On both our trips to Sicily in the Spring and  Sicily and the Aeolian Islands in the Fall,  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 that we prepared – delicious, surprising, and a true taste of Sicily.

Sicilian chocolate

300 gr 72% dark chocolate

216 gr 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 would 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, salt, etc. for contrast.

Caper ice cream

250 gr milk

125 gr heavy cream

50 gr granulated sugar

1 gr carob flour (optional; used for stabilization)

25 gr glucose (optional; used for stabilization)

50 gr 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!

Recipe credit to Fabrizia Lanza 

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