Bread with Olive Oil and Chocolate

October 2, 2012

As I recall, I first started making this – with my own modifications – based loosely on a recipe from one of Anthony Bourdain’s books. It’s been so long (and I’ve since lost some books in a move) that I don’t remember which it was. However, I do recall that he mentions bread and chocolate such as this as being a favorite after-school treat for children in Spain.

As we head into fall weather, the light and fruit-filled desserts of summer give way to warmer, more comforting fare.  This recipe for bread with olive oil and chocolate is a wonderful and easy treat that belies its simplicity with a grown-up, sweet-and-savory taste.

You’ll need:

  • 1 small Ciabatta roll
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips
  • Olive oil
  • Turbinado or unrefined sugar
  • A pinch of sea salt
(All of these elements are really to your personal taste, which is why I don’t specify exact quantities.  I also used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips, which are about twice as large as normal chocolate chips.)

  1. Place the rack in your oven in the first or second notch from the top.  Turn the broiler on high.
  2. Slice ciabatta in half.  Place them cut sides up on a baking sheet, then brush the cut sides with olive oil.
  3. Place slices on a baking sheet and put them under the broiler for 2-5 minutes, or until the olive oil is bubbling and the bread is lightly toasted.  (It’ll be going back into the oven, so it shouldn’t be too browned.)
  4. Remove from the oven.  Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on each slice of bread (I use 5-10 depending on the size of the chocolate chips), then put it back under the broiler for about another minute. Here you just want to heat up and melt the chocolate chips. (Note they will probably hold their shapes pretty well even if they’re beginning to melt.)
  5. Remove from the oven again.  Take a knife and spread the chocolate out on the bread.  It shouldn’t be a super thin or super thick layer – just right.  Don’t think there’s enough chocolate?  Go ahead and sprinkle a few more chips on, then under the broiler again for another quick melt.  The world is your oyster (er, or chocolate bread, as it were).
  6. Lightly sprinkle the bread slices with a pinch of salt.  You can use coarse salt if you want, just make sure it isn’t all clumped up in one area.
  7. Now sprinkle with turbinado sugar. I like “Sugar in the Raw” brand.  You will want to be a little more generous with this compared to the salt, but not too much! You don’t want to drown out the lovely flavor of the bittersweet chocolate.
  8. Sink your teeth in.  Close your eyes in delight.  Note how the savory flavor of the olive oil mixes with the richness of the chocolate.  The salt adds a little bit of the savory element and the sugar adds the sweet balance it needs, plus a little textural crunch.

Delicious, easy, and sophisticated.  Try it and let me know what you think!

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