Make Ahead

Chili Chocolate Pate (Spread the Love)

February 14, 2012
1 Ratings
  • Serves 12 (generously)
Author Notes

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 and berries.

The recipe is an adaptation of my all-time favorite Valentine's Day cookbook, The Joy of Chocolate by Judith Olney. For best results, use the highest quality (and costliest) chocolate you have the gumption to buy. For the following recipe 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.)

This the the kind of dessert that can be whipped up last-minute, leaving your kitchen redolent of chocolate for hours. The prep is mindlessly simple. So melt, stir, chop, mix and enjoy. —Vivian Henoch

What You'll Need
  • 4 ounces Mexican chocolate (with chipotle or guajillo chili)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy cream
  • 5 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground expresso beans
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons chipotle or cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup chopped almonds (toasted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons brandy or liqueuer (optional)
  1. Melt the chocolates 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.
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  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Vivian Henoch
    Vivian Henoch

2 Reviews

LeBec F. February 14, 2012
I am so impressed that you have built significant depth and layers of flavor into this dish. Bravo!

oh yes, two questions:
What made you decide to add cocao powder when you created this? that decision intrigues me.

i have never used ground espresso beans; but i always add medaglio d'oro instant espresso to my chocolate desserts. have you ever tried that and are ground beans better? thanks again for this! A great croissant spread!
Vivian H. February 14, 2012
Thanks, Le Bec Fin... Good questions -- and since I'm responding to a professional chef, I must admit to my penchant to cook intuitively (and not as scientifically as some). I added the cocao because of the lovely quality of the ingredient and to add yet another layer of flavor and texture to the finish. I found that the chocolate powder, did in fact, impart a richer velvety texture to the finish.

I do have a few chocolate recipes that call for instant coffee crystals - a quick way to deepen the flavor. The ground beans (as long as they are ground very finely) work just as well. I mixed the chocolate power with the expresso beans, along with the cinnamon, cardamom and extra cayenne... adding the spices almost as I would in a chili... The finished spread just melts in the mouth. Truth be told_ the mixture can use even a little more heat. But that's all according to individual taste.