11 July 2008
Alcohol, Espresso, and Frozen? I'm there.
I've been wanting to do granitas since the summer started, and sure enough all the recipes soon started rolling in on FoodGawker and Tastespotting. Next, I think, is going to be red wine, but the one that caught my eye right away was courtesy of the lovely Nic at Cherrapeno - Cool Coffee Granita. Of course, the trouble with a granita is that it will eventually re-freeze into a block, and so it's not exactly ideal for leftovers. Also, it's probably not a good idea to get into the habit of drinking alone, so I invited Rita over to sample this caffeinated treat prior to an evening out (which involved pomegranate mojitos for $3 and baked boursin - this must have been my lucky night!) I think Rita could clearly give Vanna White a run for her money. I made her pose for this picture because her parents are apparently both readers of the blog (hi, Mom and Dad!) The thing in her other hand is the cinnamon tea that normally sits on my table, which she always thoughtfully thinks to move before I start pointing and shooting. Rita, I'm sorry for yelling at you to "move your hand, I can't see the drink!" It's my anal inner food photographer talking.
So I was quite satisfied with the presentation, and with the overall effect. I made some slight modifications to the recipe. First, instead of coffee I actually used espresso granules for an additional kick. I was afraid it wouldn't be sweet enough, but it was actually quite sweet, especially with the addition of the liqueur and whipped cream. Speaking of which, I must admit that I was too cheap for Tia Maria and bought a less expensive coffee liqueur, but it tastes just fine. I also didn't bother whipping cream, but did a trick with the Cool Whip so that you can't tell it's Cool Whip. Just squirt it into a bowl and give it a quick whip with a spoon until the ridges disappear. Your guests will think you whipped it yourself! Oh, and another note is that my granitas never freeze as quickly as recipes say. Your freezer/kitchen temperature may vary, so just check after an hour and keep checking every half hour until there are some frozen bits forming on the bottom and sides. That's when it's time to start scraping.