Although I peruse quite a few food blogs, I have my favorites because I know whatever those wonderful cooks share will be good.
Have you seen a recipe on a food blog and tried it and thought, How in the world could I have thought this would taste good AND why in the world did that blogger think it tasted good enough to share? I have. Too many times I've baked a cake or bread or main dish and wound up giving it away or throwing it away.
So I limit my tastings and testings to the few favorite tried and true bloggers I trust. Their most recent posts are on my sidebar and I encourage you to try any of the dishes they have to offer. You won't be disappointed.
Marie of Proud Italian Cook is absolutely one of my favorites and she has done it again! She made a Chocolate and Strawberry Panini and I couldn't wait to try it.
I have to admit, I didn't use the very best chocolate. I bought one large Hershey chocolate bar. And, of course, I couldn't find a pound cake ~ not in the bakery, not in the freezer ~ so I bought a box mix (yes, a box mix - so shoot me) and made my own. Instead of strawberries... because, of course, my market did not have any strawberries... I used fresh raspberries. Oh, and I don't have a panini maker either, but my sister, Karen, gave us a George Foreman grill for Christmas, so I used that.
Okay...I'm definitely not Marie!
So, I heated up the grill to about medium heat. I sliced the pound cake into about 1/2-inch slices. I placed the whole raspberries all over the surface of one slice of the pound cake, then placed three squares of the chocolate bar, evenly spaced, over the raspberries and topped it off with another slice of the pound cake.
I buttered both sides of the grill and placed the "sandwich" onto the grill and gently closed the lid and let it cook for about 2-1/2 to 3 minutes, until the pound cake was browned. I then removed the sandwich from the grill to a plate, cut it in half and sprinkled it with powdered sugar.
My thoughts ~
- I can't wait to make this for my grandkids. They would love it.
- I know why Marie used strawberries. They have more texture when they are briefly cooked or warmed. The raspberries I used sort of melted. Don't get me wrong, they were delicious, but just sort of mushy.
- When I do this again (and I WILL make this again), I will find some really good chocolate. It will be well worth the trouble, even if I have to go to Little Rock to find it.
- I would use more chocolate than I did this time. I was a little hesitant to use more because I didn't want it all to melt and leak outside the sandwich, but I should have used at least one more square.
- Tom had the idea of using peanut butter and chocolate. Ooooo baby, would that be like a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup?
- Or, I thought about trying sauteed apples and chocolate; or grilled pineapple, coconut and chocolate. The combinations are endless.
Try it and let me know what you think!
UPDATE: I tried this panini using sliced strawberries and Ghirardelli Espresso Chocolate bar! Oh...My...Gawd!! So yummy. And I love Alison's idea of using Nutella instead of chocolate. Or how about using bananas and coconut and Nutella? I am on a roll!