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Perfect for a summer evening! You can buy the torrone here.
*Anne Marie's note: can substitute light colored honey
Espresso Granita/Granita di Caffe Espresso
One of our family's favorite recipes, Espresso Granita, invokes the essence of summers spent sitting by the Italian coast. Anne Marie discovered this recipe for Italian ice, while searching for a cold dessert to serve to her future in-laws.
Traditionally made with fruit, this recipe takes a modern spin by mixing strong dark espresso with sugar. Paired with cantuccini and whipped cream, it conjures up the feeling of sitting at a beachside Italian restaurant.
This recipe is adapted from "From Biba's Italian Kitchen" by Biba Caggiano
In a bowl, combine hot espresso with granulated sugar and mix well to dissolve. Cool coffee to room temperature and pour it into an ice cube tray or flat metal container to freeze it.
When coffee is completely frozen, remove it from the freezer and remove the cubes from the mold. Put the cubes in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and coarsely grind them.
Spoon coarsely-ground cubes (granita) into chilled glasses, top with whipped cream, and serve immediately.
Anne Marie's note: I have made this without using a food processor by putting the cooled espresso mixture into a bowl and placing it in the freezer. Once the mixture starts to become frozen, but before it's completely solid, use a whisk or fork to beat and scrape until you create a granular texture. If the mixture becomes too slushy, put it back into the freezer and repeat until you have the desired texture. Remember to serve it with our delicious cantuccini!
These tiny honey covered fritters are so addicting, you won't be able to walk through the kitchen without stopping to pop a few in your mouth. Our family makes these delicious treats in the days leading up to Christmas Eve but I have a good friend who makes them every year on New Year's Day. Whatever day you chose to make them you won't be able to resist them!
There are many family recipes for struffoli, each with it's own twist. Here is the Andriola/Romano recipe. It does make a lot of struffoli, but they'll go quickly! You can certainly halve the recipe. There are also other recipes out there. I've made Mario Batali's struffoli recipe and it was very good.
10 cups flour
14 tsp baking powder
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter
2 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
4 cups canola oil
3 pounds of honey
1/4 cup citron
1/4 cup of orange peel
pine nuts (optional)
Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add beaten eggs and vanilla into center. Mix until the ingredients are combined. The dough will be fairly sticky. Break off golf ball sized pieces and roll into a 1/2 thick log. Cut the log into 1/2 pieces. If the dough is not rolling well, add some flour.
Heat oil to 375 degrees in a deep skillet or sauce pot, sides should be at least 3 inches. Drop balls of dough, enough to fill about half of the surface and cook until golden brown on all sides. When brown on all sides remove to a colander lined with paper towels.
After they are all cooked, heat 3 pounds of honey with about 1/2 cup of water in a large sauce pot and heat until a thin consistency, about 150 degrees. Add citron, orange pell and pine nuts. Add the struffoli, a bit at a time and coat well. Remove from pan an place in serving dish. Repeat with remaining struffoli.