Chocolate with sweet olive oil
Pan con chocolate I have eaten different versions of this recipe, from the poverty-inspired original on my grandfather's knee to modern adaptations in super-swish restaurants in Madrid. They all have four things in common: bread, salt, chocolate and olive oil.
Photo: Alan Benson
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- 300g dark chocolate (50 per cent cocoa solids), chopped
- 4 eggs, separated
- 100g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 2 tbsp castor (super-fine) sugar
- 200g firm, two-day-old sourdough baguette, thinly sliced
- Sweet olive oil such as arbequina or hojiblanca, to drizzle
- Fine sea salt, to sprinkle
Grease a 10x25-centimetre (4x10-inch) loaf (bar) tin and line with baking paper.
Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Allow the chocolate to gently melt for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat, then whisk in the egg yolks. Add the butter and stir until all the butter has melted.
In another bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Whisking continuously, gradually add the sugar and beat until a thick and glossy meringue forms.
Gently fold one-third of the meringue into the chocolate mixture until nearly combined, then gently fold the remaining meringue through. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C (350F/Gas 4).
Spread the bread slices in a single layer on a large baking tray, then cover with another baking tray of the same size. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the bread wafers are crisp. Leave to cool, then place the wafers in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve, invert the chocolate marquis on to a chopping board and cut into slices one centimetre (half an inch) thick. Divide among chilled plates, drizzle with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt crystals and serve with the chilled toasts. To enjoy, simply take a small amount of the chocolate and spread it over a little of the toast.