This post is a bit of an anomaly for the Hungry Hinny – an actual meal as opposed to a baked good!
The only savoury cooking I’ve done with chocolate in the past is using it in chilli, but I thought that was too obvious and set out to find something a bit different.
I stumbled across this recipe for warm encrusted goat’s cheese which used cacao nibs, which I figured would at least be interesting, if not actually nice, so I set about recreating it.
After a bit of reconnassaince on Twitter, I found a local shop which sold cacao nibs, but when I visited they only had 200g bags costing over £8, which I couldn’t really justify spending on an experiement, so the final version of this is definitely more ‘inspired by’ than an actual replication of the original…
I served the goat’s cheese on seeded panini breads with caramelised onions, a rocket salad and balsamic dressing, and I have to say I actually really liked it!
The pony wasn’t so keen on the crust, but then he doesn’t like pecans anyway so I wasn’t too surprised – it’s definitely worth giving it a go for something slightly different to do with chocolate!
Chocolate and pecan crusted goat’s cheese (adapted from All Chocolate):
(Serves 2 as a lunch)
- 2 x 65g packs of Gevrik Goat’s Cheese (other goat’s cheeses will work fine, but if you’re a strict veggie double check as some French ones aren’t suitable)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g pecan nuts
- 1tsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
Use a food processor to quite finely chop the nuts, then add in the cocoa powder and black pepper. Cut each mini-log of cheese in half width-ways, so you have four rounds, then dip each in the beaten egg before coating with the nut mixture, then place on a baking tray. Bake at 180 degrees for 5-10 minutes, or until the coating is crisp and the cheese is just starting to ooze out.
- 2 medium onions
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1tsp brown sugar
- 2 seeded paninis, or other breads
- 1 pack of rocket or other leafy salad
Heat a little oil in a frying pan then add the sliced onions. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes or until starting to turn golden, then add in 1tbsp balsamic vinegar and the brown sugar. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until caramelised.
Heat the breads for about 5 minutes in the oven, then slice in half and top with the onions and goat’s cheese. Arrange on top of the salad and drizzle with the remaining balsamic vinegar.