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Vivian Henoch

Vivian Henoch
Northville, Michigan, USA
June 17
Writer and editor:myJewishDetroit.org
I write around. Follow me on Twitter @vivianhenoch or @myJDetroit


FEBRUARY 14, 2012 8:33AM

For Love of Chocolate, Hot & Spicy

Rate: 16 Flag

A Pot of Chili Pepper Chocolate Pate. . . 

For all you Nutella lovers out there, here’s something with a little afterglow and far more interesting to try.  Chili Chocolate Pate.  An easy, elegant dessert to serve as part of your  balanced diet platter of fresh fruit slices, berries . . . cheese and chocolate ginger shortbread. (Okay, forget the calories.)  


The recipe is an adaptation of my all-time Valentine’s Day cookbook, The Joy of Chocolate by Judith Olney.  For best results, use the highest quality  chocolate you have the tolerance to pay for.  For today’s recipes I indulged in a combination of Callebaut semisweet baking chocolate,  Taza Stone Ground Chocolate Mexicano with Guajillo Chili and Cacao di Pernigotti unsweetened cocoa powder (requiring a detour at Williams-Sonoma.)  


I whipped this up last-minute last last night and the kitchen is still redolent of chocolate. The prep is mindlessly simple.  So melt, stir, chop, mix and enjoy.   To follow your bliss, find more hot and spicy chocolate recipes on the ultimate foodie blog: Food 52.  Happy Valentines... 



Chili Chocolate Pate 

Here’s all you need:

4 ounces Mexican chocolate (or more)

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 2/3 cups heavy cream

5 tablesppons butter (softened)

3 tablespoons unsweetened  cocoa powder

1 tablespoon ground expresso beans

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper  (for an extra kick) 

1 1/4 cups chopped toasted almonds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Optional: 2 teaspoons brandy or liqueur of your choice 

Here’s all you do:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a small sauce pan over hot water
  2. Heat the cream in a saucepan until nearly scalded (just about to boil). Add melted chocolate, butter, expresso beans, cinnamon (and red pepper to taste) and stir briskly until the mixture cools. 
  3. Stir in the vanilla extract, nuts and liqueur
  4. Spoon the mixture into a small pate or cheese crock and cover with plastic wrap. If the pate is to be served within 2 to 3 hours leave a room temperature. To serve after refrigerating add a bit of warm cream to soften the chocolate again to a smooth consistency. 


Orange and Zesty Chocolate Ginger Shortbread

More chocolate intensity, yet not too sweet.  The recipe, again adapted from The Joy of Chocolate, melts in the mouth and just a bite satisfies for a rich dessert.   I make it easy on myself by foregoing the traditional shortbread mold, and rolling the dough refrigerator-cookie-style.   Kick it up a notch with the addition of fresh ginger, cinnamon, orange zest  and cardamom. . . and yum.   

Here’s what you need:

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate 

1 stick unsalted butter

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 or 3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds

1/2 cup chopped pistachio nuts (optional)

2 tablespoons cream

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt chocolate over hot water and cool
  3. Cream butter and sugar together, add chocolate and blend well
  4. Stir cocoa, flour and cornstarch into the butter mixture, blend until the mixture lightly crumbles.  Add cream to moisten dough. 
  5. Form dough into a log, as you would with refrigerator cookies. Refrigerate for thirty minutes.  Cut log into thin slices and place on a greased cookie sheet
  6. Bake for 25 minutes

Photos: VHenoch
Happy Valentine's Day

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Wow! Thank you for this elegant and exciting bit of culinary delight.
Thanks Zanelle.

And Daisy... Oh, jump in, chocolate with a bite is just that. Not too spicy, the dark goodness just all blends to a luscious, deeper flavor.
Ooh. This sounds delicious. I need to figure out what vegans sub for heavy cream when baking so that I can make that gingerbread!
Thanks Laura--
Just to tell you... The ginger shortbread can do just fine without the cream. Use water or liqueur, one or two tablespoons is all. Go by the feel. You want the dough to crumble, but still stick together when compressed, so that you can roll it into a log.
I love Nutella and I love shortbread. I think I need to try both of these.
Thank you so much. I will try the Nutrella. Am drooling at these gorgeous presentations.
This looks wonderful as usual.
Every day I spread nutella on a rice cake. This looks better.
Gorgeous post, Vivian. Your photos look like they jumped off Gourmet Magazine and landed here. Do you remember the SKC of a couple of years ago for "chili chocolate"? Thank you for your recipes.
Gorgeous! I sure wish I lived near you and that you needed guinea pigs. I am a nutella addicted coffee lover. This makes me drool.
Vivian, I just love your posts. Your food and photography are both amazing.
First of all, you pictures (as usual) are STUNNING! Secondly, chocolate and chili together are so sublime and I am going to try this recipe!!
Yum! We are fortunate in Boston to have Taza Chocolate located in our hood. That "pate" looks good. Just remove the knife and replace with a spoon. Thank you ;-)
Thank you for your delicious comments... Fusun, Brazen, JLsathre, Ande, Christine, Sheila, Dianaani, Hayley, Greenheron... hope I haven't missed anybody. Second day, the pate is good as ever... and the shortbread heightens in its flavor of ginger. Both recipes are keepers, at least in my book. Also just to tell ya, in absence of our own Kitchen Challenge, I've just discovered the joys of Food52. My recipes for spicy chocolate are in this week's contest. Go check out the site for fun.
Vivian, a beautiful post. Thank you, Rated WO