Serious Heat

Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, shares thoughts and observations from the fiery food world.

Serious Heat: Combining Chile and Chocolate

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[Photograph: Bill Milne]

If you haven't ever heightened your chocolate with a tiny blast of chile powder, then let me convince you why you should. I've puréed soaked pasilla chiles into chocolate cake batter for a fruity but subtle heat and added a touch of cinnamon plus chile powder to hot chocolate for a Mexican flair. You don't want to overdo the chile flavor—just use a touch of spiciness to complement the rich chocolaty flavor.

The sweetness of the chocolate floods the mouth at the start with just a splash of heat coming right at the end.

A good example of this chocolate-chile combo is in his Spicy S'mores recipe. The blast of cayenne transforms this chocolaty camp treat into a gooey, spicy bit of heaven. But there's more to these s'mores.

By covering the graham crackers with a layer of spicy chocolate, most of the work is done ahead of time. In that case, these treats are ideal to take along to any grilling or tailgating adventures, where the marshmallows can be strung on skewer and roasted over the grill. Otherwise, just use the broiler to toast the marshmallows.

And in the meantime, I am curious—how have you combined chiles and chocolate?

About the author: Andrea Lynn is senior editor for Chile Pepper magazine, where she not only creates a wide range of zesty recipes for readers, but also participates in numerous tastings for hot sauce, salsa, and other spice-laden products (even chocolate!). Her favorite chile? A tie between the mild yet flavorful poblano and the mighty, reliable fire of the serrano.

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