Chocolatiers are always looking for the next big ingredient for their creations. The secret ingredient here (and I bet no chocolate maker has thought of this one!) is breadcrumbs — panko breadcrumbs to be exact. (Toasted panko to be even more exact!) The texture of the breadcrumbs is light and crispy, and when toasted, it lends a lovely crunch and almost nutty flavor to these super-simple chocolate drops.
Note: Heating chocolate and then cooling it to about 90°F is a basic technique called tempering and will yield a shiny, crisp chocolate that won’t melt at room temperature. Without a fancy machine, it’s not always fool proof, but the good news is that regardless of whether or not you get your chocolate to temper properly, it’s always edible and always delicious! You just need to store it in the fridge.
In a small skillet, toast the panko over medium heat until golden, shaking the pan, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cool.2.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper.3.
Temper the chocolate (see note about tempering below): Set a medium bowl into a small pot with 1-inch of barely simmering water. Add ¾ of the chocolate to the bowl and let sit just until melted, about 5 minutes.4.
Remove the bowl from the pot, being careful not to let any moisture hit the chocolate (it will seize and harden into a mass) and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining chocolate and stir until melted. Continue to stir until the chocolate registers 90°F on an instant read thermometer.5.
Stir in the panko and check temperature again. Immediately drop teaspoons of chocolate onto the baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. Refrigerate just until set, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and serve!