I've often heard of chilli and chocolate being paired but have never given it a go in cooking (although I have tried chocolate bars with a hint of chilli which were rather strange but very nice). These unusual recipes from Le Creuset look very tempting though so I may just have to give it a try.
Immerse yourself in everything chocolate by celebrating National Chocolate Week from Monday 8th to Sunday 14th October. Revel in seven solid days of indulging your sweet tooth with these yummy chocolate recipes from Le Creuset. Why not use chocolate in savoury as well as sweet recipes and try out our easy to prepare tasty Mexican style chilli? Le Creuset caters for all chocolate lovers with this delicious array of recipes, the dark chocolate devotee will love the Bitter Chocolate and Orange Fondue while the white chocolate admirer will devour this delicious white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.
Mexican Chocolate and Chilli Cake - Serves 6-8
Cakes and pastries bake to perfection in the Le Creuset Cast Iron casserole dish due to the excellent heat distribution and retention properties. Chocolate and chilli is a delicious combination that originated in Mexico during the time of the Aztecs and Maya and is becoming a very popular choice. Use chilli in this yummy cake recipe to enhance the taste of the chocolate.
1x Le Creuset Cast Iron 20cm Round Casserole
200g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) 250g butter at room temperature and extra for greasing 250g dark muscovado sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 4 medium eggs 200g self raising brown flour or self-raising unbleached flour and extra for dusting 50g organic cocoa powder 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1-2 fresh mild red chillies very finely chopped - about 2 tablespoons A little extra butter and flour to prepare the casserole
300g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) 300ml double cream 150g icing sugar
To serve Fresh raspberries and vanilla ice cream
Oven: 170°C / 325°F / Gas mark 3 Fan oven: 150°C
Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of hot, but not boiling, water. Break the chocolate into the bowl in small pieces and leave to melt. Mix together the softened butter with the sugar and vanilla extract, beat in the eggs one at a time adding a couple of table spoons of the flour after the first 2 eggs to prevent the mixture from separating. Sift the flour, cocoa and cinnamon into the mixture and beat together well before mixing in the melted chocolate, followed by the fresh chopped chilli.Grease the inside of the casserole with some butter and dust with a little flour. Pour the cake mixture into the casserole, smooth over the top and bake in the centre of the oven without the lid for 50-60 minutes.
Note - When cooked the top should be raised and crusted, a cocktail stick should come away cleanly when inserted into the centre. If not cook for a further 5 minutes and check again. Do not overcook the cake or it will become dry. Allow the cake to cool before turning it out. For the icing, melt the chocolate and cream together in a sauce pan over a very low heat. Whisk together, sift in the icing sugar and whisk again until smooth and glossy. Cool until the icing is thick and spreadable. Split the cake in two halves, spread the base half with some of the icing and replace the top. Coat the cake all over with the remaining icing. Serve with fresh raspberries and vanilla ice cream
Chilli with Chocolate - Serves 4-6
In Mexico traditional recipes have, for centuries, been enhanced by the addition of a little dark chocolate. The result is a dish full of flavour and texture but without the sweetness you might expect. The chocolate will thicken the juices to produce a sauce which is rich and dark.
1x Toughened Non-Stick Frying Pan
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 red onion, chopped finely
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped into small squares
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 fresh mild chilli pepper, de-seeded and chopped finely
- 500g lean steak mince
- 2 teaspoons mild chilli pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 400g can chopped tomatoes, with their juice
- 200g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 50g plain dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- Little salt
Heat the oil in the pan over a medium setting. Add the onion, red pepper, garlic and chilli. Fry for a few minutes, stirring, until all are beginning to colour. Using a slotted spoon transfer these ingredients to a plate. Add the steak mince to the pan and fry briskly until it is evenly browned. Drain off any excess fat that it may produce. Stir in the chilli powder, cumin and paprika and fry until these are absorbed into the beef. Return the onions and peppers, together with all the remaining ingredients including the chocolate and 125 ml (½ cup) water. Season with a little salt. Cover with the lid and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.Serve with plain boiled rice, tortillas and salad
White Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake - Serves 6-8
The traditional cheesecake has always been a popular choice for those with a sweet tooth. This scrumptious white chocolate and raspberry recipe will get everyone's tastes buds going!
1x Stoneware 24cm Fluted Flan Dish
250g crushed sweet digestive biscuits 75g unsalted butter
300g full fat cream cheese 150g caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 300g Greek yogurt 4 small sheets of gelatine - approximately 12cm x7cm 100g white chocolate 100g fresh raspberries
50g fresh raspberries Icing sugar to dust Fresh mint leaves
1. Melt the butter for the base in a saucepan and stir in the biscuit crumbs. Press the mixture into the flan dish going up the sides as well as the base. Chill in the fridge till set.
2. Soften the gelatine in about 50ml of water for a few minutes then gently heat until dissolved. Put to one side.
3. Gently melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Do not boil the water or the chocolate will overheat and become difficult to work with.
4. Once the chocolate has melted gradually stir in the yogurt a little at a time mixing quickly. When smooth stir in the dissolved gelatine and water.
5. In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla.
6. Gradually add the chocolate yogurt mixture and stir till smooth.
7. Fold in the raspberries, pour into the biscuit base.
8. Chill for 1 hour till set.
9. Decorate the centre of the cheesecake with the topping raspberries, mint leaves and dust with icing sugar
Bitter Chocolate and Orange Fondue - Serves 6
This fondue is a must for all choc-o-holics, perfect as a party piece at a dinner party or as a warming treat for a cosy night in. For the health conscious balance this dessert with fresh fruit, fresh plump strawberries are ideal, or give yourself a real treat and dip marshmallows or mini doughnuts.
1 x Cast Iron Fondue Set
225g semi-sweet chocolate (70% cocoa solids, if possible), broken into pieces Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange 185 ml double cream 15 g unsalted butter 2 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange-flavoured liqueur
fresh, chilled firm fruits, such as strawberries, figs, apricot halves, peach slices, bananas, kiwi fruit, and cherries, marshmallows and mini doughnuts
Add the broken chocolate pieces along with all other ingredients into the fondue and keep the burner flame very low to avoid burning the chocolate. Allow approximately 60g of dipping ingredients per person.
For further information on Le Creuset Cookware and recipe ideas please visit www.lecreuset.co.uk.
Like them on Facebook www.facebook.com/lecreusetUK and Follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/LeCreusetUK
Other blogposts you may be interested in :