Monday, November 15, 2010

Savory Chocolate Sea Salt Crostini – Sooner Rather Than Later

The biggest challenge with presenting this chocolate sea salt crostini recipe is getting people to stop thinking, "dessert," and start thinking, "great special occasion savory snack." Not that there's anything wrong with this as a dessert (it's actually Michele's "favorite" dessert), but for my money it makes for a better, and very unique, hors d'oeuvre.

Speaking of money, you're going to need a little bit extra to do this recipe right. For this to work as a savory bite, the chocolate must be very dark, bittersweet, and world-class. Look for names that are hard to pronounce, and 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 town's best baguette. The extra virgin olive oil should robust, peppery, and of the highest quality. Lastly, the salt must absolutely be the crystallized, flaky sea salt shown herein.

Once all these ingredients are assembled, the actual procedure is quite simple, and produces an impressive bite. The marriage of warm, crispy-edged bread, peppery olive oil, bittersweet chocolate, and briny sea salt is sublime. I think this is perfect for a holiday cocktail party, served right along side the rest of the savory appetizers.Of course, if you're just not a chocolate hors d'oeuvre kind of person, and want to adapt this for a sweet treat, feel free. In that case, you can use a slightly sweeter chocolate, and maybe an olive oil from the lighter, fruitier end of the spectrum.

By the way, special thanks to my buddy Linda, from Salty Seattle, for the amazing homemade sea salt used in the video. I knew she had mad skills working with animal and vegetable, but mineral too? This makes her one of the rare, triple-threat foodies.

Just in case you don't have friends that make you sea salt, most gourmet grocery stores will carry several varieties. My personal favorite is Maldon, which can also be ordered online. Anyway, find these ingredients, plan a party, and share something extraordinary. Enjoy!




Savory Chocolate Sea Salt Crostini Ingredients:
sliced baguette
bittersweet chocolate
extra virgin olive oil
flaky type sea salt like Maldon


View the complete recipe

27 comments:

Erika said...

I cannot WAIT to make these. And lucky me, I have some of Salty Seattle's homemade salt too!

Chris K. said...

Do you think sourdough baguette would work with this? Or would the added "tang" taste weird with the chocolate?

saltyseattle said...

John- I am so glad you put the salt to such high use. I love it with chocolate, but hadn't bargained on the olive oil and bread- I'll give it a try. I watched the video with a friend, and she said "I love his reassuring, not condescending voice. Is he a famous voice-over actor or something?" Don't worry, I set the record straight and told her about your wild nights as a 1-900 hotline operator:)

Chef John said...

ah yes, the hotline days... good times, good times.

btw, thank you friend for me, but know that I just fired my condescending voice coach. Clearly wasn't doing the job. ;-)

Savory Tv said...

Seriously, I've impressed so many people with this recipe! I always get asked the address of your website when I tell them who the genius is behind the recipe! I love basking in the light of your fame, especially when dark chocolate is involved :) xo

(PS: I always use Lindt brand chocolate, found in the regular grocery store, 70%)

Chef John said...

thanks! :-) I love the 70% Lindt bar for this too!

Chef John said...

I actually love sour for this recipe! Both are good.

Matt said...

Would this work equally well on a pane di casa loaf or a ciabatta, or does it exclusively need to be a baguette?
It's a strange question, but I'm sure somebody would have tried it before!

Chef John said...

you can use other breads, but this works great for size and shape.

Anonymous said...

This looks great. But what's with the recent trend of people describing salt as 'briny'? I realize that foodies like adjectives, but aren't 'salty' and 'briny' pretty much synonyms, making 'briny salt' redundant?

Anonymous said...

Funny you should redo this video, I was considering using it this weekend for the first time. It would seem the broiler method would result in a more crisp texture over the pan method. Is that your experience? And which do you prefer?

BTW, you farmer's cheese video has led my friends and I on a interesting ride. At our last pyro festival, we made mozzarella. The inspiration for this can be traced directly back to your farmer's cheese video. I passed it on to some interested friends, and you've got at least 10 people down here making their own cheese now. You should get something for that... not sure what though :-)

-Pyrofish

Anonymous said...

eh hem...It's "the old tapa-tapa"

Simply Blessed said...

Oh yes! I have got to make these!!!!
Thanks so much for sharing these great recepies!!!

Danny said...

I find that Barry chocolate far surpasses anything else around

Anonymous said...

Are these to be served warm or can they be made ahead?

Chef John said...

best made before serving, so the chocolate stays a little gooey.

Terry said...

So, what is your fav red wine to serve with the chocolate crostini? Think a Shiraz would be too much?

Chef John said...

personally, i love a nice jammy Syrah with this. but works with most big reds.

Anonymous said...

I love your site, but honestly tell you that you need more for him to monitor those who commented with your records

Anonymous said...

Hello, you site is very funny he told me to cheer up .. Merry Christmas.

Lynnie said...

I made these with an 85% cocoa chocolate and I am sorry they were not so good. I was drinking red wine and everything. I tried some dark chocolate and even Nutella and they were both FABULOUS. What do you use. I posted my results on my blog and linked to you! Love your blog!

Chef John said...

I forget the brand, but it was like 70% i think. Probably similar to the dark choc you used. Thanks!

Jeff K. said...

Just made these for the family while decorating the tree. They were a big hit. Used "Vosges" brand chocolate - Naga Bar flavor with sweet Indian curry powder and coconut. 45% cacao. The curry flavor was perfectly balanced. Added to the savory nature of the dish I think.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true!

somethingihaveinmycabinet said...

Mr. John, you are my saviour!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, great ))

Chris K. said...

I gave the crostinis a whirl over the holidays, to mixed reviews. I cannot stress enough how important it is to use really top-quality ingredients for this recipe.

I baked fresh sourdough baguettes, using an Alaskan starter culture handed down since at least the early 20th century. The bread was great.

I also had some very nice fleur de sel on hand, which I never use because I'm embarrassed about how much I paid for it.

However, I bought a bar of dark chocolate I was unfamiliar with (it was just so-so) and used a very bland olive oil.

The worst part about tasting the final product was the realization that it could've been so much better.

So the next time I try this recipe, I will be absolutely sure to use the best ingredients I can find.