Hello! Some years back - don't recall when - I began seeing mention of chocolates flavored with hot peppers. I think I might have first noticed this pairing in gourmet chocolate truffles, but eventually it spread to fancy candy bars as well. But although I like both chocolate and spicy foods, I had never tried the two together until our summer vacation last month, during which time we went HERE . I greatly enjoyed one of the ice cream shop's signature flavors, Queen City Cayenne.
A couple of nights ago, I went through my file of candy recipe clippings in order to choose a goodie to make for our daughter's school lunch, and while doing so, I came across a clipping for Spicy Chocolate Bark. I'm not sure where the recipe came from, perhaps Taste of Home magazine. I made a different candy recipe for our daughter (a white chocolate/pretzel/cereal concoction), but decided to try this recipe for myself today.
Result? Super easy - and seriously addictive. If you like the taste of chocolate and hot pepper together - or think you might - be warned!
Here's the recipe, and as I rarely follow a recipe exactly, I'll add my notes afterward.
Spicy Chocolate Bark
1 pound milk chocolate candy coating, chopped
1/2 cup chopped cashews, toasted
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating. Stir in the nuts and cayenne pepper. Spread onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Yield: about 1 1/2 pounds.
Notes: I used a 12 oz bag of milk chocolate chips, and since I didn't have cashews on hand, I used all pecans. As I was starting with a smaller amount of chocolate, I used 3/4 cup of the pecans. This was fine, but I think I could have used a full cup of nuts and that would have been okay too.
Again, since I was using less chocolate than what the recipe had specified, I used a bit less cayenne pepper. The spiciness level was fine, but I could have added a full half teaspoon for my 12 oz of chocolate and probably would have liked it even more!
I didn't have room in my refrigerator for the cookie sheet, so instead I popped it into the freezer for about 15 minutes.
I am sure various substitutions can be made - dark chocolate instead of milk, any variety of nut one chooses, leave the nuts out, or add another "crunchy" ingredient like Rice Krispies. Different varieties of powdered chilies could be used as well, depending on one's tolerance for spiciness. I once dried some habaneros, then ground them into a powder to use in cooking. Too bad I don't have any of it left; I'd try it in this candy.
The recipe must have appeared in a Christmastime publication, for the paragraph preceding the recipes states: "Folks who like spicy foods just may put it at the top of their holiday wish lists!" Having already eaten more tonight than I should have, I would have to agree!