Sandwiches in cafes often taste much better than those you make at home. I’ve been making a careful study of sandwiches and wraps that I eat at coffee shops and cafes, and trying to identify what makes them great, and then recreating them at home.
This sandwich is a sensory party for your taste buds. The contrast between the hot bread and cheese and the cool grapes is emphasized by the sweetness of the grapes and the saltiness of the cheese and the smooth softness of the brie against the satisfying crunch of the bread and the cool pop of the black grapes.
The bread choice is important, it’s not the main taste sensation in the sandwich, but it’s texture central. Go for a good, dense roll that will withstand heating.
You can use green grapes if you like but I prefer the color contrast and find the taste is sweeter. You can switch the brie for Camembert if you like that better, or if it’s on sale. I like to keep the rind on and eat it, but if you’re rind-squeamish then peel your cheese.
- Prep time:
- Cook time:
- Ready in:
- Yields: 2 giant sandwiches
- 2 ciabatta rolls
- 1 cup black grapes (keep them refigerated until you start cooking)
- 2 oz brie
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas4
- Slice your ciabatta rolls almost in half, you want to leave a hinge so the sandwich has a spine
- Slice your cheese and divide it between the two rolls
- Put the cheese sandwiches on a baking tray
- Pop them in the oven for 7-8 minutes whilst you slice your grapes in half
- Slice the grapes using a ceramic knife if possible, it stops the edges of the grapes from going brown
- Take the rolls out of the oven and scatter the cool grapes on the cheese
- Serve immediately whilst the bread and cheese are warm and the grapes cool.
Sadly the clearing up will have to be done by you. Walking away from dirty dishes and a crumb covered table is one part of the cafe experience you can’t replicate at home.