Thursday, 26 April 2007

Tiramisu muffins

I've never had tiramisu, the Italian dessert. It's a pity, but it's true. But I took the idea of the dessert and turned it upside down. Or rather - inside out. Savoiardi cookies were turned into muffin batter, coffee-liqueur mixture was stirred smoothly into it and mascarpone topped with cocoa powder...well...remained mascarpone topped with cocoa powder.

Tiramisu muffins

4 dl wheat flour
1 dl oil
1 egg
1 1/2 dl sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 dl milk
2 tsp instant coffee powder
2 tbsp Amaretto liqueur

250 g Mascarpone
2 tsp sugar + vanilla/
vanilla sugar
unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Beat the egg with sugar and oil. Add Amaretto.
2. Dissolve the coffee powder in milk and add.
3. Mix flour with baking powder and a a tiny pinch of salt, add to the batter, mixing only until just combined.
4. Pour the batter into a muffin pan and bake at 200C for about 18 minutes
5. Mix Mascarpone with a bit of sugar and vanilla or just add some vanilla sugar to it. Cover cooled muffins with Mascarpone and sift some cocoa powder on them.

I like how the mascarpone is only slightly sweetened and the flavor of vanilla can stand out. None of the tastes in these muffins are too overwhelming, although they seemned to appear stronger when I tasted the batter. Tiramisu-like? Probably yes! The topping seems somehow refreshing on the tender and soft muffins.

These muffins are created for the event Muffin Monday #2 - Muffins that Make you go *Ooooh!* hosted by Experiments.
My idea would be to host an event about muffins full of inspiration. So that the readers would get the reaction 'now where did that muffin come from?' The inspiration should come from any type of dish: no matter if it's a soup, a dessert, a casserole, a cake, anything. Just like my inspiration came from the Italian dessert tiramisu. A brief description of the inspirational dish should be included too. There are millions of recipes out there - let there be millions of muffins as well!

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

SHF#30 - Vanilla flowers over cherry sauce

I didn't get around any edible flowers for Sugar High Friday#30 Flower Power hosted by Monisha of Coconut Chutney(a really lovely blog as I've discovered recently). So I decided to just make one. It's the simplest cake - the simplest-simplest cake turned into what's a surprising dessert. It's what you have in your fridge and in your pantry - thrown together. And noone will notice you didn't have to go through a three hour shopping trip to find ingredients for a spectacular extravagant dish. Oh no. Slice-slice-slice-slice and place-place-place-place. Fantasy might just save some money to go shopping and buy...a special treat for yourself. I know, It's hard to believe I'm that selfish. But wouldn't you want to be too? Now don't go shaking your head!

Simple mix-together vanilla cake

130 g flour
200 g butter, melted
4 eggs
2 dl milk
90 g sugar

1. Beat the eggs with sugar until fluffy.
2. Add melted butter, then milk and flour, also some vanilla and a pinch of salt.
3. Pour into desired greased baking pan and bake at 170C for about 50 minutes (a toothpick has to come out clean!).
4. For serving - use some coating, jam, sauce or ice cream or cut into slices to serve in a dessert.

Cherry and hazelnut sweet yoghurt sauce

3 dl unflavoured yoghurt
2 tbsp sugar
120 g cherries/morellos (may be frozen)
120 g hazelnuts
some ground cardamom

1. Chop and roast the nuts (I also peeled them first - it's quite easy to use the same technique that's used with almonds: put the nuts into boiling water for about half a minute, cool under cold water and peel)
2. Mix everything together. If using fresh berries, cut them into halves. I used frozen ones and just slightly pressed them with the back of a spoon when mixing to help spread the flavour.

To assembling the dessert now. Spread some sauce on the plates. Cut the cake into slices with desired size (the cake should be cooled before that) and assemble them so that they form the shape of a flower. Put a cherry in the centre and sprinkle with some powdered sugar. That's it!

The cake in its softness, richness (look (or rather don't) at the amount of butter!) and simplicity brings the flavour of vanilla out well. It does not keep very well and is best if eaten the same day it's made. The sauce adds the missing sour note and surprisingly there are a lot more crunchy nuts under the flower anyone could've guessed.
Cake has never been looked as a part of some kind of mixed dessert at our house. The best part (yes, the best part) is that if its sliced, there seems to be a lot more of it on the plate too, even if there isn't. Now that's eating advice!

Saturday, 21 April 2007

A pinch of Estonia plus a pinch of onions

When I decided to bake something for the Waiter there's something in my...bread event hosted by Spittoon Extra, I immediately thought about onions. I've eaten some great onion bread (rye bread, of course - it's Estonia after all) while in South-Estonia and unfortunately they don't sell it here in the north (like the country was so big!)

But my rye bread adventures still lie ahead of me. Nevertheless I wanted to stay traditional and decided for barley flour and curd cheese. With a personal favourite of course - onions. Onions-onions-onions. What luck that someone had bought them, cause I remember eating them all:)

Onioned barley and curd cheese soda bread
(adapted from Estonian National Cuisine)

125 g curd cheese
2 1/2 dl milk
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar/honey
2 tbsp butter
2 1/2 dl barley flour
1 1/2 dl wheat flour
1/2 tsp soda
200 g chopped onion

1. Melt butter in a saucepan or a skillet and cook onions at low heat until transparent. Then puree until smooth.
2. Grease a loaf pan with butter and add some flour or semolina, shaking to cover the bottom and sides evenly.
3. Beat the egg and add curd cheese, milk, salt, sugar.
4. Mix flour with soda and add.
5. Pour the batter into the mold and bake at 180C for 30-40 minutes.

My bread turned out nicely moist. It was pure pleasure eating it warm from the oven with only some butter on it. In fact it's almost the only thing I've eaten the whole day. The taste of onion is rather on the background, but it's there. Barley flour gives the bread a somehow rougher taste, it's also slightly sweet.

The orginal recipe had no onions, so I decided to add an additional 1/2 dl of wheat flour too (that might just be the mind of a beginner, but hey - it worked!). For more oniony taste I'd add more of them. Not pureed, but as tiny bits, so the taste would be in tthe foreground too. This time I decided not to add herbs to get a pure taste, but thyme or parsley would fit well. Pumpkin seeds are another idea - inside or on the top.
Anyway - a thank you to my ancestors.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Poppy addicts! You wouldn't want to get caught after eating this cake.

Many drug tests would actually turn out positive after eating cake that's got poppy seeds in it. Even after eating one slice. And even if the test is done two days later. So imagine - this cake was my lunch on Thursday or rather quite a lot of this cake. Must I feel guilty now? I did read about a baker who ate 2 litres of tea made of poppy seeds every day (made from 4 kg of seeds) and that didn't end well for him. If the World Wide Web says must be true. But please let me introduce my guilty pleasure before I promise never to go near poppy seeds again.

I had this craving for poppy seeds actually (already sounding like addiction, uh?) and tried to find a recipe that would have at least a whole pile of them in it. Well I didn't (or are these maybe illegal?). Had to come up with everything all by myself again! It's a warning - this cake has a lot of poppy seeds. I'm not talking about drug tests anymore, I'm talking about taste and if you don't like the taste of poppy seeds, you shouldn't read any further.

Poppy seed cake with curd cheese

400 g curd cheese
300 g unflavoured yoghurt
2 tbsp semolina
3 eggs
1 1/2 dl + 3 tbsp sugar
100 g poppy seeds (ground)
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1. If you have ground poppy seeds already, there's no problem. If not, grind them - I used a coffee grinder for that.
2. Mix together curd cheese, yoghurt, 1 1/2 dl sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and semolina. Add eggs one by one.
3. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into another bowl and mix with ground poppy seeds and additional 3 tbsp sugar.
4. Cover the bottom of a greased baking mold with the poppy seed mixture and then pour the curd cheese mixture over it. Bake at 175C for about 1 hour.
5. If you're patient, serve the cake when it's completely cooled or even on the next day. But eating it warm from the oven is good too, although I'd recommend being patient.

As I said - a lot of poppy in the taste. My mother complained about it being a bit too bitter, but in my opinion it wasn't. At all. There's a slight taste of lemon and the cake is really moist, especially on the next day (which would explain me having it for lunch on Thursday). The quantity of poppy seeds may be reduced, the quantity of lemon juice raised - but that's already a question of taste. When served warm, I'd pour some cold milk over it or serve with ice cream.

Actually I'd promise to go near poppy seeds again and again. It's the taste, not the opium.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Smoked sausage mouthful with pineapple cream cheese

A what's-in-the-fridge snack. Don't you just love them sometimes? Well these mouthfuls smell and sound like dinner party and that's where they'll probably be headed sooner or later.

Thin crisps of quality smoked sausage are good on their own too. But they're just like potato chips - there's never too much dip sauce. This cream cheese topping can also be served seperately as a dip, but individual mouthfuls seemed to do the thing for me. If I'm really able to see into the future and these snacks will be served at a dinner party, they most definitely need fresh basil leaves for garnishing (did I really use dried basil? a traitor among the world of cooks! but that's how what's-in-the-fridge snacks work).

Smoked sausage mouthful with pineapple cream cheese

Thinly sliced smoked sausage (or salami)
1 dl pineapples from a compote
1 dl cream cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 110C . Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I use a silicone baking sheet instead) and arrange the sausage slices on it. Cook them in the oven for about 12 minutes.
2. Take the sausage slices out of the oven and let them drain on paper towels.
3. Now the cream cheese topping. Puree the pineapple slices or pieces together with the cream cheese and that's it.
4. Serve the cream cheese topping on cooled crisps, sprinkle with some (preferably fresh) basil.

Crunchy, creamy, salty, spicy, exotic, sweet - contradiction does its thing here. Pure tastes are like a compliment for both the mind and the body.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

A sauce to fight the flu

Will it help? Will it? Probably not, but it's worth trying anyway:)

I've been caught into tea mania. Tea here, tea there, tea in the morning, tea in candies, tea in the afternoon, tea with vegetables, tea in the evening, tea in sauces, tea at night, tea in cakes, tea in preserves, tea with meat, tea on my mind, tea in my dreams, tea bloody everywhere. There's tea in this sauce and it's hidden well.
But you will notice.

Yoghurt sauce with onion, garlic and black tea

80 g onion, chopped
20 g garlic, chopped
2 tsp butter
4 dl very strong black tea
1-2 tbsp sugar
1-2 dl unflavoured yoghurt

1. Melt butter in a saucepan, throw in onion and garlic, cover and cook for about 10 minutes until onion has turned transparent.
2. Add sugar and tea. Let the whole thing boil lively until there's not much liquid left (For me this time was about 8 minutes).
3. Now puree everything you have in the saucepan and let it cool a bit.
4. Add yoghurt to taste and also a tiiiny pinch of salt.

The taste has a lot of onion. And quite much black tea, although it's difficult to recognise that taste for someone who would never consider that option in a sauce. It's weird that my mom quite liked it and she doesn't even like onions (okay, except for in minced meat sauce)!
I ate the sauce with some smoked mackerel, but I can only imagine how well it could go with pork. Or as a dip for fresh vegetables.

And yet I like my tea green.

Sunday, 15 April 2007

'Leivasupp' or just sweet rye bread soup

At least this is what it's called in Estonia, although it's not really a soup. But what it is, is a childhood memory. My mother would never ever ever eat or even worse - make - leivasupp (one of the few things I don't understand about her), so you can imagine my immeasurable happiness when granny first taught me the trick. So HOLD ON - secret family recipe!
Oh who am I kidding, that's so easy anyone could make it!

I LOVE this dish. It's healthy, it's Estonian, it's really simple, it's fast, it's delicious. Yes, maybe I was very little myself, but I remember how granny used to have a HUGE bowl full of leivasupp when she made it and I mean HUGE. I usually make a small batch, it's a perfect way to use up rye bread. Sometimes I'm in the mood for fine-, sometimes for wholemeal rye bread. Seeds and nuts are quite compulsory ingredients for me, so I'll throw in a handful of them too if there's none in the bread already. This recipe should be taken as a guideline, as l always just throw the ingredients together.

Leivasupp - a sweet rye bread dessert
(3-4 servings)

150 g rye bread
3-4 dl water
1 tbsp semolina
3 tbsp sugar
nuts, seeds, raisins, dried fruit (optional)
milk, whipped cream or jam for serving

1. Let the bread soak in water for some time (It's very comfortable to soak it overnight and boil for breakfast) or start making the dessert right away. If you want to do it the fast way, just crumble the bread into water, add semolina and sugar (and raisins-seeds-nuts if you wish) and boil until almost smooth (it will take a little more than 10 minutes, but it will take even less time if you've soaked the bread)
2. Serve warm or cold, together with milk, jam or whipped cream.

The dessert will firm a bit when it's cooled down and that's the way I like it the most. Although the first serving for me is always warm, suppose I'm just lousy at waiting:) (as you can see from the picture too) .The pure taste of rye bread is what makes this dish so wonderful. I've tried adding cinnamon (which was nice) and I've tried adding vanilla (and I love vanilla in everything, but it ruined the taste for me in this dessert). I guess adding traditions to this dish is the component that really makes it work.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Halva - a dessert that knows no limits

For me the definition of halva (or halvah, halava) has always been peanut halva. In Estonia these shiny packages with Ali Baba on them are known to everybody. We do have quality sesame halva too and even sunflower halva in little plastic bags that one can find in those little shops with questionable value on some streetcorner.
Yes, peanut halva. I remember spying on the biggest pieces when my mom used to cut it up for the family. Now I've been grabbing a knife when someone has bought a package to sneak some of it into a dessert or onto a cake. It's superb with apples. And berries. And curd cheese. And yoghurt.

Halva is a widespread dessert, but it's usually made of tahini (sesame paste) or semolina flour. It was about a year ago when I discovered an Indian recipe for carrot halva (my heart went 'ooh' and 'aah' at the same time) and began seeing all the opportunities: vegetables, seeds, nuts. Why not try beetroot halva?
In any case, halva is a very sweet dessert that's always served cold. Honey is a usual component, but different spices, raisins, syrups, pieces of nuts, vanilla etc can be added. I tried to find my own basic recipe for peanut halva. Although the final result is not exactly what I had hoped it to be, it makes a delicious dessert. I believe you could cheat a bit here by just using store-bought peanut butter.

Peanut halva with vanilla

140 g peanuts
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey

1. Roast the peanuts on a dry skillet until golden brown.
2. Grind the peanuts and sugar to flour-like consistence (I used a coffee grinder as my food processor wouldn't have been good enough for the nuts to be finely ground).

3. Add honey and vanilla. Pulse in a food processor until the consistency is really smooth and the halva can be formed or has already formed a stiff ball.
4. Shape the halva to your liking, wrap it into plastic wrap and let it stand in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

The finished dessert isn't as crumbly as the store-bought version, but tastes as good. It can be sliced easily: it won't fall apart or flatten. I believe the best way of serving it is indeed to just slice it. It's consistence is somewhere between crumbly and soft. The taste slightly reminds of peanut butter and that's probably because the amount of sugar added is smaller than usual. It may be just a bit sticky on the tongue. But the fingers! The feeling on my fingers after eating it was just like after eating store-bought halva, so it must be the real thing!

What next? I'd like to try adding syrup instead of sugar or just more sugar to make the halva harder. Heating up the whole thing after reaching smooth consistency is another idea: it would reduce the proportion of liquid and sugar in it would start to caramelise. Using cashews next time would be great. One day carrot halva has to be tried too, but that's already another day, another recipe and another story.

This post will be taking part in the event Monthly Mingle #9, this month's theme being Arabian Nights.

Monday, 9 April 2007

Pasha with custard - a variation of an Easter tradition

I've heard from different sources that every Estonian makes pasha (pashka) at Easter. What? Really? The first time ever I heard about this traditional dessert was some four years ago when I was accidentally watching a Russian TV show Subboteja on one of the Estonian TV channels. I asked my mom about it. Her description was rather like ''s like...hmm...' than 'it's an Estonian tradition too, you know'.

So I have been associating pasha with the Russians, it's their tradition after all. But recently I've discovered how many people in Estonia actually make it and I mean among the Estonians. My family has been making it for three years now (we've gotten over this ''s like...hmm...'). But still - to discuss it as a traditional Estonian Easter dessert? Don't mention it when I'm around. Nevertheless I like pasha as I love all things made from curd cheese and the recipe we chose this year was a true hit. Custard is not a very usual component in pasha, but it might turn into one at my household!

Pasha with custard
(from the April 2006 edition of Oma Maitse magazine)

100 g butter
3 dl double/single cream
4 eggs
2 1/2 dl sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 dl raisins
1 dl candied citrus peel or marmalade
1 dl almonds
500 g curd cheese
+ extra raisins/almonds/candied peel for decorating

for draining:
a special pasha mold/large sieve/flowerpots with holes in the bottom

1. Prepare the almonds. Peel them (you can do so by first 'scaring' them for about half a minute in boiling water, then cooling under cold water and gently pressing the peels off between two fingers), roast them on a dry pan or in the oven (about 5 minutes at 200C) until golden and chop.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Melt butter in a saucepan, add cream. Then add the egg mixture into the saucepan and start heating it up, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens (don't let it reach the boiling point!). Add vanilla and let the custard cool.
3. Press the curd cheese through a sieve if it's not smooth and then add raisins, chopped almonds, candied peel or marmalade and custard to it.

4. Rinse the cheesecloth carefully with hot water and then use it to line the mold you've chosen. Pour the curd cheese mixture into the mold and cover it with cheesecloth. Place something heavy over the top to fasten the thickening process and let the dessert stand in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
5. For serving - turn the mold over and decorate with raisins, almonds, candied peel, marmalade or with whatever else you want.

Want a definition to rich food? I guess this is it, this is the one. But it's really good. Moderately firm, but silky on the tongue, with bits of roasted almonds that crunch between the teeth. The mild custard challenges the sourness of curd cheese and finally wins, but with the help of sugary marmalade that almost melts itself into one's bite when bitten.
But yes, it's rich. What if I discarded double cream and used milk instead? And what if I accidentally forgot to add that huge amount of butter? Would it still taste heavenly? I mean...everybody loves the taste of fat (even when they don't admit it), but I do think people wouldn't mind if I broke some rules. Even pasha might like the feeling of being slim:)

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Saffron-hearted truffle eggs in white chocolate

Another Easter-spirited event? A fab excuse for my second try on a not-so-much-of-an-egg dessert. Only this time they're bite size - just like tiny quail eggs.

I think I've been afraid of saffron. Its reputation, all the fizz around it - just as if it was gold or a bag full of edible diamonds. So, for the first time, I bought a thin package full of these deep red threads. Oh and the fizz was there. And the slightly floral smell that filled the kitchen as I was crushing the threads in a mortar. It was something! And it was the moment when my fear left me. With the knowledge that kitchen is the last place for being afraid. Saffron's got a little something for everybody.

Saffron-hearted truffle eggs in white chocolate
(from Maria Öhrn's Godis)

1/4 g saffron
1/4 tsp cognac/rum
200 g + 175 g white chocolate
3/4 dl heavy cream
1 tsp honey

1. Crush saffron in a mortar, add cognac or rum to make it smoother (it will blend better with the chocolate)
2. Chop 200 g of chocolate. Bring cream and honey to a boil and pour the mixture over chocolate. Blend well until chocolate melts.
3. Pour 1/3 of the mixture into a smaller bowl and mix it well with saffron. Let both mixtures harden in the fridge.
4. Roll small yolks out of the yellow mixture and place them in the freezer so that they turn really hard.
5. Cover the yolks with a bit of white chocolate mixture and form an egg. Let the eggs harden in the fridge (You might want to do this in several batches in case it's warm in your kitchen. Or you will be licking and washing your hands...all the time).
6. Break the remaining chocolate into pieces and melt over a waterbath. Then dip the eggs into it and let them harden.
7. Keep the eggs in the fridge, but let them stand a while at room temperature before serving.

You can really taste the saffron in these. The truffles are tender, sweet and look fun. Forming eggs was quite a mess as both my hands and the kitchen were very warm, but it was worth the effort.A clean and honest flavour.

Weekend Cookbook Challenge #15
, themed Easter/Spring is hosted by Marta from An Italian in the US this month.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Honeyed onion and apple soup with caraway

Potatoes and cabbage - that was everybody's opinion when they first saw this soup. But it's tricky with me. I'd rather suspect dishes obviously made of potatoes and cabbage and make sure those cabbage leaves aren't actually some sweetish and divine tasting onion strips. But the trick was accidental this time. As our unexpectedly warm weather started to turn, I felt an urge to eat a warming onion soup. Enough with those potatoes and cabbage now!

I have ate simple onion soup a few times, but I usually like to add a little something to it. We have a nice bowl on the kitchen counter that's always full of home-grown organic apples. When I need to peel some for a dish, I actually stick the peels into my mouth instead of throwing them away. So the vitamins beneath the skin (there are hell of a lot vitamins there as you know) don't get lost. And the caraway and honey...well, today feels organic.

Honeyed onion and apple soup with caraway
(serves 2)

150 g diced apple
150 g diced onion
1 tbsp butter
1/3 tsp ground caraway
1 tbsp honey
3 dl vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 1/2 dl milk
salt, pepper
1-2 tbsp grated cheese

1. Melt butter in a saucepan and add onion and apple. Cover and cook about ten minutes over medium heat until onion is transparent and golden.
2. Take the cover off and turn the heat up. Cook for additional five minutes.
3. Add caraway and honey, then milk and broth. Boil the soup for about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve it hot sprinkled with grated cheese and green onion tops.

The soup has quite much sweet taste - the word honeyed has hit the spot with its yum stickyness. Caraway is the ingredient that shows its character and makes the dish more earthly. The apple dices are really tender, but not yet losing their shape. Onion tops and cheese...well they're like cherries on top of a cake. Adding milk makes the broth hazy, but milder in taste, so I really like to use it in onion soups.
And of course, perfect accompaniments for this soup - a slice of bread and a hope for more sun.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Caramelised carrot dessert with yoghurt

I have actually survived a lunch of both savoury and sweet carrots. Well no biggy, that fact is just okay when we're talking about me. Just about fine. But carrot desserts tend to remember me about the ones we've had to eat at school and that is not just fine. This vegetable's reputation has to be re-ruined.

We always grate a larger amount of carrots at home in the food processor than we really need at the moment. Its main aim is of course that mom can make fresh salad fast - our family's traditional carrot salad with sour cream and sugar. But it also gives me an opportunity to fetch some into my so-called fast food. I have once mor dug out the bowl of grated carrots from the fridge and this time, ladys and gentlemen, we do have a dessert.

Caramelised carrot dessert with yoghurt
(serves 2)

3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp butter
3 dl grated carrot
3 dl plain yoghurt
1/2 dl cashew nuts, chopped a bit

1. Heat the sugar in a saucepan together with the nuts.
2. When the sugar starts to caramelise, add butter and grated carrot, stir so that the carrots blend well with the caramel and cook them for some minutes.
3. Remove the saucepan from heat and let it cool a bit, then add yoghurt to the mixture.
4. Serve sprinkled with cinnamon and some nuts.

The carrots caramelise nicely and the cashews have this praline taste to them. Sometimes there are larger bits of caramel that melt on the tongue like gems. No more sugar is added to the yoghurt so that the flavours of the caramel have more contrast with it, but that doesn't mean that the yoghurt is too sour. On the whole the dessert is moderately sweet. And not at all reminding me of those experimental school desserts with carrot - the vegetable has regained its reputation.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Chocolate slices that taste expensive

However shameful it might be, I'm not really a huge chocolate lover (yes, this is the place you can go 'nooooo, that can't be true!'). Well I mean drooling because of a chocolate bar or spying on a random chocolate cake to get my hands on it - I don't do things like that (although I'm a woman. weird, huh?). But what I do love is expensive interestingly flavoured chocolate. And what I love even more is when I manage to turn some cheap chocolate into a sweet that tastes the same.

There's nothing crazy nor difficult about it. The simplest way to add a wow-effect to chocolate is to melt it and flavour it. Thin pieces also give their effort - when it doesn't look just like another ordinary chocolate bar, it couldn't be one, right? One brand I used had pieces of nuts in it too, the crunchy effect was like a bonus in the chocolate. So you can add bits of nuts too if you like.

Chocolate slices with pinches of cinnamon and salt

100 g milk chocolate
100 g dark chocolate
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/5 tsp salt

1. Melt the chocolate in a waterbath.
2. Add cinnamon and salt, blend well. Spread the chocolate onto parchment paper or aluminum foil (I have a silicone baking sheet that's probably the best choice).
3. Cool it to some stage so you can cut shapes out of the chocolate with a cookie cutter or cool it completely and just break it to pieces for serving (that's what I did and it looks nice. Plus some small pieces may break and you can lie to yourself you have to eat them to get rid of the mess).

If you're afraid of adding salt, just add less. You really won't regret. I wouldn't add notably more, too much salt wouldn't complete the taste anymore, it would overpower it. This amount, to me, seems to be just about right to tease your senses. Though I haven't tried, I believe this chocolate could make an excellent sauce to a sweet chocolate cake. In the future I'd also like to try adding herbs to flavour chocolate. The opportunities are endless.
And, of course, I have to try this recipe using an expensive chocolate. Consider it done.