Sweet and spicy is a pretty fantastic combo, I’m sure you’ll agree. And a really great way to present that combo is Chocolate Chili. Usually, recipes for chocolate chili are big into the chili part and just add a hint of chocolate. That’s fine for those who aren’t chocolate fiends, but for me, I want my chocolate to be fairly (maybe overly) represented. Plus if you’re stuck in quarantine, then you shouldn’t need an excuse to load up your food with chocolate, right? By using a fruity, dark chocolate, alongside a big pile of complimenting flavours, the chocolate in this recipe takes a much more leading role.Jump to Recipe
Choosing the Chocolate
The first task in coming up with this recipe was deciding on which chocolate to use. And picking out which of it’s flavours I really wanted to highlight. I actually tested this chili with a number of different varieties before settling on the fruity, and bright Hispaniola from Hummingbird. Obviously, I’m very familiar with it, but it really is such a good choice for this recipe. It has a really bright, tart flavour that helps to keep the sweetness subdued, and ends up pairing beautifully with all the veggies in the mix.
A Throwback to Bitter Sweetness
Next up, I wanted to bring the sweet and spicy combo back to its roots a little bit. Hundreds of years ago all across Mesoamerica, people were consuming chocolate as a drink. This drink was usually not sweet (or only mildly sweetened with honey if you were very wealthy) and it always included a chile pepper of some kind. Chiles were and still are one of the most popular and common crops grown throughout Central and South America. So combining these spicy dried peppers with the bitter, and slightly fruity cacao beans was probably an obvious choice. To bring that bitterness into the mix of my chocolate chili recipe I decided to add a chocolate stout. I chose Thriller from Stalwart Brewing Company, but any high quality chocolate stout will work. As long as it has a good depth of flavour and you can really taste that dark chocolate bitterness, it’ll work.
Choosing the Chili Veggies
Choosing the vegetables that I wanted in this Chocolate Chili meant trying to pair chocolate with vegetable flavours. Which is a weird thing to do. I wanted a touch of sweetness but mostly I wanted fruitiness. Sweet corn, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes were my first choices. Partly because they would match the flavours but also because those crops grow in Central and South America. After that, it was a matter of texture and acidity. I used white navy beans, mostly because they’re what I would use if I was making baked beans and it seemed like this was sort of similar. And went with some canned fire roasted tomatoes to give some acidity.
The Chile part of Chocolate Chili
Spice is very subjective, so if you’re feeling uncertain about how much to add, start with a small amount and work your way up by tasting. I wanted a warm, slightly smokey spice rather than anything too punchy or in your face. If you really like that knock your socks off heat, then go for it!
If you’re looking for some more quarantine recipes, or just something new to add to your weekly meal prep, why not check out this super yummy Bean & Mushroom Burger? Or maybe you just can’t get enough chocolate, so you should definitely try this Fudgy Chocoholic Cake!
- 1 Lb Ground Turkey You can use beef, but make sure it's extra lean.
- 1 Small, sweet onion Diced
- 2 tsps Each: Chipotle powder, Oregano, Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Each: Chili powder, Cumin, Cinnamon
- 1 Red Bell Pepper Cut into small chunks
- 1 Small Sweet Potato Cut to 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 Tbsps Tomato Paste
- 1 473ml Can Chocolate Stout I used Thriller from Stalwart Brewing Company
- 1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes diced if possible. If not, then try your best to break them up.
- 1 can Navy Beans About 2 cups
- 1 can Sweet Corn About a cup
- 1 can Green Beans About 1.5 cups
- 2 Tbsps Fancy Molasses
- 1 cup 70% Hispaniola Chocolate from Hummingbird Chocolate Maker Or other dark , fruity chocolate
- Salt to Taste
- Avocado, Queso Fresco/Feta, Cilantro To Serve
- Prep all your veggies and keep them separate. Open all the cans. Drain and rinse the beans, and corn.
- Measure out the spices into a small bowl. If you are uncertain of how spicy you want it, then mix together only the oregano, garlic, cumin and cinnamon. When the time comes add the chipotle and chili a bit at a time until to your tastes.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat.
- Cook the ground turkey for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until no longer pink and beginning to colour. Remove to a bowl, and drian all but 1 Tbsp fat from the pot.
- Add the onion to the pot and saute, stirring consistently for about 3-4 minutes. They should be slightly translucent and taking on some colour.
- Add the spices and stir to coat the onions. If you're waiting to add the chipotle and chili until later, set them aside.
- Add the bell pepper and sweet potato next. Cook for a further 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir to evenly coat everything.
- Deglaze the pan with the chocolate stout, and stir up all the bits stuck to the bottom. Add the canned tomatoes.
- Slowly bring to a gentle simmer. While bringing up to a simmer, add the navy beans, sweet corn, and green beans.
- Stir in the Molasses and allow to simmer gently for about 10 minutes. If you were holding back the chipotle and chili, add those now to your tastes.
- Finally, stir in the chocolate. Allow it to melt and let the chili simmer for a further 10 minutes. It should thicken slightly and everything should be cooked through.
- Season with salt to your tastes.
- Serve with diced avocado, crumbled queso fresco/feta cheese, cilantro(if you like) and Enjoy!