One of my life goals is to open an ice cream parlour. I know, it doesn't sound like I'm aiming for much but I really love ice cream. Really really love ice cream. Hell, I love all its cousins too. Granita is a Sicilian dessert of semi-frozen sugar syrup and fruit (almost like a slush) and I love it too. This combination came about from a brainstorming session I had with two friends when thinking about how cool it would be to open an ice cream parlour with our own flavour creations on sale. This really bought out the child in me and I guess cooking in some respects does that to you. Kids are unbridled gluttons and you need to get into that mindset to really push the boundaries of what you can do with desserts. As a kid I used to love eating the spicy cinnamon jawbreakers and here I combine it with a healthy fruit kick to make a hot and cold granita.
1 1/2 cup strawberries hulled and mashed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cinnamon stick broken into two
a pinch of cayenne pepper
a squeeze of lemon
Heat the water, sugar and cinnamon slowly on a pan until the sugar has melted and the mixture is about to boil. Take off the heat and let it cool down. Hull and mash the strawberries and then add to the syrup mixture when it has cooled down. Fish out the cinnamon bark/stick and leave on the side for later. Add the pepper and lemon juice and give it a good mix. Put it in a sealable container and then put it in the freezer. You need to work the mixture with a fork every 30 minutes until it is solid. You could do it more or less regularly depending on the texture of the granita you prefer (I left it a bit longer to get bigger chunks). Scoop out into a glass and place the cinnamon on top for decoration before serving.