Monday, November 19, 2007

grilled chocolate sandwiches

this is from our friend Vanessa Balchen at what geeks

I love chocolate combined with bread. Pain au chocolat, chocolate chip bagels, toast with nutella…all have the soulful bread texture combined with the dark splendor of chocolate. A good pain au chocolat will have a chocolate center that is still warm and pliable…but how often do you find one of those? Usually the whole thing is stone cold and the chocolate is hard as a rock. If I had the time and the will power I could bring it home and gently warm it in the toaster oven. But let’s face it…that has never, ever, happened. For my money a good chocolate chip bagel is a delight. I love the crunchy chocolate chips offset by the chewiness of the bagel, plus the bagel’s robust breadiness really does play quite nicely with the chocolate chips.

When I made my first brioche for World Bread Day I knew it wouldn’t be my last. Over the past few weeks I’ve thought about how best to combine brioche with chocolate…and then I was making grilled cheese sandwiches and it came to me. I told the guys I was making grilled brioche and chocolate sandwiches and Alex said, “A chocolate sandwich?!!? You can’t do that…it’s crazy!!”. Oh yes I can you silly boy…just watch me! After the brioche came out of the oven and cooled I sliced the loaf in two and gave half of it up to the guys…it was gone in minutes. The other half I hid for another day…I wanted it to be slightly stale when I grilled it up.

These little babies couldn’t be simpler and really pack a huge “WOW” factor. Slice the brioche, butter it, put your favorite chocolate in the center, top it with another buttered slice of brioche and grill it to a golden brown. My only tip is to grate the chocolate in the food processor to ensure it will melt all the way through. The finished product was a magnificent combination of chocolate and tender, stretchy brioche. Everyone loved it. I’m content for now but I bet there are other chocolate and bread combinations I need to try. Do you know of any?

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