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We usually think of chocolate as an exclusively sweet ingredient, but if you’ve ever tasted a nibble of unsweetened baking chocolate, you know as a bitter, somewhat fruity flavor – only when cacao beans are processed with milk and lots of sugar that it turns into the tasty chocolate truffles and confections we know and love. A skillful use of chocolate in savory cooking can add a whole new tool to your gourmet toolbox and greatly increase your pleasure both in cooking and eating.

Savory Cooking with Chocolate Tip #1: Think Fruity

Cooks all over the world use the rich taste of chocolate to make sauces and dressing delicious – for instance Moles in Mexico.

Winter Greens Salad with Mole Vinaigrette


  • 8 – 12 Cups Arugula
  • 2 Heads Radicchio or other purple or red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 Cup Chopped Marcona Almonds
  • 1 Cup Shredded Manchego Cheese
  • 1 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 1 Cup Chopped Spanish Green Olives
  • 2 Corn Tortillas, sliced in thin strips
  • ½ tsp Olive Oil

Toss together all ingredients except tortillas. In a cast iron or sauté pan, cook tortillas in oil until crisp. Drizzle salad with mole vinaigrette. Top with tortilla strips.

Mole Jar Vinaigrette

  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Jalapeño, ribbed, seeded and minced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, grated
  • 1 TB Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ancho Chili Powder
  • 3 TB Orange Juice
  • 2 TB Lime Juice
  • 1 TB Honey
  • ½ tsp Chipotle Tabasco
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake well.

Savory Cooking with Chocolate Tip #2: Add Chocolate with other Strong Flavored Spices to balance the bitter flavors.

Cocoa Powder is super with other strong spices, like this chocolate chili rub that can be used on any kind of protein; chicken, fish, steak, pork – even mushrooms.

Chocolate Chili Rub

  • 1 TB Chili Powder
  • 1 TB Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 TB Piloncillo, Jaggery or Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 Tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl. Use as a rub for pork, steak, chicken or even mushrooms!

Savory Cooking with Chocolate Tip #3: Types of Chocolate to Use in Cooking whether savory or sweet.

Banana Chocolate Bites

  • 1 Medium Banana
  • 1 Cup Natural Almond Butter
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Demedera or Raw Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Dark Chocolate at least 70%

STEP ONE Preheat oven to 350F. Mash the banana in a large mixing bowl. Add the almond butter, egg, vanilla, baking soda, sugar and salt, stirring to combine. Fold in the chocolate.

STEP TWO Drop heaping teaspoons of the dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet, placing the cookies about 1 1/2” apart. Bake them for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden brown and set.

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