Monday, 5 December 2011

An inspired combination


Since bread is such an important part of life in Portugal, it seems only natural to team it up with sweet ingredients as well as savoury ones. Bread and chocolate is a time honoured tradition, so why not give it an added dimension by toasting the bread under the grill and then adding olive oil followed by chocolate.What have you got?- a cracking Christmassy crostini to accompany your morning bica or a sinful late night snack.Its all about fun and fancy so don´t take it too seriously.The marriage of warm,crispy-edged bread and the contrasting flavours of peppery olive oil,bittersweet chocolate and briny sea salt - temptation on toast. The point where they merge- the barely sweet chocolate, strong as black coffee,melting into the warm bread is sublime. These dainty little morsels are amazingly simple to prepare and taste absolutely extraordinary,but budget is of the essence if you are going to do this justice.The chocolate must be very dark, bittersweet, and world-class. Look for names like Green and Blacks, Valronha or Gourmet Godiva and even names you can´t pronounce. Labels with percentage symbols are always a good sign (the higher %, the better for this).For the bread, you're going to want to find your own favourite baker´s baguette. The extra virgin olive oil should be robust, peppery, and of the highest quality. Lastly, the salt must absolutely be the crystallized, flaky Castro Marim Flor de sal.Once all these ingredients are assembled, the actual procedure is quite simple, and produces an impressive result.

Pao com Chocolate e Sal citrina
1 baguette sliced on the diagonal in equal thicknesses
bittersweet chocolate
extra virgin olive oil
Coarse Flor de sal, Salmarim
Zest of 1 orange

Cut a large top quality baguette on the diagonal into slices of equal thickness. Put on a baking tray and toast under the grill until lightly toasted and golden around the edges. Turn over the slices and repeat.
Take the tray from under the grill and turn the grill off. Drizzle the slices well with the olive oil. place a piece of chocolate into the middle of each slice and return to the oven until the chocolate is molten.Sprinkle each crostini with Lemon flor de sal and orange zest.

Two warnings
1. wait until the crostini cools a little, or the chocolate,hot as molten lava,will burn your tongue.
2. you may well have become addicted.

The quantities of the chocolate and olive oil and salt are an approximation.This is a spontaneous urge to satisfy a craving, so exactness should not be a worry.

"Where would we be without salt" James Beard

3 comments:

  1. This sounds sublime! Now, where can I buy some lemon flor de sel . . . or can I just add lemon zest to some good quality sea salt and leave it for a few days to infuse I wonder?

    BTW, I one had a crostini that was topped with chorizo and nutella . . . so wrong but so right!

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  2. cracking christmas crostini... ahhhhh....

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  3. We are doing our damnedest to get this whole range of salts into England at the moment,Will keep you posted.Will also be posting updates on here.Look athttp://www.salmarim.com/cms/#/home-1/ they are the producers and we are trying to get it into the British press tied in to a travel piece maybe. You wil just have to come and visit and we can fill your return bag with Flor de sal.Just use good quality Flor de sal crystals( maybe Maldon) and sprinkle it on the crostini with orange and/or lemon zest.

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