This Coffee Granita and Jelly is the perfect summer pick-me-up treat! Frozen granita and melt-in-your-mouth jelly pair with creamy vanilla ice cream. It’s like the cold version of coffee in a cup.
Last couple weeks have been really hot. The other day, we walked around Farmer’s Market for just 15 minutes and my shirt was soaked through. So my mind has been focus on something sweet and cold.
This recipe is inspired by the Italian dessert, affogato. Traditionally, it’s a scoop of gelato topped with a shot of hot espresso. But since it’s too hot, I want to do something cold on top of cold. That’s where granita comes to place. Granita is also an Italian dessert. It’s frozen like shaved ice. One extra thing I wanted to add is jelly. Coffee jelly is a common dessert in Japan. It’s sweetened and usually served in a little container and top with whipped cream.
So there are the 3 components to this dessert. You get the creaminess from the ice cream, the iced cold coffee crystals from the granita, and last, the melt-in-your-mouth coffee jelly. All different textures in one dessert, but the flavors are all come back to a cup of coffee.
First, start with granita. It’s basically frozen sweetened black coffee. I used instant coffee in this recipe, but you can use any strong brewed coffee that you prefer. Bring water to a boil (or coffee), then add instant coffee and sugar. Once everything is melted, set aside to cool. Then pour into a deep glass container. Transfer to the freezer. The trick to make granita is a bit of patience. What we are trying to do is breaking up the frozen ice. Instead of letting the coffee freeze to one giant solid ice cube, take the container out every 30 minutes (for 4 hours total) and run a fork over the semi-frozen liquid to break them into little crystals. The end result is a bunch of little coffee flavored ice flakes. When that is done, that can keep for a few days in the freezer.
Next is the jelly. Start with the almost exact same steps like making the granita, but gelatin is added. Bloom the gelatin in cold water. That will soften the gelatin. Add that to the hot sweetened black coffee. Once melted, pour into a baking pan. Chill in the fridge until set. When it’s set, cut into little cubes.
Right before serving, pop serving bowls in the freezer for 15 minutes. That will help tp keep everything cold and not melty for a while. Scoop some granita first, then ice cream and place the jelly on the side.
Since there is coffee and more coffee in this dessert, I like to serve it in the afternoon. If you’re feeling tired and sleepy in the afternoon, this is the perfect pick-me-up treat for the grown ups. Little sweet with a strong coffee kick. It’s a nice grown ups treat! Hope you guys like this!
Coffee Granita and Jelly
- Vanilla ice cream
- 1½ cups water
- 1½ tablespoons instant coffee
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- ½ cup cold water
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin (0.5 ounce)
- 2¾ cups water
- 2½ tablespoons instant coffee
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- For the granita, in a saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add coffee and sugar. Stir for a couple minutes until everything is melted. Set aside to cool for 45 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a flat-bottomed 7×9-inch glass deep dish. Keep in the freezer and chill for 45 minutes.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly with a fork and freeze again for 30 minutes. Continue to freeze for another 3½ hours, scraping and breaking the mixture with a fork every 30 minutes. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap.
- For the jelly, in a small bowl, add ½ cup cold water. Sprinkle the gelatin over and whisk for 10 seconds. Set aside for 5 minutes to soften.
- Meanwhile, in a saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil. Turn the heat to low. Add coffee, sugar and soften gelatin. Stir for a couple minutes until everything is melted. Remove from heat. Pour into a 9×9 baking dish (or 8×8). Keep in the fridge until jelly is set, about 4 hours.
- When the jelly is set, dip the pan in warm water for 15 seconds. Make sure water doesn't get into the jelly. Then run a knife over the jelly to cut into ½-inch cubes. Flip the pan over a baking sheet and pound lightly for a few times. The jelly cubes should fall over. Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge if not use immediately.
- To assemble, place serving bowls in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. Scoop granita into the bowls. Top with vanilla ice cream and add jelly cubes on the side. Serve immediately.
- Instead of using instant coffee, you can use strong brewed coffee. Just use the same amount of liquid, and maybe slightly adjust the sweetness.
- For the granita, I used a smaller glass container. A regular size 9×13 works too.
- Both granita and jelly can be kept for at least a few days.