This is basically a sweet version of the favourite Italian snack known simply as 'toast', which is actually a toasted white-bread ham and cheese sandwich. I first had it at Turin's beautiful Caffè Il Bicerin where, sitting on a red velvet bench with Billie Holiday playing in the background, a single flickering candle on the table, and with a glass of their eponymous bicerin (a decadent drink of hot chocolate and coffee smothered in whipped cream), I have enjoyed the sweetest treats I have ever had. Although it’s not quite the same eating this at home, it is, even in its simplicity, so wonderfully decadent. The key is to use Turin’s famous gianduiotto chocolate, which is a velvety, creamier-than-usual hazelnut chocolate that comes wrapped up like miniature gold bars. Failing that, use the best-quality chocolate you want to treat yourself to.
This is normally made with square sandwich bread, which children would probably be overjoyed with. But, if you’re making this as a treat with very nice chocolate, I have to say, it’s even more delicious with your favourite proper bread. Crusts on or off, it’s up to you.
a knob of butter, softened
2 slices of bread
50g gianduiotti or other favourite, quality chocolates (about 5), chopped
Butter one side of each slice of bread. Sandwich the chocolate between the unbuttered sides, then toast in an electric sandwich press or simply in a hot pan with a weight on the sandwich. Toast until the bread is golden and crisp outside, and the chocolate inside is melted – you will need a few minutes on each side.
This is an edited extract from Torta della Nonna by Emiko Davies (RRP $34.99), published by Hardie Grant Books, available in stores now.
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