RECIPE: Double Chocolate Spiced Granita
This recipe was given to me in college by a friend's mother. She made this one hot summer day for us while we were in between summer classes, grilling some steaks in her back yard. It was refreshing and decadent for being so seemingly "light". Its not that hard to do, the freezer does most of the work. In honor of the warm, spring day we are FINALLY having in the Midwest, I pulled this out to make tonight for dessert (yes, we are deck side and grilling tonight! YEAH baby!) and thought I would share this refreshing dessert that you may want to make for tonight as well. Now, I must get this started AND do some garden prep...so I must go! Ciao!
Double Chocolate Spiced Granita
3 cups water
3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 squares (1 oz. each) semisweet chocolate, chopped fine, or use mini morsels
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
Sweetened Whipping cream, optional, for garnish
Stir together water and sugar in a small saucepan and heat on low. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, boil for a minute, stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in the cocoa powder, semisweet chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg until well combined and the chocolate has melted. Pour into a 9 x 9 x 2 inch pan. ( you can also freeze this like my mother does with her espresso granita, using a large mason jar, and then shaking periodically during the freezing process. Try this if you don't have room for a square pan in your freezer.)
Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. As the sides freeze, pull frozen edges inward to the middle with a spatula or spoon, then return to the freezer. Check and do to this periodically throughout the day. To serve, scrape out the granita with an ice cream scoop. If frozen solid, let soften in refrigerator for 10-15 minutes until it is workable. Top with whipping cream and a sprinkle of cocoa if desired.