Add the sugar to the hot coffee and stir until completely dissolved. Leave it to cool, then pour it into an ice-cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
If you have no machine, do as they have done in Italy since time immemorial: Pour the mixture into a shallow freezer container (it used to be in an old-fashioned ice-cranker) and freeze for about 30 minutes, stirring around the edge occasionally until it is just beginning to set. The mixture should be slushy. Serve in glasses topped with whipped cream, or panna montata.
© 1999 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.