Coffee-bean granita
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups whole coffee beans (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (such as Tia Maria or Kahlua)
  1. Combine 4 cups water and sugar in large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil 3 minutes. Stir in coffee beans; boil 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; cover and let steep until mixture is cool, about 3 hours.
  2. Strain liquid into 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish; discard coffee beans in strainer. Add coffee liqueur to liquid in dish; stir to blend.
  3. Freeze until firm, stirring every 45 minutes, about 5 hours. (Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and keep frozen.)
  4. - Before serving, scrape surface of granita with fork until crystals form. Using ice cream scoop, scoop out granita and serve. Makes approx. 8 servings.
  5. - I would have thought boiling the beans produces either a burnt flavor or a weak flavor, but in actuality it's pretty bright and aromatic, without being overwhelming. The alcohol helps keep the mix from freezing solid, as well as adding color and giving it a nice flavor boost. You could probably use brewed coffee instead, but the flavor might be too strong.
This recipe came out of a recent Bon Appetit. It was a Caribbean-themed issue, so in the spirit of things, you should use Jamaican coffee beans. This is a very simple recipe that produces a lot of flavor and can be eaten solo, paired with chocolates, or used in drinks.