Chocolate-chile granita

Total Time
4 hr 15 min
10 min
5 min
Cool-off from the summer heat with this gourmet version of shaved ice. Chocolate, cinnamon, and chile powder combine to make this slushy dessert decadent and spicy while almonds add crunch. We’ve incorporated almond milk into this granita for creamy richness and nutty flavor. Coconut milk would be a delicious alternative if you’d like to use it instead. Make it to feed a crowd at your next cookout or mix-it-up to store in your freezer and scrape off some whenever you need an icy treat. You could also pour the cocoa mixture into an ice-cream maker and make sorbet instead of granita.


Plain unsweetened almond milk

1½ cup(s)


½ cup(s)

Unsweetened cocoa powder

2 oz, (about 1/3 cup)

Unsweetened baking chocolate square

1 oz, coarsely chopped

Ancho chile powder

¼ tsp, generous, or to taste

Ground cinnamon

¼ tsp

Table salt

¼ tsp

Ground nutmeg


Coconut water

12 fl oz, (about 1 1/2 cup), pure variety

Vanilla extract

1 tsp

Sliced almonds

¼ cup(s)

Bittersweet chocolate

1 oz, or semisweet chocolate, made into shavings


  1. Stir together almond milk, sugar, cocoa, unsweetened chocolate, chile powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring until sugar and cocoa are dissolved and chocolate is melted. Remove saucepan from heat; stir in coconut water and vanilla.
  2. Pour cocoa mixture into 9-inch square baking pan. Cover pan with foil; freeze until mixture is frozen along edges, about 2 hours. With fork, scrape icy edges in towards center. Repeat every 45 minutes or until granita is firm and texture is flaky, 2–3 hours longer. Granita can be frozen up to 3 days.
  3. To serve, use fork to scrape across surface of ice. Transfer ice shards to 8 dessert dishes. Garnish each serving with ½ tablespoon almonds and one-eighth of chocolate shavings.
  4. Per serving: about 1 cup granita, 1 tablespoon almonds, and about 2 teaspoons chocolate shavings