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Chocolate Panini

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of JosephDeLeo.cookstr.com

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.

Serves4

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursedessert, snack

Dietary Considerationegg-free, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian

Equipmentpanini press

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealsnack

Taste and Texturebuttery, chocolatey, creamy, crisp, nutty, spiced, sweet

Type of Dishchocolate dessert

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

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