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.
- 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.