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Cook the Book: Tortino di Cioccolato

"Who knew that a heel of stale bread, a few eggs, some butter, and a few ounces of chocolate could make for something so delicious?"

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

When you have a bakery, even one as popular as Jim Lahey's Sullivan Street Bakery, chances are you'll have a few loaves left at the end of the day. The same goes for baking bread at home—a stale end or a few slices that didn't get eaten before they dried out. Luckily My Bread includes an entire section of creative recipes using stale or leftover bread.

Some of the offerings are pretty standard old bread fare (bread pudding, gazpacho, and bruschetta) but I was intrigued by this recipe for Tortino di Cioccolato. The ingredients are similar to a flourless chocolate cake but there was something fascinating about including breadcrumbs.

Would they break down during the baking or keep their crunchiness? Do the finished tortinos have the same fermented quality as Lahey's signature no-knead bread?

Honestly, I couldn't get these little cakes in the oven fast enough. I was just dying to see how they'd turn out.

Once finished the tortinos looked very much like a molten chocolate cake, crisp on the top and sunken in the center. But when I took them out of the muffin pans I noticed they were quite light, weighing almost nothing. I cut into the first cake and it was crumbly and moist. While the breadcrumbs weren't visible they certainly made their presence known.

There was a great, almost potato-chip-like crunch to the cake, giving it a texture that was both exciting and really pleasing. The chocolate flavor was wonderful, dark and eggy, rich but not at all cloying or heavy.

This is a great way to use up leftover bread but also one of the most rewarding and easiest desserts I've tried in a while. Who knew that a heel of stale bread, a few eggs, some butter, and a few ounces of chocolate could make for something so delicious?

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Tortino di Cioccolato

- 12 individual tortes -

Adapted from My Bread by Jim Lahey.

Printed from http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/03/tortino-di-cioccolato-how-to-use-stale-bread-recipe.html

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