Espresso Granita con Panna-Thirsty Thursdays

Sant’Eustchaio Caffe was just minutes walking distance from our apartment near the Piazza di Campo Dei Fiori in Rome, touted as having one of the best espressos in Rome. But I wasn’t there for the dark steaming brew topped with its enigmatic thick crema floating atop the perfectly brewed espresso. For months, I had been thinking not only of the wonderful dining experiences that I would have in Rome, the plethora of ancient ruins and world famous museums, but of my favorite warm weather treat coffee-espresso granita con panna. I wasn’t disappointed-the espresso granita at Sant’Eustachio Caffe was out of this world. Dark shaved coffee ice topped with fresh whipped cream-a perfect mid-morning pick me up preparing me for my busy day of sightseeing. I was so excited, I forgot to take photos of the cafe or the icy concoction!  Back home, although I knew there was no way I could recreate the atmosphere of being in Rome having an espresso granita con panna, I was going to give it my best shot of espresso!
For this recipe, if you don’t have an espresso machine, you can make your coffee extra strong in a conventional coffee maker, or use a cafetiére,sometimes called a French press which actually works very well.

Espresso Granita Con Panna

7 fluid ounces very strong coffee (about 5 generous cups of espresso or cafetiére brewed coffee using 14 tablespoons coffee per 1-3/4 pints water)
14 ounces water
5 ounces sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white, whipped until frothy (optional) I made two batches-one with the egg white and one without and I didn’t discern any difference between the two.
4 ounces whipped cream(you can also use whipped cream in the can-easier and pretty, too

Pour the brewed coffee in a large bowl and set aside. Boil one-half of the 14 ounces of water with the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Refrigerate until cold. When cold, add it, the remaining 7 ounces of water and the vanilla to the brewed coffee. Stir well. If using the egg white, fold it into the mixture. Pour in a shallow freezer-proof pan, and freeze. About every 30 minutes, break the mixture up with a fork, to create the shaved appearance traditional to iced espresso. When it is well frozen, serve in cups and top with whipped cream. Serves 4.


  1. Flourchild
    April 16, 2010 / 2:29 pm

    I really love all of the pictures you take,there amazing! This drink looks super good and very refreshing for these upcoming summer days!

  2. Valen
    April 25, 2010 / 3:13 pm

    I love that picture! This recipe looks great, I just thought about making my first granita the other day and this would be a good one to start with!

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