A ‘menza ca panna’ to enjoy the palate
Every people possesses a degree of generosity. In the case of us Sicilians, it can be measured by the supply of food and its inordinate quantities.
The display cases of Sicilian pastry shops and ice-cream parlours are a riot of colours, inventions and flavours. Every taste of the finest pastries, from Setteveli to Cassata, have become an ice-cream flavour to savour. Even those desserts that are difficult to reproduce and have so many ingredients, including sponge cake or triple chocolate, have become ‘a label’ affixed to most ice-cream parlours.
Yet granita, one of our greatest specialities, is characterised by two very poor main ingredients: ice and fruit. Two elements that are very easy to find and assemble.
The granita delights our palates and is accompanied by a genius invented by us Sicilians: the brioche col tuppo. The tuppo, a kind of bun, is detached and dipped into the cup of the granita.
For this goodness, as for ice cream, there are countless flavours, from lemon to pistachio, from mulberries to almonds. Today, however, we will experience a thrill of pleasure with ‘menza ca panna’, a coffee granita with cream typical of Messina.
Below is the complete recipe:
450 ml mocha coffee
200 ml water
150 g sugar
250 ml fresh cream
1/2 sachet vanillin
2 tablespoon vanilla icing sugar
450 g manitoba flour
200 ml milk
80 g sugar
70 g lard
4 g brewer’s yeast
1 sachet vanillin
1 tablespoon orange peel
For the coffee granita:
Pour the water into a saucepan and melt the caster sugar. Bring the syrup to the boil and let it cool completely. Once cold, add the coffee and place in the freezer until completely frozen. Once frozen, whisk well, it should not be too grainy. Whip the well-cold cream with the icing sugar and vanillin and set aside.
Take a glass and make your ‘menza ca panna’: half granita glass and half cream.
For the brioche col tuppo:
Mix the flour with the yeast, milk, sugar and flavourings. Add the eggs one at a time until completely absorbed. Knead until the dough is soft and elastic. Add the lard and continue working. Once ready, leave to rise until doubled.
Shape the brioche:
Once risen, divide the dough into approximately 70g pieces for the brioche base, and 15g pieces for the tuppo. Round each portion well and place it well apart on a baking tray. For the tuppo, round the ball well, create a hollow in the brioche with your thumb and place the ball. Cover and allow to rise again until doubled.
Brush with egg yolk and milk and bake in a hot oven at 180° for about 15/20 min.
Enjoy it on a terrace, in the open air and if possible in front of the sea, dreaming of Sicily and all it has to offer.