Amalfitana Aubergine and Chocolate Pudding

For an intriguing dessert try Sophie Grigson's rich and unusual aubergine and chocolate pudding
By Sophie Grigson
Amalfitana Aubergine and Chocolate Pudding
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus salting and infusing
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 3 aubergines
  • salt
  • olive oil, for frying
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • cocoa powder, sifted, for serving

Crème patissiere

  • 300 ml full-fat milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 3 eggs, yolks
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 45 g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 85 g mixed candied peel

Chocolate cream

  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 45 g plain flour
  • 60 g caster sugar
  • 300 ml full-fat milk
  • knob of butter

Method

1. Sprinkle the aubergine slices with salt and set aside for an hour to draw out any bitter juices. Rinse the aubergine slices and pat dry.

2. In a large frying pan heat 2.5 cm of oil (using half olive and half sunflower). Dust each aubergine slice with flour and fry in batches until golden-brown. Drain the fried aubergine on kitchen paper.

3. While the aubergine slices are being salted, make the crème patisserie. Gently heat the milk and vanilla pod in a thick-based saucepan until it just reaches boiling point. Cover, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

4. Beat the yolks with the caster sugar, flour and a pinch of salt. Add the infused milk, whisking constantly as you do so. Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, and bring to the boil. Let it boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat, stir in the candied peel and set aside to cool. Remove the vanilla pod.

5. To make the chocolate cream, mix together the cocoa, flour and sugar in a thick-based pan and whisk in the milk until well-blended. Bring gently to the boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for 2-3 minutes then remove from heat and beat in a knob of butter.

6. Cover the base of a deep dish (approx 22 cm) with a layer of the fried aubergine. Top with a layer of crème patissiere, then spoon over a layer of chocolate cream. Repeat the layering process, finishing with a layer of chocolate cream. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours.

7. Sprinkle with sifted cocoa powder and serve.

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