Mocha Espresso Granita
It’s common to make granitas with fresh fruit — watermelon, berries and citrus are all popular flavors. I like to make mine with espresso. This dessert is for coffee lovers like myself. It definitely packs a punch. I prefer mine less sweet so I use only 1/3 cup sugar for 4 cups of coffee. If you prefer your espresso sweeter, feel free to add more sugar. I recently bought a box of demerara sugar, a natural, unrefined sugar common in Britain. It has a slight molasses flavor, which works well in this dish. If you don’t have it, you can substitute turbinado sugar or any sugar that you have.
Because I like a slight mocha flavor with my espresso, I stir in a little unsweetened cocoa powder. Not only does it taste good, but it’s good for you too. Cocoa powder, which is made from the cocoa bean, is filled with a type of plant nutrient called flavonoids. The flavonoids found in chocolate (called flavanols) have antioxidant properties that help the body resist damage from normal bodily processes and environmental contaminants. They also have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health such as lowering blood pressure and improving blood flow to the brain and heart. To complement the espresso and cocoa, I also add a secret ingredient: a bit of cinnamon.
- 4 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
- 0.33 cup natural demerara sugar (can substitute turbinado sugar)
- 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 0.75 tsp cinnamon
- fat-free whipped topping or freshly whipped cream, optional
- dark chocolate shaving, optional
- Stir the espresso, sugar, cocoa powder and cinnamon together in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mixture into a 13- x 9-inch glass baking dish. Taste and adjust the level of sweetness as desired. Place the dish in the freezer.
- Remove the dish after thirty minutes and using a fork, scrape the mixture, breaking up any icy clumps. Return the dish to the freezer. Repeat the process every thirty minutes or so, scraping the mixture with a fork to break up the ice crystals and create a light and fluffy texture. It should take about 2-2 ½ hours total.
- Scoop the granita into dessert bowls. Serve plain or garnish with whipped topping, chocolate shavings and a sprinkling of cinnamon if desired. Serve immediately.
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