Friday, December 30, 2011
I'd never gotten a granita to work properly before ...
till I realised you have to load it with sugar.
And as long as you're ok with that, I've got the recipe for you.
I'm no chemist (biology is more my thing, actually) ... but something happens when you add sugar to water-y stuff and then freeze it. It makes the resulting icy crystals more ... pliable. You can actually freeze the mixture in a pan, and use a fork to scrape them out.
(I'd never believed recipes that told me that. But then again, I'd never used even close to the amount of sugar they suggested. Because I do that.)
Anyway, Donna Hay inspired me to try making a tea-based granita. Hers was green tea, which would be lovely ... and in fact, I tossed up trying ginger tea as well. But I ended up with peppermint tea, sprinkled with shaved dark chocolate, and just had to share with you.
Because this would be perfect for your next holiday party ... New Years? It's light and cold and cuts through the heavy-sweet stuff (even though it's sweet, too).
Peppermint Tea Granita
5 min prep + 2 hrs cooling + 5 min serving
3 peppermint* tea bags (*feel free to substitute your fave)
3 cups boiling water
1/2 cup raw sugar**
dash of lemon (optional)
+ your favourite chocolate bar, preferably dark chocolate
*try to use organic when you can! When my mint plant went crazy earlier this year, I dried mint leaves out of my garden to keep for tea ... and used them here!
**I did use less than Donna suggested ... but still more than I ever have before. It came out lovely.
1. Steep the tea bags in the water for 5 minutes, then remove them and add the sugar. Heat the mixture back up if you need to, to get the sugar to dissolve. Then cool the tea to room temperature.
2. Pour the cooled liquid into a shallow metal container* and place in the freezer. Remove after 30 minutes, 1 hr, and 1 1/2 hrs and use a fork to scrape into crystals. After 2 hrs it should be ready to eat.
*of course you can use a different container, but shallow and metal will freeze the granita the fastest.
3. To serve, spoon the granita crystals into a fancy glass and shave or grate some of your fave chocolate over the top. Purely optional. You can just eat the chocolate if you like.
Granita is *awesome* because it looks super special - particularly when served in a cocktail or other suitably-fancy glass - but costs so little. I mean, how much is a tea-bag? (and in my case, I used mint I grew) These organic granitas cost me around $0.10 each. Seriously.
Not counting the chocolate.
But since when do we count chocolate?
Happy New Years!