Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mocha Granita

It seems almost mean to post a frosty dessert recipe the day Minnesota gets another dose of winter snow, doesn't it? But I'm really enjoying this mocha granita right now wrapped up in my blanket with the heat cranked up and pretending I'm in the backyard on a hot July afternoon. I will have to make this again in a couple months to make the daydream a reality!

On Sunday mornings, I like to brew a pot of coffee to sip while I read the New York Times and listen to the United States of Americana on the Current. It's a weekend routine I love. But I usually end up with at least a half pot of coffee leftover and since I hate wasting anything, I created this useful way to repurpose leftover coffee.

All you need to do is sweeten and flavor your leftover coffee with some sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla, freeze in a shallow dish, and then scrape it up with a fork. Those spots in the mocha pictured below are real vanilla bean flecks (usually crazy expensive but I bought a ton of vanilla beans during my last trip to Mexico for cheap!).

You end up with what's technically called a granita. It's a nice alternative to ice cream, and is reminiscent to me of a chopped up popsicle. Granitas are often made with fruit juice (like my Clementine version), but I loved this mocha version with a rich chocolate flavor that tastes even more chocolatey with the coffee.

This would be a classy, simple, and make-ahead dessert to serve at a springtime dinner party (but warn your guests of the caffeine factor!). Also, it would make an awesome at-home version of those expensive Starbucks frozen frappuccino things if you simply added some milk.

Mocha Granita
Half of a pot (6 cups or so) leftover coffee, hot
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

Mix all ingredients together until dissolved. Taste to make sure it's sweet and chocolatey enough for you. Pour into a shallow pan and freeze.

Use a fork to scrape up shards of the dessert and spoon into a serving dish.

TWO YEARS AGO: Steel-cut Oatmeal


  1. Yum yum! I hear ya -- I have been digging smoothies lately, although it hasn't nearly been "warm enough," if you ask me!

    BTW, the Kitchen Window has really cheap vanilla beans (I think less than $2 each?) in bulk if you ever need to restock!

  2. I love coffee and granitas--this is such a good idea!


  3. I am thinking there is a way to turn this into a Mocha Granita Tini by adding a shot of vodka:) Carolina

  4. OMG Carolina, that is absolutely genius!