Grilled chocolate: a new take on a comfort-food classic

Grilled cheese: Two slices of bread, cheese in between, grilled till the bread is golden and the cheese melted.

Grilled chocolate: Two slices of vanilla pound cake, dark chocolate in between, grilled till the cake is golden and the chocolate melted.

Same technique – WAY different result.

Here at King Arthur Flour, we continually cast our preconceived notions aside to look at food from different angles. Many of our circuitous conversations, held as we labor away at our stations around the test kitchen, begin with “What if…?”

For instance, MaryJane has recently been working on a Twinkie clone for an upcoming Snack Cake Smackdown.

“What if I made banana Twinkies, and stuffed them with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry fillings? Banana split Twinkie!”

“You go, girl!” came the chorus of approbation. And she did  – unless I’m mistaken, a recipe for Banana Split Twinkies will be coming to a blog near you on September 23.

Today, Andrea  was dipping brownies in melted coating chocolate. Not pleased with the less-than-lustrous results, she asked our resident ex-pastry chef/now hotline baker Frank for advice. He told her to beat the melted chocolate with milk, and see what happened.

With milk? Andrea was looking for something darker and shinier. But – OK, give it a try.

Who knew? Beating melted coating chocolate with milk makes a gorgeous, dark, shiny dip for brownies, candy, or anything else dippable. (And yes, you’ll see the recipe in one of our upcoming holiday catalogues.)

Me, I’m fascinated with the hold that melted cheese seems to have on everyone. Every time we show a picture in the catalogue of ooey-gooey, wonderfully melty cheese – something – readers clamor for the recipe. Stuffed cheese bread, sausage cheese biscuits, Danish cheese buns… whenever we want a guaranteed reaction, “Bring on the melted cheese!”

But is it the cheese that’s so compelling… or the melting?

A bit of both, I’d wager. With the nostalgic hold grilled cheese sandwiches seem to have on all of us, there’s an element of comfort food going on here, too.

Still, there should be more to grilled sandwiches than cheese and bread.

“What if…?” I put dark chocolate between two slices of mild white bread, and grilled it? Decadent Grilled Chocolate Sandwiches, that’s what.

And what if I put that same dark chocolate between two thin slices of vanilla pound cake, and grilled it?

Grilled Chocolate – the oh-so-sweet counterpart to grilled cheese.

So is it the cheese, or the melting?

I’m sure you’ll let me know by your comments.

img_0130.JPG

We’re going to start with a pound cake recipe. Choose one that uses about 2 cups of flour; our Golden Vanilla Pound Cake recipe works very well here.

Lightly grease an 8” square x 2” deep cake pan, and line with greased parchment, if desired, for a guaranteed good release. Spoon the prepared cake batter into the pan.

img_0131.JPG

Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

img_0145.JPG

Transfer the cake from the pan onto a rack, and let it cool.

img_0211.JPG

Meanwhile, get out your chocolate bar. You’ll want one that A) tastes good, and B) breaks into little squares or rectangles. Hershey’s Special Dark is my favorite “break into bite-sized pieces” chocolate bar.

img_0251.JPG

Cut the cake into slices about 3/8” thick. Have some softened butter on hand.

img_0253.JPG

Butter one side of all the slices of cake.

img_0254.JPG

Space the chocolate on the unbuttered side of the cake slices. Top with another slice of cake, buttered side up.

img_0265.JPG

Cut the long cake slices into more manageable individual pieces. Each piece should contain one chocolate rectangle.

img_0266.JPG

Grill over medium heat, turning once, till both sides are golden, and the chocolate is melting.

img_0273.JPG

Serve as is…

img_0280.JPG

…or garnish with whipped cream. Or ice cream. Or ice cream and fudge sauce. And berries.

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Grilled Chocolate.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Magnolia restaurant, Brooklyn, NY: Toasted lemon pound cake with fresh fruit compote and whipped cream, $6.00

Bake at home: Grilled chocolate, three 2 1/2” x 2” pieces, 76¢.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Joey D

    Yum! The only thing I’d add… powdered sugar sifted overtop, with a fruit compote.

    Gilding the lily – I like it! PJH

    Reply
  2. CindyD

    Oh my, this looks outstanding! I’d be tempted to add a marshmallow! Could you do it on a grill, do you think?

    Absolutely, Cindy, then you’ll get those nice hash marks, too… :) PJH

    Reply
  3. Kara

    Wow. Buttered poundcake?! Be still my heart (literally?) ;) This sounds…unbelievable and diet breaking. Be sure that this will be happening in my kitchen when I don’t have a wedding dress to be fitting into!

    Oh, those pesky weddings – they’re great diet aids, though, aren’t they? PJH

    Reply
  4. Melissa

    OMG! I am literally drooling over these goodies. Tomorrow’s grocery trip will definitely be including the ingredients for this goodie.

    Reply
  5. Margi

    Any way to make this low carb? Hahaha! I kid, I kid. Ohmigosh, this’ll make you go off that low carb diet in less than a nanosecond. Thank you (I think)! :O)

    Reply
  6. Jae

    With all the fresh strawberries and peaches and blackberries we have had, this was a way to have an excellent excuse to give tea parties and have late night bed-time snacks on the porch under the Moon! Seriously, for good conversation and laughter and great memories, this simple recipe is unsurpassed. Big bowls of Chantilly Cream topped it all off gorgeously.

    Try some extra fancy Belgian chocolate or Canadian, yes, Canadian, Denman Island Chocolate too. With good coffee and desert wines, a very grown up treat that will delight the children too.

    Once you get in the *habit* of making pound cakes, which all Southern Girls used to know, there’s no going back to purchased pound cake!

    Reply
  7. Elizabeth G

    As I’ve said, you people are committed to delivering the goods…..Yummy, buttery, melty chocolate orgy anyone?

    Reply
  8. April in CT

    Oh. My. WORD. I gained 10 lbs reading this post. Fabulous!!

    I really can’t pick between is it the cheese or the melting. I love cheese, melted cheese, chocolate and melted chocolate so I’m going with E) All of the above!! lol

    I’m with you all the way, April… PJH

    Reply
  9. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction

    So delicious! I absolutely adore pound cake. Even if it makes me gain pounds and pounds every time I make it. ;)

    I have made something similar with Nutella, strawberry jam, and marshmallows in the middle. So tasty! I will have to give it a try with chocolate bar pieces next time! :)

    Reply
  10. cindy leigh

    hmmm…. how about Nutella? I love that hazelnut flavor.
    MAybe white chocolate and homemade raspberry preserves?
    Maybe brush the insides of the pound cake with some liquer, such as Grand Marnier, or Hazelnut, or Kahlua? My wheels are turning now.

    Keep ‘em turning, Cindy – that’s how great new dishes are born… PJH

    Reply
  11. Shiyiya

    I read on some other blog a while back about cheesecake grilled between slices of poundcake. This sounds ALMOST as good!

    Reply
  12. the Dad

    Brilliant! I posted this immediately to my wife’s Facebook page… she’ll be home before I am tonight, you see… just planning ahead! :)

    Ohhh, I like the way you operate – clever! PJH

    Reply
  13. Patti

    Oh what a rough job you guys have…coming up with such delicious recipes! Can I get a job as a taste tester? LOL!

    This looks yummy!

    Pam, we’re hiring for the holidays – come on up! PJH

    Reply
  14. Sue E. Conrad

    Yum, yum!!! I’m not what you’d call a chocoholic……….I know, hard to believe!!! When I DO have a hankering for chocolate, it has to be the dark variety. None of that namby-pamby milk stuff for me (same goes for cheese; it’s gotta have an “attitude”, i.e. really sharp cheddar, Gorgonzola, etc.). I use the Special Dark chocolate chips for my chocolate chip cookies……..what a difference! Looks like there’s poundcake and melted chocolate in my (and my husband) future……that is, AFTER we have our cholesterol levels checked!!!

    Reply
  15. rocky-cat

    You want really over-the-top? Last year, for a brand-name peanut butter mfg. sandwich contest, my daughter came up with the PB S’mores pannini. Plain ol’ white bread (crustless, of course) with PB, chocolate spread, and marshmallow fluff. We heavily buttered the outsides and cooked it in a cast iron grill pan, weighted down with another cast iron pan for that panini look.

    Unfortunately, not only didn’t she win, she wasn’t even a finalist. But she sure was a happy camper eating that sandwich.

    Well – sounds like a winner in my book! Thanks for sharing – PJH

    Reply
  16. Carol

    WOW! All it took was for me to read the title of the recipe. I immediately thought of a fellow chocoholic and forwarded it to his wife’s email and his work email. Long live the chocoholics! :)

    Reply
  17. melanie

    The best is to combine the chocolate with savory – the Spanish way is grilled bread, lightly coated with olive oil, coarse sea salt, and then the dark chocolate (or Nutella) One of my favorites!

    Ah, Melanie, sweet/salty – great combination. Check back here Sunday night for a wonderful sweet-salty butter pecan cookie… PJH

    Reply
  18. SusanG

    My favorite chocolate shop in Richmond (For the Love of Chocolate) sells a dark chocolate bar with lemon. It’s amazing, and I think it would be *quite nice* in this recipe.

    Reply
  19. Therese

    My husband and I have sliced pound cake and toasted it in the toaster and spread Nutella on it. It tastes great when you’re too lazy to grill it!

    Reply
  20. Anita

    Reminds me of the special breakfast I used to make for my kids when they were small and had company spend the night. It was french toast with cinnamon and sugar added to the egg mix and chocolate (again Hershey’s) added between the bread. I would soak the bread on one side in the egg mixture, put that slice egg side down in the pan, do the same with another slice of bread but put the egg side up. So the plain layers were inside with the chocolate. Again, that melted chocolate thing. The bread cook the egg side with nice cinnamon flavors and were flipped over like a grilled cheese to cook the other side. EVERYONE love it, including me.

    Oh, boy…. you’ve hooked me. Gotta try this. Thanks, Anita! PJH

    Reply
  21. AJ

    Another goody to try! We’ll just put it in with the grilled peanut butter and jelly and the grilled cream cheese and jelly. It’s all in the “melting”;)

    Reply
  22. Jan Hoertkorn

    Trader Joe’s 72% dark chocolate is tasty, chocolicious, & for over a pound of chocolate it is only $3.99.

    Very tasty, Jan – but unfortunately, the dimensions/thickness of each little rectangle isn’t quite right – esp. the thickness. It would be difficult for get the chocolate sufficiently melted by the time the cake was browned… Indeed, tasty, though – since you mentioned it, I just had to go have a piece! PJH

    Reply
  23. Linda

    It looks good. Giada did this on her show with Nutella and strawberries as a panini. It looked very good.

    Indeed, if you have a panini iron, this would be a great use for it. Thanks for the reminder, Linda – PJH

    Reply
  24. Carolyn Martin

    Are these finger food or fork food? Want to surprise grandchildren with them soon, but can see possibility of gooey fingers and fronts, especially for the younger ones – not that they (or I) would care, but their parents might. . . .

    Carolyn, I think if you let them cool and solidify a bit, the kids could handle them – assuming we’re not talking pre-schoolers here… For the littlest ones, best to put them out at th epicnic table – sans shirts? :) PJH

    Reply
  25. Mary M

    Ina Garten has a great recipe for an orange pound cake, which would be terrific with this recipe. If you love orange and chocolate, that is. (What’s not to love!)

    Reply
  26. SassySandy

    This is the best ‘chocolate and cake’ idea I have ever seen. Will definitely be trying this one, soon. I have a big dream of owning my own dessert bakery. This item will definitely be on the menu. Think I’ll have a ‘Girls Night’ and serve up this outstanding, decadent and down right delicious dessert.

    Reply
  27. Leslie

    Good grief – this looks amazing. I’m thinking breakfast, Christmas morning. If the presents under the tree don’t light up our eyes then this bit of grilled loveliness surely will! Thanks for this recipe, great photo too.

    Reply

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *