Coffee Granita on a Sweltering Fall Day

I always get confused on how October should feel like.  Here, in San Francisco Bay Area, it’s been sweltering hot since the summer and the severe draught drags on.  Despite an earnest effort by retail stores to lure us into the spirit of the seasons, it just doesn’t feel so… yet! I hope.

I found this easy and light recipe from My Little Expat Kitchen — and it’s really yummy.  The coconut whipped cream perfectly compliments the coffee and the mint leaves finishes it off with super refreshing feeling.

Yield: 10 small glasses

Ingredients
500 ml (2 cups) freshly brewed, strong, hot filter coffee (I was out of coffee, so I used instant coffee – 2 packets per cup and that worked out alright).
90 g demerara sugar
20 ml Kahlua or other coffee-flavored liqueur (I skipped this too.)

Special equipment: shallow baking tray or dish 33 x 24 cm in size (approximately), suitable for the freezer, plastic wrap

Preparation
Make the coffee and while still hot, pour it into a large jug and immediately add the sugar. Stir well to dissolve. Give the coffee a taste and add more sugar if needed.  Make it sweeter than you usually drink it.

Pour the mixture into the  baking tray/dish and cover with plastic wrap.

Freeze the coffee granita mixture for about 1 hour or until the liquid starts forming crystals around the tray (Mine took about 2 hours to start freezing). Take it out of the freezer and scrape the granita with a fork, breaking up the ice, and put it again in the freezer. Repeat the same process every hour, until the granita is completely frozen. This will take about 4 hours, depending on how strong your freezer is.  In the end you must have a mixture that resembles icy snow.

You can eat the granita now or keep it covered with the plastic wrap. It keeps well for 4-5 days but it’s at its best during the first two.

Coconut whipped cream

Ingredients
1 can coconut milk (400 ml), full-fat (thoroughly chilled – overnight preferably)
2 Tbsp icing sugar
½ tsp pure vanilla extract (I omitted/forgot this)
pinch of salt to taste

Special equipment: stand or hand-held electric mixer

Preparation
Skim the cream that rises to the top and put in the mixing bowl of the stand mixer (chill the bowl for half an hour before whipping will help speeding the process).  Add other ingredients and beat at high speed for about 3-4 minutes until soft peak is formed.  Serve immediately or the cream can keep in an airtight container for a few days.

Scoop the granita into glasses and spoon a dollop of cream over the granita and top it with sprigs of mint and serve.  Enjoy! 😀

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