowl. Top with a dollop of cardamom cream, followed by another spoonful of granita and more cardamom cream. Serve immediately.

Chile Coffee Sticky Wings

Courtesy of Macheesmo

If you thought coffee was just used in desserts, the rub used in this recipe will cause you to rethink everything. Mixed with spices like chile powder, paprika, and onion powder, the ground coffee adds a powerful punch to these already vibrant wings.

Get the recipe from Macheesmo.

Instant Espresso Granita


4 tbsp instant espresso (or coffee) granules (I used Davidoff Espresso 57 Intense)
1/3 cup coconut sugar or honey
2 cups water
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp powdered coconut sugar
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract

Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle or on the stovetop.

In a heat-safe bowl, combine the espresso granules and sugar. Add the boiling water and stir until the sugar dissolves. Transfer the mixture to a large metal baking dish and let it cool to room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, powdered coconut sugar and vanilla essence. Use an electric mixer to whip the cream to soft peaks. Cover and refrigerate until later.

Place the baking dish with the espresso mixture inside the freezer. Freeze for about 40 minutes. Use a fork to scrape the ice crystals from the edges, breaking up any icy chunks and put the tray back in the freezer. Repeat this process every half hour for about 3-4 hours. The granita is ready when it turns granular.

Scrape the granita into serving bowls, top with the whipped cream and serve immediately.

Watch the video: GRANITA AL CAFFE (June 2022).


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