When I lived in Paris (okay, it was only 5 weeks, but still...) there was a fabulous panini shop beside my apartment. Everyday, I would indulge in a foot-long panini, loaded with gobs of cheese, hunks of chicken and magical spices. The baguette had a crisp crust, but was chewy and fresh on the inside. Collectively, it was about the best sandwich I had ever had, and each day, when lunch rolled around, I vacillated between getting a chicken shawarma with a hot cup of tea, or the foot-long panini. I usually opted for the panini, despite the fact that I was a health nut, that I didn't eat cheese, and I wouldn't normally eat that much bread in a week. But, it called to me, just like the adorable shopkeeper who knew my order before I uttered it in French. I would clasp it in the hot, waxy paper with the excitement of a child on Christmas and walk down the historical rue St. Jacques, muttering in ecstasy about how good it was. After that, a pistachio croquant, a decadent cappuccino that cost 4 euros and then back to my apartment to thrust open the French windows, blast Edith Piaf and finish my writing assignments for the day.
In a word, Paris was about indulgence, surprise and beauty: in every bite, every step, every moment. There was always something new to be discovered. It wasn't until I was thinking about dessert (and thinking of that amazing panini) that I wondered about chocolate paninis. Why not? A recipe that literally takes 3 minutes, you just need a grill pan, a panini press or a waffle maker, and voila! Chocolate perfection. Experiment with gluten-free bread and vegan chocolate if you want to make it healthier. Happy indulgence!
4 slices sourdough or challah bread (or a gluten-free option)
2 oz. chocolate, chopped (vegan tastes great as well, and you can use more or less chocolate, depending on how much you enjoy)
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil (only for those who like basil in desserts)
Form two sandwiches with the bread and chocolate. Transfer to a hot panini press, a grill pan or waffle iron and cook until bread is golden and chocolate has melted (around 2 to 3 minutes).