Ice magic

Mocha Granita

One thing I love about living in a different country – that also drives me crazy on occasion – is the different ways our cultures play with language. Sure, we’re both technically speaking English, but when you get down to local slang, regional vernacular, Aussies and Americans may as well be from different planets. The Brits probably have it over both of us – I’m currently reading Keith Richards’ memoir, Life, and it alone probably assures the Poms slang victory. But for second place, I may be biased but I reckon Aussies have the edge on Americans when it comes to linguistic creativity. Consider:

  • Cooler < Esky
  • Liquor Store < Bottle-O
  • Recess < Little lunch
  • Restroom < Dunnies
  • Flip flops < Pluggers

Particularly in the food arena the differences start to assert themselves. I cannot get used to pronouncing herbs “errrrbs” or basil “bay-sil”, but in order to make myself understood I’m constantly self-translating.

  • Coriander > Cilantro
  • Rocket > Arugula
  • Mince > Ground beef
  • Capsicum > Peppers

Eventually it becomes as habitual as making the mental conversions between imperial and metric measurements. What got me thinking on this track? What the yanks might call a “slushie”… what we would (obviously, superiorly) term a “slush puppy”. But which all of us can play grown-ups and refer to as MOCHA GRANITA. It’s little crystals of frozen coffee with a hint of chocolate and it’s an absolute cinch to make, provided you can hover around home for a few hours for the requisite stirring as it freezes. Best of all? No cooking required. Perfect for both making and eating during energy-sapping hot days. A perfect conclusion to a summer dinner party. And surely very easy to recast in any number of flavours – add some liqueur, or start with a base of pureed fruit… god, I need a blender. Enjoy!

Mocha Granita

Original recipe from A Cozy Kitchen

  • ½ cup coffee beans
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tbs cocoa
  1. Boil water and grind coffee beans. Brew coffee in a French press, let it sit about five minutes before plunging. The recipe I worked from used a whole cup of coffee to 3 cups of water, but I just made a pot the way we would usually drink it – about 5 scoops of beans. Maybe stronger would be even better? But this was delicious
  2. Sprinkle sugar and cocoa into a casserole dish, pour over hot coffee and stir until it’s all dissolved together. Place in the freezer.
  3. After half an hour, give it all a good stir. It may not be starting to freeze yet, but the cocoa will want to sink to the bottom. Put back in the freezer and stir/scratch/fluff with a fork every hour.

Serve in small bowls or glasses; you could even top with some whipped cream, but you don’t really need it.

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