Dolci & Desserts Italian Regional Recipes

Aubergine Chocolate Cake

Aubergine Chocolate Cake is typical of Campania, a region in the South of Italy, and comes specifically from a scenic part of the shoreline known as Costiera Amalfitana –  Amalfi Coastline.

The combo aubergine-chocolate is quite ancient and it is also used in Calabria, where especially on the day of Ferragosto (15th August), a cake were – and still is – prepared by alternating layers of fried aubergines with chocolate and candied orange, almonds or walnuts, citrus fruit peels, cinnamon. We could consider it as a sort of sweet aubergine Parmigiana.

The final result is a smooth, moist cake that you can also serve cold. You can also swap the candied orange for any other candied fruit of your choice.


Serves: 6 (fills a Ø24 cm cake mould)| Preparation time: 20 mins | Cooking time: 1 h

  • Aubergines: 1 kg
  • 70% Dark chocolate: 200 g
  • Brown sugar: 100 g
  • Almond flakes or walnuts: 180 g
  • Candied or fresh orange: 80 g
  • Milk: 100 ml
  • Cocoa powder, unsweetened: a teaspoon
  • Cinnamon powder: to taste
  • Lemon zest, grated: 1
  • Salt: a pinch
  • Peanut oil (for deep-frying), 1 lt

Method

Peel and cut aubergines into slices half a centimeter thick. Layer the aubergine slices in a colander, sprinkling them with salt. Leave them aside for ten minutes: the salt will help them dry up and the excess water will drip away. 

Heat up peanut oil in a large frying pan. Rinse the aubergine slices to get rid of the salt, dry them thoroughly with a kitchen cloth, then fry them on both sides. Take off aubergines from the oil and place them on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Whilst the aubergine slices are still lukewarm, coat them in a mixture of cocoa and cinnamon powder. Set them aside.

Prepare the chocolate cream: heat up the milk in a saucepan, add sugar and the grated dark chocolate. Stirring the mixture until it becomes uniform in texture. If it is a bit too liquid, you can just add some corn flour, if too thick, some more milk. Once the cream has reached a medium thick consistency, switch off the stove and leave it to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 150 C.

Cover a baking dish or a springform with baking paper. Spread some chocolate cream on the bottom of the baking paper, then build a layer of aubergine slices and cover it with another layer of chocolate. Sprinkle some almond flakes or chopped walnuts, candied orange and lemon zest. Go forward in this fashion alternating fried aubergine slices and chocolate cream until you finish your ingredients. Top the cake with a generous spread of chocolate cream and garnish it with more almond flakes and lemon grated peel.

Bake the aubergine chocolate cake for 10 minutes to 150 C.

Serve.

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