Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Espresso Granita Con Panna

This past March I celebrated my 30th birthday in Rome. We have been to Rome many times before, but this was our first time traveling with our baby boy. We rented an amazing apartment in Trastevere. Paula,(the owner of our apartment ) told us that we must head to the Pantheon to Tazza D'oro for some Granita Di Caffe Con Panna. I've had Granita before but never, never, like this. As soon as I tasted it, I couldn't wait to come home and try to recreate it. Granita is like a more sophisticated snow cone and can be made with any kind of beverage and is especially good made with fresh fruit juices.

Anyone who has a new baby knows, exhaustion comes with the territory and this icy, sweet, caffeinated beverage is quick to make and easy to keep on-hand. No more fumbling for the coffee pot during those hazy summer mornings. All you need to do is scoop some Espresso Granita out of the freezer and you are ready to face the day. Mommy and Daddy's little helper!
Why not bring a batch of this over to friends that have just become new parents? I know they will appreciate it!

Espresso Granita Con Panna

3 cups of strongly brewed espresso (our fave is Illy fine grind (Red Band)
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for whipped cream
1 cup, heavy cream

Combined hot espresso with sugar and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool completely.

Pour the coffee into a 9-inch glass pie plate or any other freezer friendly, shallow container (Tupperware will work too).

Place dish into freezer. Every hour and a half, go into the freezer and scrape the Granita with a fork (see image below). The idea is to shave the ice away so that it creates a snowy texture. You will keep doing this every hour and a half (for approximately 4 hours) or until all of the ice is scraped away and what you have left looks like coffee colored snow.

(why does my hand look like Skeletors? LOL)

In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream and sugar until soft peaks form.

Place about 1/4 cup of Granita into small bowls or clear glasses. Top with some whipped cream "panna" and serve immediately.

TIP: Fill the glasses with Granita ahead of time and pop back into the freezer. When your guests arrive, all you have to do is top with whipped cream and serve. Perfect for your Memorial Day BBQ's.

* Make sure your glasses are freezer friendly!


  1. Love your writing style - warm, friendly and in-your-face. The granita con panna is next on my list of refreshing summertime desserts. Since my hubby and I are in the coffee biz, we'll substitute your Illy for our LAVAZZA (hope you don't mind). Here in California, our customers beg for this famous italian brew!

    keep writin' away and share your goodies with the world!

  2. Love this recipe, will absolutely try it...maybe as early as this weekend.