Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sweet Dreams are Made of...Melanzane al Cioccolato - Chef Alfonso Caputo, Taverna del Capitano, Marina del Cantone (Na)

There are some people who believe that every dream has a meaning, a hidden message, or can predict the future.  But there may be only one person who can interpret my  latest sogno.  Chef Alfonso Caputo of Taverna del Capitano.  That's because in  my last dream, the parts that I can remember, featured his dessert that I tried  a year ago ish.  His melanzane al cioccolato...his chocolate eggplants.

Last summer I had it in his Michelin star restaurant after a top class lunch with a view of the sea from my table by the window.  In my dream, however, I was relaxing on a beach lounge chair underneath the restaurant on their pebbly lido.  On my lap a plate of chocolate heaven.  Headphones in my ears with Jamariquoi's Little L was the soundtrack to my fantasy.

You know how dreams are.  They come at you al improviso, all of the sudden.  No explanation as to why. So what does one do when one has a dream like this?
Write the chef and ask for the recipe...

And eccola...here it is:

Melanzane al Cioccolata
For 4 people:
4 eggplants, 300 g of sugar, 0.6 l of water with Tahiti vanilla beans and lemon

For the filling
300 g ricotta, 150 g of sugar, orange and lemon peel

For the topping
100 g dark chocolate 70%, 100 g of fresh cream 30%


Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Boil the water and  sugar . Put in  the eggplant and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat  and allow to soak for 24 hours.

For the filling: Mix the ricotta cheese (from Mt Lattari if possible),  with sifted sugar and citrus peels. Let it  rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Dry the eggplant, remove the seeds and fill with the filling. Roll and allow to stand for 1 hour.

Prepare the sauce by melting the chocolate into the cream until you have a smooth sauce.

Slice the eggplants into discs and arrange on a plate. Pour the sauce around and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

Sweet dreams...

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