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Author Notes: This unexpected grilled cheese sandwich combines parmigiano-reggiano, dark chocolate, and balsamic vinegar, which surprisingly go great together. The dark chocolate spread (adapted from a Sugar Hero recipe) provides the gooeyness that a grilled cheese sandwich needs, while the parmesan provides a salty, nutty complement. A hint of balsamic vinegar deepens the flavor connections. I promise your friends will love it. Serve with chianti, which pairs well with both dark chocolate and parmesan. Makes 4 sandwiches. You'll have extra dark chocolate spread leftover which ain't a bad thing. —ItsBrooksie
For the dark chocolate-balsamic spread
- 2 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- pinch kosher salt
- 4 ounces semisweet 60-70% cacao baking chocolate, chopped
- 5 ounces (about 10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened and diced
- In a small saute pan, heat balsamic vinegar on low. Reduce volume by half and set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine water, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat on medium-low, stirring regularly, until sugar and cocoa are dissolved.
- When the cocoa mixture starts to simmer, remove from heat and add diced butter, chopped chocolate, and reduced balsamic vinegar. Stir until combined. The dark chocolate spread will be glossy and very runny.
- Set aside to come to room temperature for use in sandwiches. The spread will thicken.
- Store leftover spread in the refrigerator.
For the grilled cheese sandwiches
- 8 slices Italian or Tuscan white bread
- softened unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
- Heat cast iron skillet or other heavy pan over medium heat. Give the skillet enough time to become thoroughly hot.
- Generously butter both sides of bread slices and place on tray.
- Place four slices in heated skillet. Toast one side until light golden brown. Remove slices back to tray.
- Carefully place grated parmigiano-reggiano on the toasted side of two bread slices. Spread a generous amount of the dark chocolate on the toasted side of the other two bread slices. Sandwich the dark chocolate slices on top of the parmigiano-reggiano. The untoasted sides should now face outwards.
- Return sandwiches to skillet and toast remaining sides, until light golden brown.
- Remove from heat, cut into halves or fourths, and enjoy.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Parmesan