Catalan Chocolate, Olive Oil & Salt

The surreal marriage of flavours represented by dark chocolate, fruity olive oil and sea salt simply cries out as a modern creation of the Nuevos Cocineros de Barcelona. Visit any of the best fine dining restaurants in Catalunya and this combination will figure somewhere on the tasting menu. But actually there's nothing new about the combination at all - Catalan chocolate and olive oil desserts date back a long way. Nobody seems certain when the combination was first created, but we do know for certain that after World War II, when chocolate was rationed and fresh fruit and vegetables were hard to come by, urban Catalans would substitute a piece of chocolate for the tomato in the national dish pa amb tomàquet. They would melt a piece of chocolate, spread it on dried bread, sprinkle with olive oil and add some sea salt on top to create a sweet and savory treat.


1 small bar of top quality dark chocolate
extra virgin olive oil
Maldon salt crystals

Here's my version of this great Catalan classic. Start with a good dark chocolate, preferably one that is 70% cocoa solids. Melt slowly (preferably over hot water), pour the molten chocolate into deep concave spoons and allow to cool, finishing in the fridge to set firm.

Remove from the spoons and set onto plates. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and finish with a single large crystal of Maldon salt.

Each portion should be eaten in a single mouthful, preferably inverting the spoon so that the salt touches the tongue first. If you are brave enough to try this this at home for the first time, let me offer you three words of advice: Expect the unexpected.
An amazing combination on the palate