From The New American Olive Oil: Profiles of Artisan Producers and 75 Recipes by Fran Gage ($32.50, Harry N. Abrams, 2009)
- 8 ounces 64% dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup (5 1/4 ounces) heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup (1 ounce by weight) powdered cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) delicate extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 pieces of crusty bread
- 2 tablespoons orange or blood orange oil for drizzling fleur de sel
- Put the chocolate in a 1-quart vessel, preferably a clear one designed for use with an immersion blender.
- Put the cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar.
- Immediately pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it sit 1 minute. Blend the two together with an immersion blender using a stirring motion, going to the bottom of the vessel, until the ganache becomes less shiny and thickens to a pudding-like consistency, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the olive oil in a steady stream, blending constantly. Pour the ganache into a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap without touching the ganache. Keep the ganache in a cool room until it sets, preferably overnight.
- To serve, toast bread slices and put them on plates. Scoop balls of ganache and put them next to the toasts. Drizzle both the chocolate and the toast with orange olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel.
- The ganache will keep in the refrigerator for at least a week. Bring it to room temperature before serving.
This is my version of a dessert I couldn’t resist at Laiola, a Catalan-inspired restaurant in San Francisco. At the restaurant, a plate held a scoop of ganache and a slice of rustic grilled bread. A delicate California Arbequina olive oil was drizzled over all. I mounded the ganache on the bread and took bites, the olive oil dripping from my fingers. It was delicious.
The restaurant used a mix of dark and milk chocolate, but I prefer all dark chocolate (Valrhona’s fruity Manjari is a good choice). I’ve taken the liberty of using a delicate extra virgin olive oil instead of butter to make the ganache.
An immersion blender ensures the proper emulsification of the ganache.
Fran Gage owned Fran Gage Patisserie Française in San Francisco for ten years. She now writes about food for Saveur, The San Francisco Chronicle, Fine Cooking, and other publications. Her books include Chocolate Obsession and Bread and Chocolate: My Food Life in and Around San Francisco. She lives with her husband in San Francisco.