Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Granita Time

Granita is an Italian semi frozen desert originally from Sicily.It is made of water,sugar and flavourings.It has a coarser or rough texture compared to smoother sorbet.It looks like flavoured crushed ice.Common flavourings are lemon,berries,mint,almonds etc.

Chocolate Granita:
Chocolate granita is traditional in Catania in Sicily.I obtained the chocolate recipe from Oprah magazine site and so here it is.

Ingredients:
Water: 1 cup or more
Unsweetened cocoa powder: 2 tbsp
Sugar: 3 tbsp or more per taste

Preparation:
Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and boil.As soon as bubbles appear on the edges,reduce heat and cook for 1-2 minutes whisking continuously.Let it cool.

There are 2 methods for freezing granita.

Classic method:

Pour the cooled mix into a shallow container(shallower the dish,quicker it will freeze),cover with a lid or foil and freeze.After 1-2 hours when it is solid around the edges,scrape it with a fork, mixing from the edges to the centre.Refreeze.

Repeat the process atleast 3 times for every 30 minutes, until the entire mixture has turned into coarser ice flakesor crushed ice.

When time to serve, thaw for a few minutes,scrape it again to loosen it and serve

Quick method:

Pour the cooled mixture in a tray and cover and freeze.At the time of serving,cut the ice and process in a blender and serve.



Apple Lemon Granita:

I got the idea of an apple lemon granita from KitchenFlavour's Apple Lemon Sharbat.I twisted it a bit to suit my needs.

Ingredients:

Water: 1cup
Sugar: 1/4 cup
Lemon juice:2 tsp
Lemon zest:1/4 lemon
Apple sauce: 2 tbsp
Apple Juice: 2 tbsp

Preparation:

Combine water,sugar,zest and lime juice and boil.Once it bubbles,reduce heat and add apple sauce and apple juice.Simmer for a minute and remove from heat.

Once cooled,use one of the above specified methods for freezing and serve.

You can avoid the apple sauce and use more apple juice.If you do not have apple sauce/juice use peeled,cubed apple and boil.In this case you have to blend the mix before freezing.

The texture of granita varies with the method used.I used the classic freezing method and did the scrapping only twice.I am a chocoholic,I liked the chocolate one but the apple lemon granita was better.Thanks Kitchen Flavours.

It is very easy to make a granita and it is a must in summertime,and so enjoy the very last summer days(beginning of fall in US)with a granita.


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