Who does not like a rich, luxuriant treat that is a doddle to knock together? I was doing a bit of web surfing and saw various usual “unusual’ combinations – sesame, chilli, pepper – but the one that caught my eye was an olive oil ganache. And why not? Fruity and spicy are two flavours often attributed to good quality olive oil as well as to decent chocolate, so in theory, they should work together.
To try out this idea, I kept things simple. I reasoned that I would just try a straightforward ganache recipe, with oil in the place of butter. I boiled cream and white sugar, poured onto dark chocolate, allowed to cool then stirred in the olive oil. I had thought the olive oil might stop it firming up, but this proved to be unfounded. It looked OK, so time to taste. In terms of flavour, the olive oil enhanced the fruitiness of the dark chocolate I had used. As it melted on the tongue, the chocolate taste yields up the flavour of the olive oil, but the two are clearly working together. There seems to be an impact on texture too – the ganache was silky-smooth, and it melted in the mouth, with a pleasing, slow finish. Plenty of scope to try different types of olive oil too.
To serve this up, I though it would be fun to use it as a simple chocolate spread on toasted sourdough bread, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. At the risk of not being modest, this was perhaps the best chocolate spread treat I have ever had. The toasted bread, the oil, the salt, the richness of the chocolate. All comes together wonderfully. I might even be making this as my next brunch treat with friends. So good!
For the chocolate and olive oil ganache:
• 200g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
• 130ml double cream
• 25g white sugar
• 38g olive oil
Heat the cream and sugar in a saucepan. Boil for 30 seconds. Pour over the chocolate, and stir until smooth (if not all of the chocolate melts, return to the saucepan and warm very gently until smooth, and return to the bowl).
Allow the mixture to cool slightly, and add the olive oil, stirring constantly. Allow to cool completely until firm (in the fridge if necessary).
Serve on warm toasted sourdough bread, drizzle with olive oil crumble some fleur de sel over the top.
Worth making? Definitely! This was much better than I had expected, and would make a great treat for the weekend. You can easily make a larger batch and use as chocolate spread if you like the stuff every day of the week, or even try using for truffles or in a chocolate tart.