Saturday, July 27, 2019

Kalamon-Chocolate Cantucci #OurFamilyTable

Last summer, when R and I were brainstorming about the dessert course for his Mediterranean fundraising dinner, I mentioned cantucci because I knew they were something I could do ahead of time...and easily. We discussed different combinations and he remembered when I made a chocolate-olive version before. "That's unique and interesting, Mom. Can you make that again?" Sure thing! 
Somehow I neglected to post a recipe. I remedy that today as the From Our Dinner Table group posts about all things chocolate.

Chocolate Recipes

Let Me Share a Secret

For those who knew me pre-kids - and definitely pre-blogging - this is not news. For the rest of you, this might come as a surprise given, well, given all of these posts: Strega-Spiked Saffron TrufflesBrandy-Earl Grey Chocolate CakeSinfully Delicious Chocolate Pudding, and Spiced Chocolate Risotto.

Plus I've hosted Chocolate + Brandy Pairings on the beach for friends; I've made Homemade Snickers for my friend's birthday. And I even did an entire chocolate-infused picnic for friends between their Willy Wonka performances. For that lunch, I served Roasted Parsnips and White Chocolate Soup, Chocolate Crostini, Roasted Chicken with a Chocolate-Balsamic Vinegar Glaze, and some assorted boutique chocolate bars for a sweet ending.

But, here's my 'secret'. 
Before I got pregnant with R, I didn't eat chocolate. 
I didn't like the taste. I didn't like the smell. I just plain didn't like it.

What a difference eighteen years can make! Now, I would confess that chocolate is definitely one of my more ardent culinary passions. And I'm always striving to learn more about it. For our 2014 family Valentine adventure, I booked a Chocolate Tasting Tour for us all at Alegio Chocolaté in Palo Alto. I took a mole making class. And I've taught six-week classes about chocolate at the International School of Monterey. Chocolate is definitely a favorite of mine now.

Kalamon-Chocolate Cantucci

Just a quick note about 'kalamon' versus 'kalamata.' From what I have read, they are the same thing. But, like Chianti, you cannot call a 'Sangiovese' by 'Chianti' unless it hails from that region. Same thing here. Kalamon refers to the variety of olive tree, but you can only call it a 'kalamata' olive if it comes from Kalamata, the city. So, these olives from Trader Joe's are of the kalamon variety, but not from kalamata.

  • 2 C flour
  • 2 T ground almonds
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2/3 C olive oil
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 3 T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 T instant espresso
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 C pitted olives (I used kalamon olives)
  • 2/3 C chopped semisweet chocolate 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, sugar, and eggs. In another bowl, combine flour, ground almonds, baking powder, cocoa powder, and instant espresso; mix into egg mixture to form a stiff dough. Fold in chocolate pieces and olives.

Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie sheet. Place rolls on cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees F. When cool enough to touch, cut into 1-inch thick diagonal slices. Place sliced cantucci on cookie sheet, and bake an additional 15 minutes on each side, or until toasted and crispy.


  1. Olives and chocolate is not a combination I would have thought to make. Very interesting. Also thanks for the kalamon olive info.

  2. Olives and chocolate? Hmm. sweet and salty together, oh yeah! I wouldn't have thought of it, but now I want to try it. And I bet these would be amazing dipped in a nice cafe mocha.

  3. The olives are such an unexpected twist in this dessert, I'm super curious on how they taste.

  4. I'm surprised you didn't like chocolate once upon a time! I'm also surprised there are olives in this chocolate dessert...I need to try this

  5. Olives and chocolate? Interesting enough that I want to try it!

  6. Oh those Europeans and their PDI/PGO, lol! Either way, only you would have a child who asked for olive filled chocolate cantucci, and I congratulate you for that. I always had such picky eaters.

  7. I'm intrigued! Are they biscotti-like? I think the flavor combo sounds amazing.

  8. Such a unique flavor combo. These are the times I wish you could sent one over the internet!

  9. I've done olive oil and chocolate, but not olives. What an interesting flavor combination.