Cooking School: Altamura Bread Icecream & White Chocolate Cream Meet Vegetable Garden

No kidding, he’s an artist: Coccaro pastry chef Martino Neglia, 26 (stations & stages: Bulgari Milan; Sadler Milan; Locanda Solarola Bologna), sure knows how to surprise! He loves simplicity and detests a big show around nothing.For creating a heavenly dessert like our sweet signature dish (Coccaro Summer Menu 2012), it doesn’t take him much more a brief walk through the vegetable garden and a look in the fridge, where he will always find favorite ingredients like cream or milk. “There’s no use knowing how to manipulate if you don’t know the principles“, he wrote in his thesis (“An interpretation of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper“), where he claims a return to pure nature in the kitchen, for what concers the preparation of a dish as well as the ingredients.

Here’s what he came up with for the summer season 2012: A dessert like a fresh vegetable garden, fresh and light as well as creamy, crunshy and sweet, with a couple of pure natural ingredients and a few interesting taste twists. Impressing, isn’t it? And not hard to imitate. “See, it’s as simple as that: All it takes are pure and fresh ingredients and dedication during the preparation. This way you won’t miss your Wow Effect!

Here’s the recipe for Coccaro Vegetable Garden Meets Bread Icecream and White Chocolate Cream:

For the Bread Icecream
500 g Milk
500 g Cream
150 g Powdered Sugar
100 g Altamura Bread, roughly broken into pieces
100 g Altamura Breadcrumbs
Heat up milk, add the sugar and the pieces of Altamura bread, boil shortly, then remove from the stove, add the cream as well as the breadcrumbs and use a mixer to obtain an evenly mixture. Place into a container to freeze, shortly before serving let it melt slightly.

For the Cream of White Chocolate
340 g White Chocolate
4 g Gelatine
200 g Milk
400 g Fresh Cream
10 g Glucose
Dissolve the gelatine in cold water, then let the milk, the glucose and the gelatine slightly boil. Pour it over the white chocolate, let all the ingredients emulsify. Add the cream slowly. To give it a special twist, add the skin of a lime before you put it all in the freezer for at least 12 hours.

For the decoration
A handful of:
Orange, slices
Grapefruit, slices
Fresh Fennel, cut in sheer slices
Crystallized Carrots
Fresh Beans
Fresh Peas
Thin Slices of Zucchini

Olive Oil with Vanilla taste
You might not find it at your grocer’s, still it’s easy to prepare at home and definitely worth the effort: Just let a couple of dry vanilla pods soak in fresh olive oil (- after briefly heating it all up to 60 degrees), fill the oil together with the vanilla into a closeable bottle and be surprised what it tasted like after 2 days!
Nut crumbles
Crumbs of Chocolate cake (- why not use leftovers from the kid’s birthday!), to use as an “earth” substitute

Ok, The basics are done… and NOW?
To prepare the dessert use a flat plate (like the one that you can see on the picture), so you can improvise more easily. Use little square forms (that you remove before serving!!) to shape the frozen white chocolate cream. Add fruit and vegetables to taste, one above the other, decorate with a few drops of vanilla olive oil.
Arrange the cake crumbs around your chocolate-”nests”, place two scoops of bread icecream on top and decorate with the nut crumbles. Sprinkle peas and beans like little plants into your chocolate cake-”soil” and cover the whole arrangement with a spoonful of slightly sweet vanilla olive oil.

Ready to taste!