The Oprah and Giada connection
Do you remember the days of taking a day off from school or work and turning on the TV and Oprah would be on? I did that one day many years ago (2008) and it happened to be an episode Giada De Laurentiis was on. She made Oprah a cheese and chocolate sandwich. While she was making it Oprah was making her I'm not sure about that face, but still tried it. The first bite she didn't get it, but kept at it and started to like it.
Over the years my mind would always flashback to that show when I would see Giada on the Food Channel. I always thought Giada put truffle paste or truffle oil in it so I did that one new years eve and took a bite and damn it was a good sandwich. According to the original recipe she didn't, but maybe if she did Oprah would of liked it better on the first bite because I heard that Oprah loves truffles so much she keeps truffle zest in her purse at all times.
The Perfect Bite
It's the perfect bite. My mom tried it today and she said it was sarap (Tagalog for delicious) because it was sweet and salty at the same time from the cheese and chocolate and also crispy and creamy from the toasted bread and melted cheese and chocolate and earthy and fresh from the truffle oil and fresh basil. That sentence was a mouthful of the perfect sandwich.
I found some local goodies to make these sandwiches again for you. The baguette is from Crispian Bakery in Alameda. Thankfully they come to my local farmers market every Saturday. They have the most amazing bread and pastries. My daughter loves their almond croissants.
I used cheese from Cowgirl Creamery called Mt. Tam. It has a very smooth texture that has a stubble taste of butter. The chocolate is from Dandelion Chocolate, who makes the best chocolate in the Bay Area in my opinion and they also let you make your own chocolate blend at their factory.
The sandwich is rounded out with some black truffle oil and fresh basil. I cut the bread first into two bite pieces as it's easier to eat with all the melty goodness coming through.
This sandwich is best made in a panini press to get heat down from both the top and bottom so the cheese and the chocolate all melt together evenly.
I would suggest waiting about 5 minutes after cooking to take a bite. Please don't burn your tongue. Here is the original recipe from the Food Network, but I made a few adjustments so here is my spin on it.
- 1 fresh baguette
- 1 chocolate bar broken into small pieces
- handful of fresh basil cut into strips
- 4 oz of triple cream or mozzarella cheese
- Ideally a jar of Truffle Paste or Truffle Oil otherwise just use plain olive oil for drizzling
- Turn on your panini press first to heat up and then cut the baguette into one inch slices. Cut those slices in half. If you have truffle paste smear some on each side of the slices. If you are using any of the oils drizzle both slices with them.
- Crumble some cheese on one side of the bread and sprinkle some basil on it and top with the chocolate. Place the top of the bread back on and repeat until all the bread slices have fillings.
- Put in the panini press and wait about 2 minutes for the cheese and chocolate to melt. Don’t walk away or else it will get too melted and you will be left with a puddle of goo. You just want it to meld together. Once you hear the cheese sizzling and see the chocolate oozing remove from the maker and wait 5 minutes before biting in.