On our trip to Sicily and the Aeolian Islands, we have the opportunity to prepare dishes using traditional Sicilian ingredients, including an expectedly delicious twist on ice cream—with salty, pungent capers.
Capers are one of Sicily’s main crops, and are meticulously picked by hand and then either pickled or salted to preserve them and give them their distinctive taste. Traditionally served in savory dishes, our capers ventured their way into some ice cream!
The ice cream was served in a “roof tile” made out of Sicilian chocolate. This chocolate is equally as special because the sugar is added into the chocolate after it has cooled, so it does not melt, giving the chocolate a grainy—and delightful—texture. More info can be found here on one of the oldest chocolate factories in Sicily.
Here are the recipes we prepared—delicious, surprising, and a true taste of Sicily.
300 g of 72% dark chocolate
216 g granulated sugar
Melt chocolate over a double boiler until it reaches a temperature of 45ºC (~115ºF). Slowly add the cane sugar, and stir as little as possible to maintain graininess. Pour into molds, or whatever shape you like.
Allow to cool in the fridge for around an hour, or whenever the chocolate has hardened, and remove from the molds. Can be served plain, or with seasonings of chili or salt for contrast.
Caper ice cream:
250 g milk
125 g heavy cream
50 g granulated sugar
1 g carob flour (optional; used for stabilization)
25 g glucose (optional; used for stabilization)
50 g capers
Add milk and cream into a heavy saucepan and heat over medium heat. Once that reaches 45ºC (~115ºF), add sugar, carob flour and glucose. Around 60-65ºC (140-150ºF), add capers.
Bring to a boil. Shut off heat once it reaches a boil.
Using an immersion blender, blend cream mixture until smooth.
Cool in fridge for 12 hours (overnight).
Once cooled, place mixture into ice cream maker and follow your model’s instructions (usually takes 15-30 minutes).
Buon appetito, the Sicilian way!
~ Join Peggy on one of her Culinary Adventures on Sicily’s Aeolian Islands. ~
Author: Peggy Markel
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Katarina Tavčar