For some people it’s a treat, for others it sounds like something nightmares are made of! Did you know that chocolate does not have to be sweet, but it can be spicy and even used in savoury cooking! With national chocolate day on 28th October and Halloween this weekend, World of Spice thought we’d get our teeth into some spicy chocolate and the savoury chocolate dishes perfect to turn things upside down!
Is Chocolate Sweet or Savoury?
Chocolate is considered a sweet treat, made with sugar, cocoa solids and cocoa butter. However, it doesn’t mean you should only eat it for dessert. Dark chocolate made from 100% cocoa solids is perfect in savoury cooking because it contains no sugar. So, your chicken won’t taste like a Mars bar, don’t worry! Chocolate made from large quantities of cocoa solids means that it’s bold and dark, allowing you to taste the pure cocoa bean, rather than the sweetness of milk chocolate. It can add a richness to a wide range of meals.
Spicy, Savoury Chocolate?
Although a strange concept for many, spicy/savoury chocolate has been around for a while! In fact, it dates back to 1900 B.C Mexico. Cacao plants are found deep within the rainforests of Central America; chocolate was extracted from cacao plants and used in hot drinks. Often water, vanilla, honey, and chili peppers were brewed together to make a warm, spicy chocolate drink. Ancient civilizations believed that it possessed spiritual qualities – they believed spicy chocolate was so powerful, they even regularly worshiped their cacao god!
What Spices Go with Chocolate?
Now, chilli is probably the most obvious choice when it comes to spicing up chocolate. It does taste amazing, but there are other options! Keep in mind that the spices needed will depend on the type of chocolate you’re using. The darker the chocolate, the more potent the spice you can use!
For a fiery kick, both ginger and peppercorns will turn up the heat, bringing out an array of flavours in the cocoa bean. For a hot, smoky flavour, cayenne pepper and paprika add woody savoury notes and the likes of cumin and turmeric offer a subtle, earthy spice that blends with the natural fruitiness of the cocoa bean.
White chocolate isn’t as strong as dark or milk chocolate, so be mindful about how strong your herbs and spices are. Fresh, earthy flavours such as lemongrass, saffron or even a sprinkle of cinnamon will add a fragrant boost to complex undertones.
At World of Spice, we’d recommend adding a little spice to your dish as you go. You can always taste it and add more. Bit by bit is the way to go! You don’t want to ruin your dish!
Can You Use Chocolate in Savoury Dishes?
Yes! Here at World of Spice, we think it’s pretty revolutionary. A square of sweet white chocolate can really make that creamy difference to a sauce. Dark chocolate and red meats are a brilliant match, give their richness. Venison, beef and lamb go exceptionally well with the tang of flavoursome chocolate.
A classic chilli con carne, using spices online and a few squares of high-quality dark chocolate taste incredible. Wait until your mix is ready to eat and stir in a little dark chocolate, making sure that it’s evenly melted. This will add extra depth to you dish, giving it an unforgettable richness.
Here in the UK, chocolate in cooking may be a newer concept, but globally it’s certainly not! Here are some savoury recipes that work beautifully with chocolate and spices online.
The Mexican dish, Mole is a winner in our eyes. This sauce really carries those chocolatey undertones and it’s the perfect topping for enchiladas, fajitas and even Mexican stewed meat and rice. The aromatic notes of allspice, cinnamon, cumin and cloves help to give the dish that warm depth. With red meat pairing perfectly with dark chocolate, you could pop a couple of squares of dark chocolate and a splash of red wine into a classic beef stew for an indulgent, smooth texture.
If you’re wanting to try white chocolate in a dish, then we’d suggest a little in something lighter. White chocolate is a lot sweeter than dark chocolate, so a little goes a long way. Try melting it into a creamy white sauce, with a sprinkle of parsley – a square or two will transform its texture and pairs perfectly with a fish plate. White chocolate also works well when cooking risotto. Mix a little butter, stock and a couple of squares of white chocolate in with the rice, add mushrooms, onion and a sprinkle of thyme, delicious!
100% Cocoa Savoury Chocolate
Dark chocolate made from 100% cocoa solids is a unique chocolate tasting experience. The chocolate we’re used to is often very sweet and creamy, but in its natural form, the cocoa bean has a bitter, savoury taste. This is why 100% dark chocolate lends itself to savoury dishes so effortlessly. With its distinctive and intricate flavour, it’s the perfect chocolate to add for rich flavour.
Get in Touch
At World of Spice, we understand the importance of authentic and traditional tasting cuisine, whether it’s spicy, savoury or sweet! As leading suppliers of herbs and spices online, our products are known for their purity and potency, full of delicious flavour to give your dishes the edge. Our service is cost-effective and reliable; we go above and beyond for each of our customers to ensure that you get the produce you need for business.
From bespoke blends to a choice of packaging, complete with custom labelling, our comprehensive service can help you achieve your culinary goals. For more information about our services and what we can offer you, please contact us at email@example.com, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.