You guys know that food is probably my favorite pastime. So when I get a chance to take a break from work and schedules and baby duties, snacking on something delicious (usually in chocolate form) is my instant heaven. While I have a huge sweet tooth, as I've gotten older I can't eat things that are crazy sweet anymore. I used to cringe at dark chocolate and now often crave dark chocolate over previous love, milk chocolate, from sweet tooth's past.
I love the idea of bringing a bit of sweetness to savory foods, so I asked my friends over at Heirloom LA to help me come up with a couple indulgent, yet super easy, recipes to share with you guys that provide instant comfort. We paired Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate with savory ingredients for a twist on the always classic (and always comforting) grilled cheese and tomato soup. Our version is a Brioche and Dark Chocolate Grilled Cheese Sandwich paired with a Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Soup. And, the best part is they both take less than 20 minutes to make.
I apologize in advance if I'm about to make you REAL hungry…
Here's what you'll need for the Brioche and Chocolate Grilled Cheese Sandwich:
Serves 4 people
8 Slices Brioche Bread (remove crusts, optional)
1 Bar Dark Chocolate(we used 72% cacao)
8oz Goats Milk Chèvre
8 Tablespoons of Coconut Jam (1 Tablespoon for each slice of bread)
1 Package Sprouts or Arugula
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Prepare the sandwiches by laying out each slice of brioche and spreading 1 tablespoon of coconut jam on each slice.
Divide up a small bunch of the greens evenly over four of the slices of bread. Then break up the chocolate and cheese over these same four slices of bread and season with salt and pepper. Top each of these four prepared sandwiches with the remaining slices of brioche.
Preheat a saute pan over medium-low heat, and add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. Place the sandwiches in the center of the pan and cook on medium-low until golden brown. Add the second tablespoon of butter to the pan, and then flip to toast other side. Cook the mini sandwiches until both sides are golden brown, and the chocolate and cheese are nice and melty.
Allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving and inhaling these!
Toasty, buttery, savory, and sweet…this might have been one of the best grilled cheeses I've ever had. The coconut jam adds a little sweetness, but it still feels like something you could enjoy for lunch or even a late night not-too-sweet snack. Next, we'll make the Hazelnut Dark Chocolate soup…
For the Hazelnut Dark Chocolate Soup, you'll need:
Serves 4-6 Portions
1.5 lbs lightly toasted Hazelnuts
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
1 Bulb Fennel cleaned and sliced thinly
1 White Onion peeled and sliced
1 Cup Heavy Cream
2 Oranges Juiced
32oz Mushroom/Vegetable Stock or Water
1 Bar Dark Chocolate (we used 86% cacao)
1 cup Orange Oil (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste
In a heavy stock pot, heat up olive oil on medium heat, and add onions, fennel, and chipotle. Cook until tender. Then add hazelnuts, salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat to caramelize.
Add orange juice, heavy cream, and stock and bring to high heat until bubbles form. Then lower to a simmer, and cook for 12-15 minutes.
Remove the pot of tastiness from heat. Break up chocolate into the stock pot and stir to incorporate. Pour in a blender, and blend to smooth (approximately 2-3 minutes). Garnish with orange oil* and grated chocolate.
* To make Orange Oil: Zest two oranges into 1 cup olive oil, and bring just to a simmer. Remove from heat, blend (in a blender), and let cool. The orange oil will keep for two weeks and can be used for salads or over chocolate ice cream.
The soup is creamy and savory and makes an amazing complement to the buttery and slightly sweet sandwich. You could even enjoy it cold like a gazpacho for a summer day or kept warm for these upcoming fall nights.
It's a pretty amazing snack if you ask me, and I love that we found a way to add chocolate to a meal. I hope you guys enjoy, and let me know if you make these (I want some if you do…)!
*This post is brought to you by Ghirardelli Intense Dark™ Chocolate. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting these sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for Oh Joy.