Last Friday, 8.40 am. Manchester. Picture me, sitting on the edge of the Rochdale canal. A couple of Canadian geese swim by, three chicks frantically follow them. The sun is shining, the breeze forms patterns on the surface of the water. On a whim, I decide not to go to the office straight away. Instead, I buy myself an americano and now I’m sipping it from the paper cup while I bask in the rarest of North-Western mornings: sunny and warm. Now, take a picture of that, print it, show it to the 15-year-old me and look at her disbelieving face. Rewarding full time job? Ok, possible. In Manchester? Wait, Manchester, as in the place where they’re from? This is getting interesting… Hold on a minute, she’s drinking coffee? Black coffee? Now you’re just taking the mick… And yet here I am, 26 years old, working in Manchester and starting to appreciate coffee. Finally. Now, I don’t know whether I’ll ever enjoy an espresso (never say never!), but the mellow and aromatic bitterness of an americano or a filtered coffee just got me. As is often the case, I turned it into a dessert and made granita. Granita originates from Sicily and is essentially flavoured ice that is scraped into crystals with a fork. Coffee granita is a cinch to make. It’s refreshing and also happens to be delicious with a spoon or two of boozy whipped cream.
Mix the brown and caster sugar in the coffee and stir until dissolved. Let me coffee cool down to room temperature, then pour in a freezer-safe container, cover with a lid and – you guessed it – put in the freezer. After three hours, take out and scrape the mixture with a fork to break the ice. Cover and put back in the freezer. After three hours, take out and scrape with a fork to break up the ice into crystals. Serve now or keep in the freezer for later. To serve, whip some cream and stir in a teaspoon or two of liqueur. Top the granita with the cream and grate some nutmeg or sprinkle some cinnamon on top.