Smoked gouda with chocolate and saffron spiced croutons
By Annegret Henninger
1 piece of fluffy white bread, frozen
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon saffron
1 tablespoon boiling water
50 grams good quality, 85% dark chocolate
100 grams smoked gouda cheese cut into 8 pieces
Salt and pepper to season
Preheat oven to 300F.
From frozen, cut the bread into small squares for croutons. It is much easier to get clean lines with frozen bread.
Mix the saffron with the boiling water in a medium sized bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the bread, olive oil and a tiny pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well so that all of the liquid is absorbed. Remember, the gouda is a bit salty, so you only want just enough salt so that the crumbs are not bland.
On a baking tray lined with parchment, cook the croutons until crispy, moving them around every 4 minutes (approximately 10-12 minutes). Set aside when done.
Line a cool baking tray with parchment paper.
Mix the melted chocolate with the vegetable oil until homogenous.
Dip the pieces of the smoked gouda, one by one, part way into the chocolate, letting the excess drip back into the chocolate, then place the pieces on the parchment paper. Sprinkle the croutons on top of the chocolate while it is still liquid, and let the chocolate set in a cool dry place for 1 hour. (You can also let them set in the fridge, but there is the chance there will be condensation marks on the chocolate.) Serve once the chocolate has set.