Friday, September 02, 2005

Chocolate and Insomnia

grilled chocolate sandwich Sleep is precious, fragile, and so easily broken. For those of us who have problems sleeping, sometimes the night can stretch on endlessly, while at the same time, the inevitable daybreak arrives like an unwelcome guest, inducing panic and dread. What to do to while away those endless hours awake and alone, to stave off the inevitable anxiety that the lack of sleep engenders? Have a treat, I say--a delicious, ridiculous, guilty pleasure in the middle of the night. Most doctors (including mine, if I ever admitted to it) would counsel against eating in the middle of the night, and probably would advise even more strenuously against eating food containing chocolate when attaining sleep is the goal. Sometimes though, the calming act of cooking is all it takes to relax a little and allow sleep to silently sneak up on you when you finally go back to bed. Cooking however, inevitably leads to something on a plate that needs to be eaten; maybe it's just a bite or maybe it's the whole thing, depending upon what you whipped up there at the darkest moment before dawn. I always find myself turning to what I think of as my guiltiest of guilty pleasures: a grilled chocolate sandwich fried up in lots and lots of butter. It might be the endorphins the chocolate triggers or it might be the fat slowing the crazy carbs surging into my bloodstream but this sandwich always enables me to go back to bed, sleek and satisfied, and to drift off effortlessly in my already sleeping household. Grilled Chocolate Sandwich 1 slice of good bread (not sandwich bread--firm, European varieties only) Semi-sweet chocolate pieces to cover half a slice (Scharffen Berger is my favorite) 1-2 Tb. Plugra unsalted butter Cut your piece of bread in half (moderation, remember?). Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over low heat and swirl each half of the bread, one side only, in the butter. Place the piece of bread, buttery side down in skillet. Layer with chocolate pieces. Top with the other piece of bread, buttery side up and raise heat. Cook exactly as you would an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich, pressing down on the bread occasionally and flipping after the first side browns. Remove when the second side is golden brown and the chocolate has melted. Cool slightly and eat. Clean the kitchen carefully and never confess to your late night culinary excursion. technorati tags: , , , ,


Blogger Joe said...

That looks so... very.... good! Great picture.

September 02, 2005 11:36 PM  
Blogger T said...

I have frequent bouts of insomnia- the next time I cant sleep, Im going to try out your prescription, you know, for the sake of sleep :-)

September 04, 2005 1:40 AM  
Blogger Bruce Anderson said...

Fantastic. But you don't really need to worry about eating chocolate late at night. It contains little to no caffeine. Instead it contains another, similar alkyloid called theobromine (whose name is derived from cacao's scientific name, theobroma cacao and means, essentially, food of the gods) which is not a stimulant. Exactly. It's what gives chocolate that nice buzz. You eat it, and it makes you happy. That's theobromine hard at work. 8^)

September 04, 2005 5:53 PM  
Blogger Brandon said...

That is exactly the kind of information I want to hear, Bruce.

September 04, 2005 6:33 PM  
Blogger Culinarily Obsessed said...

YUM!! that looks delish..Nutella on some toasty bread works great when u're in a pinch or just feeling a bit lazy..

Cool blog I'll definitely be back =)

September 05, 2005 2:43 AM  

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