Every week, baking expert Alice Medrich will be going rogue on Food52 -- with shortcuts, hacks, and game-changing recipes.
Today: Your new 4-ingredient appetizer, snack, and all-purpose holiday pick-me-up.
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Too simple for words, these crostini can go sweet or savory. The basic version is simply crunchy French bread slices brushed with extra virgin olive oil, drizzled with good dark chocolate (such as the fruity Scharffen Berger 62% semisweet) and sprinkled with a little flaky sea salt. Stop there and you have a snack that goes with cocktails or -- wait for it -- a yummy not-too-sweet afternoon snack in lieu of a cookie. If you want to embellish, you can sprinkle the crostini with pinches of hot paprika or espelette pepper or chili powder. Or try them with a sprinkling of fresh or dried rosemary or thyme.
p.s. Melted butter is a delish substitution for olive oil, with or without cinnamon or cardamom sugar, or with a little nutmeg grated on top. Go ahead, have your way with these crostini.
Alice's new book Seriously Bitter Sweet is a complete revision of her IACP award-winning Bittersweet, updated for the 54%, 61%, and 72% (and beyond) bars available today. It's packed with tricks, techniques, and answers to every chocolate question, plus 150 seriously delicious recipes -- both savory and sweet.
Photos by James Ransom
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).