Revised August 2022, for a firmer texture
Made with actual (but readily available) Mexican chocolate, this Mexican Chocolate Granita is less icy than your typical granita—although it still has plenty of crunchy, cooling appeal. Cinnamon, a bit of ancho chili powder, and a touch of cayenne enhance the Latin flavors. (If you need a little inspiration, or wonder what granita is, read my post about granita.)
Makes about 1 quart
- 2 1/2 cups brewed strong coffee
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup natural cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/16 teaspoon cayenne powder
- One 3.2-ounce disc Mexican chocolate, chopped (see below)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the coffee, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, chili powder, cinnamon, and cayenne, stirring until the sugar melts. Add the chocolate, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch glass or metal baking pan and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Transfer the baking pan to the freezer and freeze, stirring with a fork every hour or so, for 3 to 5 hours. Continue to freeze until completely frozen, 2 to 3 hours.
Break the granita up with a fork before serving.
NOTE You can find Mexican chocolate in the Latin or ethnic section of most major supermarkets. Look for the cylindrical packages—they’ll contain 6 discs apiece, each slightly more than 3 ounces.