Warm, oozing chocolate sandwiches for dessert … need I say more? In the purest example of casual entertaining, I often host a panini party. I put the press right on the counter with all the ingredients, pullout the wine and tumblers, and allow everyone to make their own sandwiches. Finish ’em off with this showstopper.
Cooking Notes: Use the best-quality bittersweet chocolate you can afford. I like Scharffen Berger chocolate, which is manufactured in Berkeley, California, but you could use Callebaut, Valrhona, or another top-drawer brand.
Entertaining Notes: Try an all-dessert panini bar using Nutella and sliced bananas, orange marmalade and blue cheese, and sautéed apples, or Honey-Roasted Applesauce and sharp Cheddar.
Wine Notes: Chocolate-filled panini and tumblers of Chianti go together.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Coursedessert, snack
Dietary Considerationdessert, snack
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, chocolatey, creamy, crisp, nutty, spiced, sweet
Type of Dishchocolate dessert
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 8 slices walnut or Italian country bread
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely grated
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup creme fraiche
Butter 1 side of each bread slice, then put 4 slices, buttered side down, on a work surface. Top the bread slices with the chocolate, distributing it evenly. Top the chocolate with a second slice of bread, buttered side up. Sprinkle both buttered sides of each sandwich with the cinnamon.
Preheat a sandwich press until hot, or preheat a grill pan or nonstick skillet on the stove top until hot.
Lightly oil (with a neutral oil like canola) the surface if it is not nonstick. Place 2 sandwiches on the sandwich press, close, and cook until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
If using a grill pan or skillet, place as many sandwiches in the pan as will fit without crowding, cover with a weight (a second skillet works well; put a can of tomatoes in the skillet if it is not heavy enough), and cook until nicely browned on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn and cook until the second side is well browned, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
Cut the sandwiches in half and serve immediately.
Pass the crème fraîche at the table. Each guest takes a small amount for dipping his or her sandwich.
2005 NapaStyle, Inc.