Chocolate, arbequina olive oil, fleur de sel and crusty baguette
Do you ever feel like you wake up one day and life is telling you something? Signs, signs, signs… everywhere. This is what happened to me a few days ago.
I haven’t had a chocolate sandwich or “bocadillo de chocolate” as we like to call it, since I was 18 or so. It used to be our afternoon snack when we were kids. We got out of school at 5pm and our mothers (because all kids had this) had chocolate bocadillos waiting for us. Dark chocolate inside a piece of crusty baguette wrapped with aluminum foil. That was our afternoon snack and everyone loved it.
I think I remember the last time I ate a “bocadillo de chocolate”. I say, I think, because my memory has been failing lately but my last recollection of eating one of these is when my friends Amaia, Jill and I were travelling through Europe in the summer of 1992. We had just graduated from high school and we went on a two week backpacking trip across Western Europe. We were young and broke so we slept in youth hostels, on the train and on park benches. We ate bread (lots of it), yogurt, fruit… anything we would find at the local markets and lots and lots of chocolate. I mean, we were in France and Belgium and Switzerland… what else would we eat but chocolate, right? So bread and chocolate was an everyday staple. That’s my last memory of eating chocolate bocadillos.
A few days ago, I stumbled upon a food blog out of the Basque Country called Sukaldean. Fun food blog by accomplished cookbook authors Hasier Etxeberria and David de Jorge. And what was the first thing I saw? You guessed it! Chocolate bocadillo but this time with olive oil and sea salt. “Wow!” I thought to myself… “I have to make that soon!”. But life got busy and I didn’t. A few days later, I went to Tartelette’s blog and what did I see? A baguette she made for the Daring Baker’s February challenge stuffed with a bar of chocolate! It seems like Helen and I have been sharing the same brain lately. I couldn’t control myself so today, I ran to Paul, got some good crusty bread and made myself this bocadillo.
I used Arbequina olive oil from Hacienda Queiles which is mild and fruity. The first time I ever tried this olive oil, it was at Akelarre in San Sebastian. It was so fragant and unusual. It tasted just like bananas, I thought! I got the name of the producer from the maitre d’ and a couple of days later, I bought myself a small bottle. It goes perfectly with the chocolate.
As for the salt, I used fleur de sel from Ile de Re that my friend and former pastry chef Sebastien brought back from France for me a couple of years ago. I know, I know… it’s been a while but I’ve been saving it for special occasions like this one.
Chocolate, Olive Oil and Fleur de Sel Bocadillo
1 crusty baguette
2 70% cacao chocolate bars
2 tsp organic arbequina olive oil or any good quality extra virgin olive oil you like
Couple of pinches of fleur de sel
Cut the baguette in half and toast it under the broiler. Remove it from the broiler, drizzle some olive oil and place the chocolate on top of the bread. Place it back in the broiler for 5 seconds so the chocolate warms up a bit but remember that we don’t want to melt the chocolate! Remove from the oven and finish it with the salt.
Open your mouth big and eat right away!