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.
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.
Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer the cake from the pan onto a rack, and let it cool.
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.
Cut the cake into slices about 3/8” thick. Have some softened butter on hand.
Butter one side of all the slices of cake.
Space the chocolate on the unbuttered side of the cake slices. Top with another slice of cake, buttered side up.
Cut the long cake slices into more manageable individual pieces. Each piece should contain one chocolate rectangle.
Grill over medium heat, turning once, till both sides are golden, and the chocolate is melting.
Serve as is…
…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¢.