What's on the menu at a wine and chocolate party? Chocolate of course! Have a selection of — sweet and savory, homemade and store-bought — chocolate treats. A variety of chocolate bars is a nice start especially when complemented with chocolate dipped pretzels, chocolate covered nuts, and cocoa nibs. Surprise guests with a pair of homemade chocolate appetizers: savory chocolate napoleons and chocolate and brie paninis. To take a look at these recipes,
Bittersweet chocolate, tempered
For the filling:
1 pound cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon paprika
- Use an offset spatula to spread a 1/8-inch-thick layer of tempered chocolate over a sheet of acetate. When the chocolate begins to set but is not yet hard, use a sharp paring knife or rolling cutter to cut 1-inch squares. When the chocolate is set, peel off the acetate and break apart the chocolate squares.
- Place the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add the chives, paprika, salt and pepper and turn the mixer on medium speed. Mix just until combined.
- Place the cream cheese mixture in a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
- Pipe a dollop of the cream cheese onto a chocolate square. Top with a square of chocolate. Pipe another dollop of cream cheese and cover with another square of chocolate. Voila!
Makes 40 napoleons.
12 slices sourdough bread
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces Brie cheese, thinly sliced
1 (12-ounce) bag semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the panini grill.
- Brush both sides of the bread with olive oil. Grill the bread slices until they begin to turn golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove from the panini grill and place 2 ounces of cheese on 1 slice of bread (the bottom half), top the cheese with 1/3 cup chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of basil. Top with another slice of bread. Continue with the remaining sandwiches.
- Return the sandwiches to the panini grill until the chocolate begins to melt, about another 2 minutes.
- Cut the sandwiches into 2-inch wide rectangles or small triangles and transfer to a serving platter.