espresso granita with whipped cream

One of my favorite desserts on this planet (yes, we’re going for High Melodrama today, also, it’s that wonderful) is affogato, which translates from Italian as “drowned.” The lucky drowner is top-notch vanilla gelato, and it is draped in a single shot of freshly-pulled espresso. I see you arching your eyebrows and you are full of questions, aren’t you? Isn’t that horribly bitter? Doesn’t it melt the ice cream? How can it be your favorite dessert if it has neither butter nor chocolate with it? All are legitimate concerns but the thing is, when it’s done right — and there really is a magical balancing point between the volume of ice cream and the amount of espresso, that is, sadly, rarely achieved — the resulting mess is a semi-slumped mound of cold and sweet vanilla cream with a trench of faintly bitter latte around it. It is the ultimate grownup dessert — sure, you get the ice cream you’ve been angling for after dinner since you were 3.5, but you also get a bracing hit of espresso, just enough to keep you up past your bedtime, you know, when all the fun begins.

espresso granita, unsweetened cream

Of course, we’re not going to talk about affogato today because, well, you already know how to make it now. Instead, we’re going to talk about the cups of granita di espresso con panna we fell head over heels for in Rome, which reminded me of an inversed affogato. Instead of unsweetened espresso coating sweetened creamy gelato, it’s the coffee that’s icy and sweet and the cream that’s plain and soft. The result is the same contrast of bitter versus sweet, soft versus icy that I love in affogato, but stacked in a cup that you can eat with a spoon as you wander the ancient cobblestoned center of Rome on blazing hot day when even the dapper businessman we passed along the Tiber was licking a gelato cone with the utter abandon of a kid. (Rome, you are wonderful.)

looking upkeeping the kid out too laterush hour in romefrom villa borghese to piazza navonasweet balloons and an e-reader at the vaticanthis is a pizza flour delivery little wanderertonnarelli cacio e pepe

When we got home, and sadly, yes, we are back in the land of hail-able taxis and waiters that drop the check on your table as you take the first bite of dessert, this espresso granita was at the top of the list of new things I had to cook immediately, although the word “cooking” is a stretch when all you’re going to do is stir some ice around and whip a little cream. In true Roman fashion — i.e. why make things complicated if you could keep them simple — there are all of three ingredients in this dessert, and though you may wish to clutter, I mean, enhance it with vanilla extract or orange zest or a glug of Kahlua, it needs none of these things to work its magic.

or, we could pretend I make espresso at home
dark, robust chilled espresso
pan of granita-to-be, freezer horror show
espresso granita, beginning to freeze
halfway frozen espresso granita
all raked up and ready to go
hand-whipped cream
iced espresso, softly whipped cream
granita di caffe con panna
espresso granita + whipped cream

Rome, Notes and Tips: I compiled all sorts of stray observations, fun things we learned, little travel tips and a list of places we ate while we were on vacation in Rome over here. Even if you’re not going to Rome anytime soon, I hope you’ll find some fun stuff to read (two words: pasta pavement!). [Notes and Tips from Rome!]

Heads Up, Google Readers! As someone has been using Google’s RSS reader from the day it launched in 2005, I’m definitely among those sad that it will be shutting down at the end of this month (i.e. less than one week from now). More than 250,000 of you subscribe to the site through Google Reader, and I think it would be a huge bummer if you missed out on everything I hope to share here this summer (popsicles! sandwich slaw! mini-pies! ribs! picnic mega-sandwiches! grilled bacon!) because of it. What can you do? 1. Google makes it very easy to download your Reader data through Google Takeout and all alternative readers make it a cinch to upload this file to import your settings. 2. But why fuss? Two alternative readers I’ve been checking out since the announcement was made, Bloglovin‘ and Feedly, make it even easier, letting you skip this step entirely by prompting you to ask if it can import your Google Reader feeds the moment you set up an account. Both are so gorgeous and intuitive to use, you won’t be missing your retired Reader for a minute.

[If you’re all “What’s an RSS reader?” right now — hi, mom! — they basically work like magazine indexes of every single website you like to read, letting you know when they’ve got something new to read, and giving you either partial or full previews to read, depending on what the publisher has chosen. What I love about these is that I only have to go to one page to find out what’s new on my favorite sites, and never have to click-reload-tap feet multiple times a day, waiting for a site to update. Because you know, some sites don’t update as often as they should. Not that we know any like that. (Cough!)]

One year ago: Chocolate Swirl Buns and Cold Rice Noodles with Peanut-Lime Chicken (still a favorite!)
Two years ago: Rich Homemade Ricotta and Linguine with Pea Pesto
Three years ago: Crushed Peas with Smoky Sesame Dressing and Chocolate Doughnut Holes
Four years ago: Spanikopita Triangles and Neapolitan Cake
Five years ago: 10 Paths to Painless Pizza-Making and Pistachio Petit-Four Cake
Six years ago: Fideos with Favas and Red Peppers and Strawberry Tart

Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream [Granita di Espresso con Panna]
Inspired by Tazza d’Oro, Roma, Italy

Serves 8

2 cups freshly-brewed espresso (from about 14 single shots or 7 doubles)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream

When espresso is still hot, stir in sugar. Chill espresso in fridge until completely cold. This will immensely speed up the time it takes to freeze. Once cold, pour into a large, wide baking dish; I’d recommend something ceramic, glass or enameled over a metal-surfaced baking pan. If you’re me, clear your horribly overstuffed freezer of things that can survive outside of it for a few hours. Place dish in now-cleared freezer and freeze for one hour, then remove the mixture and scrape with two forks to break up the ice. (Your freezing time will vary, depending on the temperature and muscle of your freezer.) Return to the freezer and freeze until solid, about 2 to 3 hours, scraping it again with forks every 30 minutes or so.

To serve, whip cream to soft peaks; estimate 2 tablespoons unwhipped cream per serving so you don’t have to make too much at at ime. Place one spoonful in the bottom of a small glass. Scoop granita on top. Top with a much larger tuft of cream. Eat with a spoon on a hot day.

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212 comments on espresso granita with whipped cream

    1. Lynn Jordadinski

      Every time I’m in Italy it amazes me the contrasts I too observe. Of course my favorite it the buzz all day from morning espresso to the completely flat on my face from the wine every night!🤣🤣

  1. Thanks for the reminder on google reader. I need to get a move on.

    I love the simplicity of the recipe. I am going to be making this today. I have a great espresso machine to help me do it. :)

  2. Val (@bmorecatlover)

    How many servings should this make? Eight? (1 cup cream = 16 T/2 T unwhipped cream per person = 8 servings?) Wondering if I can cut this in half…

  3. Deanna

    Those Italians are always coming up with such magical things. So are you so it only figures that you must be Italian at heart, if not blood.

  4. Cindy

    “it’s the coffee that’s icy and sweet and the cream that’s plain and sfot”–I think you mean soft. Unless sfot is some fancy Italian term :)

  5. deneen

    Hello there!! I’m sure you’ve been asked this before & it’s probably somewhere on the blog (that I couldn’t find) but please share some of your fav blogs – and they don’t have to be food related. would love to know what you find interesting :)

  6. Eva

    Your photos and descriptions left me with such an indescribable sense of homesickness for my time in Italy that I almost teared up right here in my Georgia coffee shop. Needless to say I’m leaving with 14 shots of espresso. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I have to make this as soon as possible, with a splash of Kahlua… Can’t wait!
    By the way, your Jacob is so cute wandering around the streets of Rome :)

  8. That’s so nice that you will be able to relive your trip every time you make these! And I love your notes and tips from Rome. So interesting to see how different each person’s experience is. I love going to European grocery stores, too.

  9. I would love one of these right about now! That whipped cream on top must literally be the icing on the cake. Or the cream on the granita. Mmmmm, so good!

    And all the google reader stuff – gah, why did they have to go. I’ve been using Mac’s Reeder for about 6 mos now and not sure if that will work. I love it much more than bloglovin or feedly, but who knows if it will work now or not. We shall see!

  10. Mmmm- ice cream drowned in anything is a done deal for me! A few weeks ago I tried salted caramel ice cream with dulce de leche- so good! Do you know of any way to make dulce de leche dairy-free… like with coconut milk or something?

  11. “How can it be your favorite dessert if it has neither butter nor chocolate with it?” My favorite part of this post :)
    Thanks for sharing your Rome tips! Food and travel, is there a better combination? And my freezer needs a clearing anyway, this espresso granita is the perfect excuse!

  12. This looks so delicious, and it sounds so simple which makes it even better! I can’t wait for the day I finally make it to Italy…I imagine to myself that I’ll fall in love and end up staying forever like Frances in Under The Tuscan Sun.

  13. oh my word – this looks incredible! I saw it and had to jump right over. The photos are so clear, I really feel like I can reach in and grab one (how’s that for melodrama…but true). Rome sounds delicious!

  14. Sarah

    Hi Deb –
    First of all, your website has changed my life! (err, cooking-wise anyway. I am a 20-something who literally had to google “boil water” before I found out about SK!)

    Second of all, I have been fixated on that espresso granita pic you posted from you Rome so this post today is a small miracle…

    I am wondering however, do you think this would work with espresso made in a percolator at home for those of us not close to yummy espresso places? If we do go to a cafe to get, ahem 14 shots, will stirring the sugar in right away keep the espresso from getting bitter?

    and THANK YOU for your amazing site!

  15. Johanna

    This is like the iced coffee in Israel, coffee with vanilla ice cream melted into it. Also, my local coffee shop would never bat an eyelash is I came in with an espresso granita project. It’s kind of a Cheers-like atmosphere. Maybe they should be serving espresso granita… Nah, it’s going in my freezer and the sangria is going in the fridge. Only liquid and frozen this summer.

  16. Patty

    While the granita looks and sounds delicious, I’m most grateful for the reader recommendation. I had not yet done any research about how to replace GR, and you’ve saved the day! (Denial really is more than a river in Egypt.)

  17. I loved following you on Instagram and seeing your pictures as you went! Affogato is a must in our house when the heat is unbearable and we still need our afternoon espresso. We have yet to try granita at home, sounds like we need to and soon!

  18. Kate

    The last affogato I ordered had crushed amaretti at the bottom and a shot of Frangelico to chuck over it too. Amazing. This looks yummy!

  19. Killian

    8 servings? You must’ve typoed “1 serving on a hot day when you have a project deadline”. =)

    Your trip sounds amazing. Congratulations!

  20. Jane

    YES!!!!!! Thank you so much for re-creating this recipe! I literally just did a fist pump/kick combo in the air.

    Can’t wait to try this on the weekend

  21. Ann

    If you like this, you’d probably also really like Japanese style Coffee Jelly (jello). It’s super easy to make with a few cups of really strong coffee, some sugar and unflavored gelatin. Serve with whipped cream, or sweetened condensed milk.

  22. Deb – loved this post as we are headed over to Rome (Florence & Lake Como) in a few weeks. Happy to see a few of the restaurants we are hoping to try in Rome are also on your list. Great minds (tummies?) think alike? Interested to learn how your son did on his first big trip? Thanks again for all the great links!

  23. Val

    Rome is my favorite city on this Earth. Love the contrasts, the food and the people. So glad you were able to visit. I also remember the granitta shavers alongside Tiber on a hot July day. I think I ate on average 7-8 icy things per day for the two weeks I spent there. And how about that ice cream??? Thanks for bringing Rome us here, in the middle of a heat wave.

  24. Your trip to Rome sounds amazing. I am more than a little jealous. I read your tips, and, no, you are not the only one who likes to visit grocery stores in other countries. I get teased for this, but how else can you discover what everyday life is like if you don’t investigate the grocery store?!

  25. Avital

    Would it work to make the granita in advance, perhaps a few days, or will it freeze too solid?
    Looks absolutely delicious – I must make it one of the upcoming summer days (after I have tried your peanutella – or why not just do both?)

  26. Heather L

    I just have to say, “Wow! it’s been a whole year since Cold Noodles with Peanut Lime Chicken!!?” It’s our favorite and my husband would be pleased if I made it every week. (But hmm…that’s a bit of work and a lot of limes). It’s so fabulous that even still it’s made regularly.
    And I’m adoring every recipe I make from the cookbook…omg broccoli salad etc…is there ever going to be a place here to list those recipes? I miss the comments that I get to read here and would like to add comments from my experiences. (Maybe there is a place for this that I’ve missed?)

  27. My trips to Rome have always been in the summer to visit my family.

    Did you by any chance get to sample some grattachecca along the Tevere? It is and ice dessert but is not the same as granita. I love to watch them be prepared in the stalls.

  28. I love affogatos especially because I can adjust the flavor of ice cream from vanilla to salted caramel. So…can you see a drizzle of salted caramel over this granita and whipped cream mixture? Can you say – gilded lily? Sweet, salty, bitter, cold, creamy=yummy! I’m trying it this weekend!

  29. Kirby

    I am now making this into a take on a White Russian cocktail. I’ve added Kahlua to the ice mixture and a couple tablespoons of vodka into the whipped cream. Perfect for a lazy afternoon. Thanks again for the inspiration, Deb!

  30. Oh my, those Italians sure know how to do dessert! Both affogatto and this granita sounds divine! A pizza place near me makes an affogatto with carmelised pecans on the side and it’s incredible. But I love the simplicity of this recipe too!

  31. Anne

    This is maybe a little silly–but thank you for the explanation of what RSS feeds are. I like to think I’m pretty tech-competent, but those have been a mystery for years.
    I have no words for how good this looks. I’ve got to get back to Rome!

  32. I only discovered Tassa d’ Oro in literally my last moments in Rome last fall. It’s probably a good thing as I’m not sure I would have been able to control myself. I honestly never even thought to make their granita at home. I did however bring home an immense amount of their coffee. Next time I know what I will do with it!

  33. This is so incredibly exciting! I sort of like affogato (espresso and ice cream….what could be bad….but as you say, it has to be a perfect balance and most restaurants just don’t care that much. Usually it seems to be the fallback dessert for the waiter to make when there’s no pastry chef) The texture and temperature of this seems absolutely perfect! Thank you!

  34. This looks amazing and is making me nostalgic for the two weeks I was lucky enough to spend hiking in Cinque Terre and Tuscany (and eating enough to balance all that exercise, fig gelato was my favorite), but what I really want to comment on is your mention of grilled bacon. OMG, someone else knows how awesome this is? I can’t wait to see how you use yours, for me it makes the best ever version of BLTs with lightly grilled bread. Yum yum yum.

  35. Sarahb1313

    Love it!
    Made this a few weeks ago when we had our first little heat wave!
    Added rum, creme de cacao… no kids at the table :-)

  36. Amanda

    It’s a little messy, but how about trying a cold coffee brew as the base. Start 24 hours in advance, put 1-1/3 cups of ground coffee and 4 cups of water in a container, stir and let sit on the counter about 24 hours. Then strain through a filter or cheesecloth and you’ve got an amazing super strong coffee, that isn’t as bitter as regular espresso (put into a container and store in fridge for up to 10 days or so). Voila, ready to make into granita! Or drink regular by diluting with water or, my favourite, iced vietamese coffee–top with a bit of milk, condensed milk and ice.

  37. That was delicious! Thanks! Though I must admit I used coffee made from my mocha pot (Bialetti) rather than buying $20 worth of espresso. And there’s lots left for tomorrow!

  38. Anna

    oh my gosh, september, with my own trip to rome (and amalfi and florence, yay honeymoon!) cannot come soon enough! thanks so much for posting your travel notes!! you are saving me from spending way too much time online looking for recommendations when i already have too much to do with the whole finishing planning my wedding nonsense…

  39. Amy

    I had coffee granita with whipped cream one hot summer day in some seaside town in Italy. Thank you for the food memory. I must find an excuse to make it again soon!

  40. Jessica

    You are brilliant! Not only have you recommended and described a delicious sounds dessert, but you have explained what the heck an RSS feed is. Who knew? Clearly, you, but not your mom. Merci!

  41. Kat

    Thanks for all the Rome tips! Was wondering what neighbourhood you stayed in – am in early planning stages of a month of la dolce vita in Italy but am so confused by even this decision!

  42. Perfetto! As an American living in Milan now I am experimenting making some Italian concoctions. Having a dinner party for Italians this weekend so this is going on the menu! Thank you again!

  43. Lily

    Definitely doing this with coconut whipped cream. Or is there a way to whip hazelnut milk? Coffee plus hazelnut is so perfect.

  44. So glad you had a good time in Rome – and the venue choices were good, too! Next time, you might want to check out for more. I have just one little correction (or clarification?) for your rome observations: the markets you mention, monday-saturday, are not farmers markets, just regular neighborhood markets. I know they look like farmers markets because of all the produce. The real farmers markets, with local farmers themselves manning the stands, are only saturdays and sundays. There are 4 of them in Rome at the moment.

  45. Christina P

    I remember my sister talking about this after her time in Europe, but I’ve never experienced it…yet! Thanks for the recipe! Also, I’m probably subscribed via Google Reader (curse you, Google!), but I’ve already re-subscribed via netvibes, because I would hate to miss out!

  46. *swoon* I went to Italy twice as a child, once when I was 11 and again when I was 16, and both times I was absolutely, indescribably in love :) Rome was one of my very favorite places we went, and I’ve been aching to go back ever since :) Thank you for bringing me back to those wonderful times :) Affogato is a favorite of mine too. I’m one of those weirdos who will only drink iced coffee (hot coffee tastes like chalk to me, it’s the weirdest thing), so this espresso granita looks like the perfect adult summer treat :)

  47. Alexandra

    You’re probably expecting this sort of question…where did you get the white baking dishes? I love them! Thanks :)

    1. deb

      Alexandra — I was almost dreading the question. Here’s the thing: I have no-free-stuff policy on SK. I don’t let people send me things (books, kitchen items, anything) for free because I like to feel uninfluenced if I recommend something to you. Everything, everything you see on the site has been bought with personal funds. However, earlier this summer, I did a demo at Brooklyn’s wonderful Food Book Fair and they gave my husband (tricky!) a schwag bag on the way out (seriously, I even turn these down) and that white dish was in it. So, it is indeed so lovely that I couldn’t give it away and you can see that I was unable to resist using it. (There’s a lid that matches, although it’s not airtight. It doubles as a serving plate.) You can buy one from this brand. Again, I didn’t buy it for myself. Okay, now my conscience is clear. ;)

      Hande — Thank you! That makes much more sense. I will stop bullying NYC now for not having the same schedule. ;)

      Kat — I never figured out what the neighborhood was called, but it was a few blocks from Campo di Fiori and near the Pantheon too. We had hoped to stay in Trastevere but never found a good rental there; we ended up thrilled exactly where we stayed. It felt very central and very easy to get to everything.

  48. My husband and I went to Italy for our honeymoon and fell deeply in love with affogato. We gave up half of our plans for traveling about the countryside just so we could instead spend several days walking into Portofino each afternoon, sitting and eating an affogato (that also included whipped cream – yay!) and watching the crazy giant yachts. It was heaven. Anyway, I’ve never actually made espresso granita, but clearly I must give it a try.

  49. As a former Barista, espresso has a very special place in my world. I adore it. I am a huge fan of the affogato… but I have never tried this. I have been considering buying a new Bialetti stove top espresso maker… and this recipe just pushed me out the door – wallet in hand! I can’t wait to try it!

  50. This brings back memories of our trip to Rome last spring to celebrate 10 years with my husband. A wacky tiki-decorated cafe off a beautiful cobblestone square, the luxury of ice cold espresso and velvety cream while leaning back against a fountain and watching the day come to an end. Thanks for bringing that all back!

  51. helen

    i just came back from rome last week and miss it already!!! i can’t get over how much better their coffee and gelato are out there!

  52. Lindsey

    I’ve made something very similar with strong coffee instead of espresso. I’m cooking on a budget, so any way to save a few $ is good news to me! Sure, it doesn’t tast quite like espresso, but I use locally roasted coffee and get beautiful coffee from my french press.

    Thanks for the reminder on this dish… heading to the kitchen now to put this together. My boyfriend sure is in for a treat when he gets home from work!

  53. emily

    splendid idea! for those of us less granita-inclined (or with less freezer space, patience, and all of those enviable qualities), perhaps consider a version with coffee jello []. I had caffeinated daydreams about this after a friend made me a refreshing cup of green tea jello. Then I looked online, and behold, someone had beat me to it!

  54. Sally

    The reminds me of what I love about Italian cooking: simplicity. I make this often using double strength coffee. It’s one of my favorite summer desserts.

    David Lebovitz makes Vietnamese Coffee Popsicles using strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk. That makes a good granita, too.

  55. Sarah S

    I just had the BEST affogato at the Park Hyatt in Tokyo on my honeymoon (and I don’t say that lightly outside of Italy) …. mmmm this post it taking me back. Can’t wait to try it!

  56. Two of my favorite things in the world, espresso and ice cream. I’ve been looking for a simple dessert like this. Thankyou for sharing, I can’t wait for my trip to Italy, I will have to try some straight from the source :)

    1. deb

      Marleke — Did I just get called old?! Sigh. Well, I guess it’s true. Going to go sob into my Aperol spritz right now. ;)

      Aarthi — Hmmm… sorry it didn’t come out well. It’s not a heavily sauced shell dish, so if you’d like it to be one, definitely increase it next time. Funny enough, I was just puttering around with another beloved baked pasta dish tonight and I know it’s really my preference not to have pasta fully submerged/swimming in sauce. As for the congealing, ick. It may seem less that way when you have more sauce.

  57. Jill

    This recipe is a huge gift. I just got back from my first trip to Italy and I told everyone granita di espresso con panna was one of the best things I ate. Found it once in Rome and never found it again. Apparently it is huge in Sicily.
    Thank you!!!!!!!

  58. Heather

    Yes! Affogato is one of my favorite desserts of all time, but is so hard to find! I am going to have to try this inverted version very soon! Thanks so much!

  59. Aarthi

    Deb- I cant wait to try this! It is my dream combination. I don’t know where else to ask this so please forgive my irrelevant comment. I made the artichoke stuffed shells over the weekend and ended up with dried shells and congealed béchamel. Do you think I overcooked the béchamel or maybe the pizza stone kind of made my oven too hot? I am planning to increase the béchamel by at least 1/2 a cup. The taste was delicious and we polished it off but the perfectionist in me wants to know for next time.

  60. Laura

    One of the memories I’ll cherish forever is having affogato in a little hut after hiking the National Pass track in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. It was divine! and we were filthy! after hiking. :-D

  61. Sue from Pleasanton

    Hurrah! You, too, know the joy of shopping in grocery stores abroad. Every time my husband rides his bicycle in the Paris-Brest-Paris ride,we stay near a huge Carrefour. I walk through every aisle. The first time, a greeter asked to help me find what I wanted. With my very poor French, I explained that I love grocery stores. The man’s face made clear that he was thinking, “crazy American!”

  62. Aarthi

    Deb- Please no need to apologize. I have loved each and everyone of your veg recipes in the book- I attribute this to user error and not the recipe!. . I am going to try it with 2 changes: 1. to spoon more sauce over the shells 2. watch the baking time like a hawk. I did like the proportion of the béchamel but my husband drinks it like soup so I will make extra just for the béchamel fiend in our house. I overpaid for artichokes from Whole Foods so there is a lot of experimenting of this recipe in my future.

  63. Gabrielle

    This was so fantastic and refreshing! We will definitely be making it again soon. We used decaf and made it in a moka pot/caffetiere, and the coffee flavor was wonderful & intense. Thanks for a great idea!

  64. Heather

    Do you think it’s possible to churn the granita in an ice cream maker rather than manually scraping every 30 minutes?

    1. deb

      Heather — Such a good question and I’m embarrassed I didn’t try it yet. The thing with granita is that you want that crunchy ice chips vibe. But, to at least start it in an ice cream maker might give it a lovely texture. (If you have to transfer it to the freezer for it to finish setting, like you do with most ice cream makers, you could then still mix it a little as it finishes freezing.)

      Aarthi — If you have a Trader Joes nearby, their frozen artichokes are fantastic. In fact, I never worked with frozen ones before until I started buy theirs. Now I keep them around all of the time. (Don’t remember the price, but isn’t everything there pretty inexpensive?)

      Hi RZ — There is! It’s right here and I talk about it at the end of the post.

  65. Guusje

    Thanks for the reminder about Google Reader going away – I’ve used it for years and years and I’ve been in denial. I am going to try both Freedly and Bloglovin and see which one suits me best. Sometimes I just don’t like change and this is one of them.

    And the Granita looks divine – another use for our espresso maker!

  66. Jeeze! I was reading this post and it was *pure* enjoyment and happiness at the thought of making this dessert in the near future and then BAM!! an unwelcome (but very necessary) reminder to move my googler reader stuff over. Omgomgomg why do I keep putting it off?

  67. Rosa

    I am from the north of Italy and I am in love with Rome. Thank you so much for your energy and generosity in compiling a list of tips and places to eat!

  68. Ahh saw your mention of Bloglovin’ and Feedly in response to Google Reader’s demise, and just wanted to chip in that I’ve been using Bloglines since abandoning my Google Reader account and found it much favorable to Bloglovin’.

    Never tried Feedly, so can’t speak to that, but I didn’t like Bloglovin’s Tumblr-like dash that put all of my subscriptions in one place — Bloglines, however, is similar to Google Reader in that I can separate my Recipe blogs from my DIYs from Photography, etc, and either view them all grouped together or individually.

    Clearly just a matter of taste, but I wanted to mention it as I know how frustrating it is to have to switch platforms! So glad I can keep reading your site, in any case!!

  69. RZ

    PLEASE tell me you are going to do a write up of all the wonderful places you ate! I have a trip to Rome in Nov and basically was drooling looking at all your pics on instagram.
    Thanks in advance!

  70. wow. how wonderful! affogato is one of my FAVORITE desserts and this recipe sounds easy and refreshing.

    by the way, i just made your japanese vegetable pancakes (substituting with soy sauce instead of salt, in the batter) and it was phenomenally delicious. not plain at all, and incredibly easy to make. i’ve grown to really take for granted all of your illustrative photos, descriptors, and side notes, but let me take a moment to express my gratitude and say THANK YOU for what you do!

  71. I’ve followed your blog for years but never commented until now – OMG, my family & I were in Rome 2 years ago and fell in love with this lovely combination from Tazzo d’Oro also (learned about it from Rick Steves’ travel guide). You nailed it. I was so excited to see the recipe that I made it yesterday. So much easier than I expected. I was afraid that raking the semi-frozen espresso into crystals wouldn’t work, but it’s simple. Turns out light and perfect! Thank you so much – now we don’t have to travel to Italy to enjoy this! (Also, thanks for stopping in Denver for your book tour – it was great to see you in person :)

  72. Oh! By the way, if you want a different kind of arm workout (or want to give little hands something to do) you can also make whipped cream by shaking it in a jar. I do about half a jar (usually a half-pint canning jar) and shake until it doesn’t feel/sound like the cream is sloshing in the jar. Open the jar to check the consistency and either shake a little more or use as is. If you keep shaking, you get butter :-)

    The thing I like about doing it this way is that it makes it super easy to do a single or double serving and doesn’t dirty an extra bowl.

  73. JP

    Don’t drink coffee, but wonder if this could be made into a chocolate dessert, either with hot chocolate (using milk) or even hot chocolate instant mix (using water)… I hate to miss out on such a delicious looking dessert…is this ever done in a chocolate version?

  74. Stephanie

    For the Commenter who asked about a dairy-free dulce de leche (lost track in the 142 comments!!!):

    Long ago on a semester abroad to Samoa, I fell in love with “Siamu Popo,” Coconut Jam. Sugar and coconut milk made quickly and easily into a sticky, loose caramel. I found you the recipe on the Peace Corps website, though they attribute it to Vanuatu.

    3 parts coconut milk
    1 part sugar

    Pour sugar into a saucepan and cook over a fire, stirring until all the sugar caramelizes. Add the coconut milk all at once, and keep cooking and stirring it until the desired consistency is reached. Wait for it to cool a bit, and then put it into clean jars.

  75. JP

    Thanks, Sally #144…just three ingredients for chocolate granita, too…cocoa, sugar and water. Well worth a try. With heavy cream whipped, like Deb’s it will be the hot weather variation of hot cocoa. Just the thing to chill out with and I mean that literally!

  76. virginia

    there are more than a couple of ways to make granita, in sicily especially there is the basic distinction between grainy and creamy granita..yum both ways!

  77. bea

    #142, JP: in Sicily we make this kind of dessert also with fruit (strawberries, peaches…)

    #125, you could make it with an ice-cream maker: it will be equally good but it will be sorbetto, not granita

  78. Mareike

    I made this last night for my family since the humidity is through the roof and it was UNREAL. Simple yet amazing. I ate the entire leftovers for breakfast in my yogurt. Delish.

  79. Andrew

    Best website ever! My son (16) came home with a Bialetti stove top espresso maker, as per #93, and got me hooked on Cuban coffee. It works like a charm to make the “espresso” for this reciepe, 2 cups in about 5 minutes. Thanks Deb!

  80. Brandiann

    I made this with today’s leftover coffee, since that’s what I had, and it was awesome. I’m sure it’s much richer with espresso, but I enjoyed it nonetheless!

  81. Lia

    I just went to Rome for the first time two weeks ago! I didn’t get a chance to try any espresso granitas, which was a shame, but I did have coco-limone with chewy chunks of candied lemon peel. Yum! I also discovered that my baking was WAY more influenced by my Italian heritage than I realized, and that my family’s recipe for wine biscuits beats the forno recipe around the block.

    This looks gorgeous! I’ll have to try another commenter’s tip about making whipped cream in a jar (a mixture of virtue and necessity; it’s good for me, and I don’t have an electric mixer. But not SO much virtue as to whip it with a whisk).

  82. meredith

    somewhat unrelated, but every time my husband enters an establishment that sells affogato he starts wondering aloud what the name of that dessert is that has espresso poured over a scoop of gelato. IF anyone falls victim to his devious plan and reminds him that it’s “affogato” he gleefully retorts, “yeah! I forgot too!”


  83. Made this at the weekend and it was fab, just as good as the granita con panna I’ve had in Italy. My husband was worried when I ‘sacrificed’ 14 Nespresso pods for a dessert but he agreed it was worth it!

  84. Haley

    As Seattle is experiencing a “heatwave” at a sweltering 80 degrees this week, this looks like the most fitting dessert ever! Maybe the heat’s not so bad. ;)

  85. Juls

    My husband brought me home some Espresso ground Ethiopian coffee from Africa. perfect opportunity to use it! I made the Granita, and set about whipping the cream (read:turned on kitchen aid) . I had to grapple with myself about leaving it plain cream. so much of me wanted to sweeten it and add vanilla. NO! I shall not veer off course!! I shall have restraint and trust Deb! And OMGsh…Thank you for the 2 minute trip to Italy. I had 3 little ramekins of it in one sitting lol. This is the most ridiculously simple, perfect treat ever.

  86. lrostron

    Oh thank you, thank you, thank you. After a hellish Wednesday, Thursday and potentially Friday, this iis in my freezer now.

  87. I am going to make this today – it pushes all the right buttons for me!

    One question (and maybe it’s so obvious no one asked it): once the granita is actually made into its proper texture, will it just keep indefinitely in the freezer? Or do I have to rake it up a little bit more for future servings? I am going to make this in decaf :) because my kids eat what we eat and they love coffee, but holy caffeine in regular espresso.

  88. Amber

    Gah! These were the highlight of a trip to Rome a couple of years ago, in that sweet little coffee shop around the corner from the Pantheon! I forgot how much I adored their simplicity. I made several batches of them when i first returned to serve as people dropped by to chat about the trip and see pics, but sadly, I forgot about them. They are going to revived as my go-to summer dessert for the next few weekends.

  89. I love love love affogato, espresso con panna (the hot version) and your recipe. Oh, and I love Rome. I am so glad to see that someone has the same coffee taste as I do. Beautiful!

  90. Anne

    Thank you thank you THANK YOU for your notes and tips! We left for Rome on June 27, so this was perfect timing. We went to (and loved) Forno Campo di Fiori (still dreaming about the potato pizza), Gelateria al Teatro (ditto to lemon tea granita), Il Fornaio three times thanks to the nutella tarts, Ristorante Della Campana, and Roscioli. Every time we had a great meal someone would ask if it was a Smitten Kitchen rec :)

  91. LOVE IT!!!!! made it today, meant to share with husband but had it all myself. clearly too much coffee for one Person, I feel a bit funny now, but it was just too wonderful!

  92. Just stumbled across this and it looks amazing. Reminds me of a dessert my Italian grandmother used to make. I am definitely going to try your recipe and find hers!

  93. Sometimes the only way to have my after lunch coffee on these hot Florentine summer days is an affogato. This granita sounds delightful; I’ll have to try it right away!

  94. Leslie

    Oh, wow. I’m an affogato fan, and this is a great variation on the theme. Made this for dessert tonight, and my husband and I both loved it. (BTW: used decaff espresso to avoid Claudia’s problem)

  95. Jean

    Just got back from Sicily where we discovered caffé granita con panna – heavenly. I read somewhere that granita originally came from Sicily. I can’t wait to try this here.

  96. sarah

    My twist on this, for particularly hot days when the granita refuses to stay crunchy for long enough: freeze the whipped cream, too! You lose some of the pillowy texture, but you get a nice contrast between the smaller airier ice crystals in the whipped cream and the larger crunchier crystals in the granita. It makes it a lot more like having a bowl of ice cream. If you’re serving it to guests, you can even make individual whipped cream “cups” (basically like you might do with meringues to serve with fruit), and then once frozen transfer the “cup” to a bowl and fill it with granita! I just froze a big bowl of whipped cream and scooped it, though.

  97. Karen

    I made this last night and am still enjoying leftovers for my afternoon caffeine fix! The only complaint I have is that this is going to prove highly addicting :) Thanks, Deb!!

  98. MaryS

    So I just had to ask – Tazza d’Oro right? I was lucky enough to study in Rome for a year and their Granitas were one of the reasons I went a coffee hater and came back an addict. I hope you went to Giolitti’s for gelato as well. Their champagne gelato – mmmmmmm. Anyway – thank you so much. I wanted to recreate Tazzo’s Granita de Caffe con pana for my birthday – and lo and behold there is a recipe on your wonderful blog!

  99. Melanie

    I’m just back from a couple of days in Rome with my family, and your notes and tips were invaluable! Have you ever done taralli? I checked here, and all I found was a dead link from 5 years ago implying you had them in your radar. Please hurry: withdrawal symptoms are just starting to set in.

  100. Molly

    This was delish! I was wondering if I could “fork” into granita texture ahead of time and didn’t because I was nervous but just FYI–you can! Still held up for “leftovers” the next night! We did vanilla gelato on the bottom and sprinkles of shaved chocolate bar on the top too.

  101. This has become a staple in our house. We make four cups of espresso, only two tablespoons of sugar. Once it’s frozen, we dump it in a Tupperware bin, and scrape serving into a coffee mug to serve. The handle keeps your body heat from melting the granita.
    Excellent for a summer day when you want your coffee fix but a hot cup would be unbearable in the heat.

  102. Jess

    Hi Deb, I’m going to make the mushroom tart from your cookbook this weekend, and I always end up with leftover mascarpone. Do you think the espresso granita would go well with mascarpone instead of whipped cream? Any tips? Thanks in advance!

  103. Jess

    Thanks Deb! Made the mushroom tart this morning, enjoyed it in the park sitting in the sun (rare in London), and the espresso granita is in the freezer. I’ll definitely check out those two recipes, I love nectarines and ginger snaps so that sounds like a winning combination!

  104. Dina

    A-mazing! My 17 year old son just returned from a post-graduation trip to Roma, and he said this was even better! Made mine with Stumptown Holler Mountain, which I run regularly in my gaggia espresso/cap machine. Each time I went to the freezer to scrape it, I’d sample a forkful. Needless to say, I didn’t need an afternoon iced coffee!

  105. Colleen

    Has anyone tried making this with coffee concentrate, e.g., the kind that they sell at Trader Joe’s? I do not have an espresso machine and cannot bring myself to pay what it would cost for that much espresso at my local shop.

    1. deb

      Understood! I would make a very very strong batch of coffee. Not inedible, but with the intensity of espresso, and go from there.

  106. Mahtab Katz

    We went to Italy on our honeymoon and stopped by Tazza d’Oro at your recommendation and it was everything we had hoped it would be. I’m still thinking about it almost 2 years later! I’m going to be on mat leave this summer and am promising myself I will find the time to make it at some point (coming from a first time, naive mom to be :))

  107. Lisa

    May I pahleeeze know where to get that lovely covered casserole dish? It looks like it would fit in my side by side freezer. I mean, plus, lovely!!!

    1. deb

      I think it came in a schwag bag from a conference I spoke at. I thought the brand was Revol but now I can’t find a match for it online. Sorry I can’t be more helpful. I have clearly failed at whatever efforts they made for me to do free marketing for them, heh.

  108. Maria

    So here in Atlanta GA, my air conditioner is on the fritz in the middle of this heat wave; with parts not even able to be ordered until Monday! As I literally peel off my clothes which have become a part of my body in this humidity I see your post and MUST have it! This will be my breakfast tomorrow!

  109. Lisa

    Hi! This sounds delightful! And chance it would work with powdered stevia or other sweetener? I’d love to make this for a diabetic relative.

  110. vivianagalli

    I wonder if you could just make it one day and then keep it in the freezer to have it ready to use days later… Would that work? How many days can be kept in the freezer? Thanks!

  111. Kristen

    This is my far one of my favorite recipes on this site. So simple yet it always impresses folks. A go to summer dessert. However, I find the freezing time is a lot longer than what it written. If I chill the espresso first, usually takes about 5-6 hours to freeze to the right consistency. If I just stick it straight in the freezer, usually about 8 hours. It’s worth making, just be sure to plan ahead

  112. Bentley

    Just had to say I am making this again, it has become a midsummer tradition and even more so now that I have the single electric beater in the pint jar hack – honed over the days I tried to convince myself I liked dalgona – for just the right amount of cream at a time. 3 cheers for your many edible approaches to air conditioning!

  113. Margaret

    You mentioned you bought new luggage for your Rome trip that you loved. When I clicked on the link, there were many different styles and brands and I was wondering which particular one you bought.

    1. deb

      The ones we got aren’t available anymore but it was this-ish (I think it was 29″ though). We find that we four can use two of them for a week and they hold a ton without going overweight. Pro: Two adults, we each drag a bag. Con: If you’re over a pound, airlines don’t care that it’s actually luggage for two people!