Last June, my husband and I went to Italy to celebrate our 10th anniversary. It was an amazing trip filled with fantastic food and great memories, but one of my favorite stories to tell coming out of the trip was our experience with “iced coffee” in Rome.
Rome was the last city on our 12 day trek through Italy, and as you can imagine, Rome in June was hot. Our AirBnb hostess had mentioned a few places to us upon arrival, and one of the coffee shops she recommended was Tazza d’oro by the Pantheon. After living in Phoenix for several years, my husband will drink iced coffee all year long, so we quickly added it to our itinerary, especially as we were ready for some of the comforts of home as we neared the end of our trip. On the day we visited the Pantheon, we arrived right at its opening with plans to stop by the cafe after (they are in the same plaza). The hubs headed up to the counter and ordered our two “iced coffees”, and I wish I could explain to you the looks that we got from the staff. Nonetheless, they prepared our order, and this is what we received:
Not what we expected… but so, so good! I suspect that we got the weird looks by ordering desserts before 9AM, but the espresso granita was delicious enough that we stopped by again later (at a more appropriate time of day) to have another.
I’m not sure what took me so long once we got home to try to recreate this, but I’m so glad I did. I largely followed the recipe here from Smitten Kitchen, except we used cold brew coffee in place of espresso (because I had some at home). You’ll need a good 3-4 hours for the granita to be finished, but it’s a really low maintenance process. After adding the sugar, it really only needs to be scraped a few times to ensure it doesn’t freeze in once piece.
Enjoy (especially if you’re still awaiting fall weather like us where you live)!
Cold Brew Coffee Granita
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
2 cups unsweetened cold brew coffee
6 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cold bowl and mixer attachments
Heat the coffee and 6 tablespoons of sugar in a medium pan over low-medium heat. Stir until the sugar is just dissolved. Pour into a pan (I used a 9×9 pan) and place in the freezer. After about an hour, if ice has formed, use a fork to “scrape” the ice into little pieces. Return the pan to the freezer and repeat this process every 45-60 minutes 3 to 4 more times.
About 30 minutes before serving, place your mixing bowl and mixer attachments (whisk) in the refrigerator. Immediately before serving, add the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla extract to the bowl. Beat on high speed for about 1-2 minutes until stiff peaks form.
Add some of the whipped cream to the bottom of your serving dishes (this should serve 6-8 people). Top with granita. Add more whipped cream on top. Enjoy.