Foodiva's Kitchen: International Incident Party: Chocolate-Matcha Grissini With Anglesey Sea Salt

Sunday, November 21, 2010

International Incident Party: Chocolate-Matcha Grissini With Anglesey Sea Salt

For a period when I was a teenager, we lived in a house right in front of the beach, with a view looking out towards the South China Sea. Even on the days when we didn't step onto the sandy shore, the saltiness of the sea permeated everywhere. We felt it and tasted it in the air we breathed, in the stickiness of our skin/hair/clothes, whenever we licked our lips. We also saw the destruction it caused, the most memorable of which was the premature aging of my bicycle, my then precious form of transport for explorations around the neighborhood. The salty air had quietly chewed away at the metal, leaving behind a rather sad, rusty frame.

Since then, I've had a 'frenemy' (love-hate) type of relationship with salt. My salt tolerance level is pretty low and I'm often wary of using too much salt in my cooking. On the other hand, very little of it will leave my tastebuds puzzled and yearning. For this month's International Incident Party (theme: Salt), I decided it's time I pay my respects to this most basic of flavorings. 

Lately, out of curiosity more than anything else, I seemed to have acquired several different salts to add to my pantry: pink, coarse Himalayan salt (origin: Pakistan), translucent white Anglesey Sea Salt (origin: Wales, UK) and flaky, pink Murray River Salt (origin: Australia). Now, which one to use for this party?

I'm more than a little obsessed by these pretty diamond shapes! Pity they're only salt crystals...

I decided to go with the Anglesey Sea Salt because my recipe is Matcha Grissini coated in dark chocolate, and the white, coarse sea salt would show up well sprinkled against the chocolatey backdrop. Anyone who has ever baked these crisp, Italian breadsticks will tell you they're a breeze to make, but the oriental matcha and decadent chocolate coat probably lends the illusion that it takes many moons to produce (instead of the 2 hours it actually took me). I've also added extra salt and black pepper to the grissini because these are the grown-up version, to tease our palates with their sweetness, saltiness, spiciness and slight bitterness due to the green tea. Kids will equally love to munch on these chocolate breadsticks, just leave out the matcha, black pepper and sea salt.

Eat them as a snack, dip them in hot chocolate or coffee, then sit back and watch the world go by. 

Usual thanks to Penny of Jeroxie - Addictive and Consuming Blog for hosting this great party!

Chocolate-Matcha Grissini With Anglesey Sea Salt
Makes about 25 pieces
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tblsp salt
1 ½ cup bread flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 tblsp matcha powder
2 tbsp olive oil
¾ to 1 cup warm milk
1 tsp crushed black pepper
300g dark chocolate, melted
Anglesey Sea Salt, for sprinkling

1. Put the flours, matcha, yeast, sugar, black pepper, salt, olive oil and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the warm milk slowly, you may need only slightly less than a cup. With a dough attachment, mix until the mixture becomes a soft and elastic dough. The dough can then be kneaded by hand, it should be smooth and slightly moist, but not sticky.
2. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
3. Divide the dough into two. Take one piece and roll out into a thin rectangle (about 1/4 of an inch high). Using a pizza cutter cut the dough lengthwise into strips which are approximately 1/3-inch and 10-inch long. Do the same with the remaining piece of dough.
4. Twist each strip from both ends and place the strips on a greased or lined baking tray. Allow them to slightly puff up (about 10 to 15 minutes). Bake the grissini at 210C for about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack before coating with chocolate.
5. For the chocolate glaze: Chop the chocolate into 1/2 inch chunks and melt in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour the melted chocolate onto a flat platter and proceed to dip and roll the grissini in it. Work quickly as the chocolate will harden halfway through this coating process. If it does, just warm it on medium heat in the microwave.
6. Sprinkle the sea salt on the chocolate-covered part of the grissini while it is still moist. Place grissini to dry on waxed baking paper. Serve immediately or else, store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 3 days.


leaf (the indolent cook) said...

That looks fabulous! What a lovely snack!

Foodiva said...

Thanks, Leaf! The sea salt gave it that extra crunch!

Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

The creativity of this recipe is fantastic! Matcha grissini alone would be cool, but the chocolate and sea salt take it up into uber cool territory. Fabulous!

Tamar1973 said...

The matcha with the chocolate and salt must send quite the explosion in the mouth.

msihua said...

I LIKE!!! This reminds me of an adult version of Pocky Sticks!!! Lols... I WANT SOME NOW PLEASE!!!!

Angie's Recipes said...

Matcha!Chocolate! I love innovative recipes like this. :-))

Lauren Zabaneh said...

Loved this post. I love the chocolate dipped breadsticks, but I have to say, your description at the beginning about living near the beach and the salt on your face (and bike) was really well-written and painted such a beautiful picture! I have yet to hop on the matcha train. I'm not a big green tea fan, but I think in your recipe it would be a homerun!

Trix said...

Your photos are fabulous - I live the step-by-step. I have to try this salt, I don't think I've seen it. Perfect choice with the chocolate!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

So original, love it. And I have such a weakness for anything matcha you had me right there.

Anonymous said...

OMG, your post blew me away. This is so special. I'm so ashamed of my lazy post. I'm flunking party challenges, ha-ha!

FOODalogue said...

I'm so glad I started following the links for this event because it led me here. This recipe is so creative and the execution flawless. P.S. I totally was shaking my head in agreement reading your first paragraph. I, too, once lived near the ocean...beautiful to look at but disastrous to plants, metals, mirrors etc.

Foodiva said...

Thanks so much to everyone here who stopped by and left their kind, encouraging words.
Conor, I'm not sure about them being uber cool, but they're certainly uber delicious! :-)
Tamar, yes quite explosive. But pleasantly so.
I Hua, omg you're right. They DO look like giant Pocky Sticks, and I still eat those! Haha..
Angie, Trix, Evelyn - thank you.
Lauren, I'll convert you into a matcha lover one day! Still have a few green tea recipes up my sleeve...
Annapet, seriously, anyone who can churn out macarons as perfect as yours has passed challenges with flying colors! No question about it.
Joan, you and I have lived the beach dweller's nightmare! Haha.. I miss the sound of the waves, though.

Victoria said...

These are lovely! I love the addition of matcha, and of course the salty crunch atop the chocolate is a lovely touch! Salted desserts are very in these days :)

Jeanne said...

those are lovely! i'm never gonna serve bread sticks at parties again! thank you for such an amazing idea. (:

Foodiva said...

Victoria, judging by the number of salted caramel and salted chocolate recipes out there at the moment, I guess you're correct to say that salted desserts are now tres chic! ;-)

Jeanne, of course you will serve bread sticks again... just ones dipped in chocolate! Haha, enjoy the compliments from your guests!

Kimberly Peterson said...

Chocolate and salt! I wanna tasteee!!! I love salty chocolate, probably just as much as I love salty caramel! Ok what to do with my craving now??

Carolyn said...

They DO look like they took many moons to make, they are so gorgeous! I think you chose the right salt on them, it sparkles and really draws the eye in. yum.

Foodiva said...

Kimberly, I say have them all... salty chocolate caramel! You only live once. ;-)

Carolyn, well food should always look this good with minimal effort. People should too, now that I think about it!

Cake Duchess said...

I love grissini! I would love to taste these gorgeous grissini you made dipped in chocolate and with salt! Paradise.:)

Sanjana said...

I love that you used Anglesey sea salt- these would be so perfect with a cuppa coffee right now!

Koci said...

Oh my goodness! These look amazing! I love the sweet and savory combination that you've got going on with the salt and chocolate. These would make such a great snack dipped in a big cup of coffee. :D

Magic of Spice said...

Wow, these look delightful.

penny aka jeroxie said...

That is such a good snack! I will have it hot chocolate. YUM!

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