It's been hot lately.
In college I had the chance to spend a month abroad in Spain. It was hot there too. Luckily the Spaniards have the perfect cold treat: A blanco y negro. If you go into an ice cream shop and ask for a blanco y negro you will get a glass layered with coffee granita and vanilla ice cream. It's perfect for a hot day because it's doubly cold with icy granita and cool ice cream. In each bite you get a creamy, sweet, vanilla coffee flavor that is delicious.
I somehow managed to eat a lot of blancos y negros during that month abroad using these types of justifications: "I'm in Spain, and I don't know when I'll be back here again, so it doesn't really matter that I already had a few this week." Or, "Yesterday I was in Madrid but today I'm in Alicante, so it makes sense to have one again now that I'm here." Or just, "¡Hace calor! I better get a blanco y negro to cool down."
I've never seen a blanco y negro sold in the US, but fortunately it's easy to make at home. Here is how I do it:
Blanco y Negro
4 cups hot freshly brewed strong regular or decaf coffee
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 quart premium vanilla ice cream
In an 8 x 8 x 2 inch metal or glass baking dish stir together the coffee, sugar and vanilla until the sugar dissolves. Cover with foil and place in the refrigerator until well chilled, about 3 hours or overnight. Place the covered baking pan in the freezer. Stir and scrape the mixture with a fork every hour until frozen, about 4 hours. At the 4 hour mark, scrape granita down length of pan forming icy flakes. Return to freezer until ready to serve. When ready to serve place a couple of large spoonfuls of the granita in a glass. Top with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. Top with another layer of granita and another scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Note: The granita can be kept in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 days.