Monday, June 15, 2009

//Evening coffee buzz with a twist


Espresso Granita with Caramel
(an adaptation of the recipe found at:

1 cup simple syrup (see below)
4 tbsp of espresso coffee that have been brewed to make 24 oz of coffee, cooled to room temperature
5 tbsp caramel sauce

For Simple Syrup:
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a low boil. Dissolve 1/2 cup sugar in water, and then remove from heat. Cool.

For Espresso Granita:

Choose a glass, plastic or stainless 3-cup bowl with a tightly fitted lid. Make sure it is dry, snap on the lid and place in freezer. In a medium bowl, dissolve the simple syrup in the espresso and taste. It should taste too sweet. Stir and pour into the aforementioned dish. Cover and freeze about 1 to 2 hours until espresso has a very thick crust, but has not quite frozen through. Use a fork to cut through and lift the layer of coarse crystal-ice, blending it with the unfrozen core. Cover pan and return to freezer. Check hourly and when it is firm to the touch but still yields easily to a stab with the fork (due to high concentration of sugar, this may take up to 8 hours), it is ready for final chopping.

Set pan of frozen espresso on a cool surface and methodically chop the crystalline blocks into a regular flaky, granular mass. This can be tedious, but it is easy, as long as you haven't let the liquid freeze too solid. If it is rock hard, it will take more brawn to cut through chunks and you may overwork some bits as you try to split harder pebbles. Transfer granita to chilled container, snap on lid and place in freezer.

Ten to 15 minutes before serving, turn container upside down in freezer. Place 5-to 6-ounce bowls or glasses in freezer to chill. (In my case, I used fancy schmancy fluted glasses.) Drizzle some caramel sauce around the insides of the glasses, and then top the granita with a drizzle of sauce as well.

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