I have a chocolate glut. Oh yes. Chocolate. Glut.

IMG_3341 If you didn’t know, I’ll tell you now – I have a huge chocolate plant in my back garden, right next to the trampoline (my non-DIY husband sweated to put together) and my not-so-barren veggie patch, teeming with mint and lemon melisse.

The fruit comes nicely wrapped and boxed up, straight from the green – special delivery for Oz.

Believe me? Yeah right!

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Confession time: winnings. Two to be precise: one was an Easter chocolate hamper from Mowie of Mowielicious – a huge box of varied chocolates from Hotel Chocolat.

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Number two was a delightful box I won from Jamie of Life’s a Feast during the Hope4Haiti campaign and raffle. To be honest, I am a quantity girl. ‘Quality’ quantity of course :-), but definitely quantity. It was the prize I most wanted to win, for the sheer variety of things it contained.

IMG_4585But when the box arrived – there was a surprise! Jamie had put in a few other fantastic things…. for friendship’s sake (we met at Food Bloggers Connect in London last November).

IMG_2414Some of the other things included a pack of cranberry powder;

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Some chestnut flour and loads of lovely sugars;

IMG_2455Some cocoa powder, salt, balsamic glaze, chestnut puree and the delicious Creme de caramel au beurre de sale I used in my Mac-a-misu and other mac experiments.

IMG_2443All this to add to my 2.5kg of white chocolate callets, and my 2.5kg of milk chocolate callets, some Abuelita (aka Mexican chocolate) and some fondue chocolate.

So, if you put all this together, what do you get? A glut and all sorts of things like canning and dehydrating but for us, this chocolate fruit was ripe for experimenting!

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Maybe you also get a 10-things-to-do-with-chocolate list.

  1. Eat it – fairly obvious
  2. Give it some away – I did
  3. Make a chocolate cake
  4. Whisk up chocolate pots – this post!
  5. Make a ganache
  6. Frost some cakes
  7. Make a savoury chocolate sauce – I tried once – it was a disaster! There are some successful recipes though
  8. Freeze it and save for a rainy day
  9. Make a delicious drink
  10. Have a choccie bath (that would be an inglorious waste though!)

So, what did I do? I made some small chocolate pots with milk caramel drops from Mowie’s box, flavoured with a bit of aleppo pepper and tempered with salt. To cut through the richness and potentially overpowering flavours, I whipped some cream and gently folded that through and also served a squirt more cream on top.

The verdict? We liked it, very much. The heat from the aleppo gave it a nice zing and the salt went swimming well with the caramel. Not my absolute favourite dessert in the world but nice for a rich chocolatey outing, when chocolate is what is needed.

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One thing I’ll definitely change next time is how I incorporate the aleppo pepper flakes. Eating through a rich, smooth dessert and having to stop to spit pepper flakes out of your mouth is so not ‘gourmet’ – perhaps more ‘gourmand’. Apparently, in the past gourmet referred to a person with a highly refined palate and a gourmand? Well, a person who loved food and drink but with leanings towards gluttony – they are so not referring to me!

So what would I do differently? I would pass the pepper flakes through a fine sieve such that only the ‘dust’ came through. That way, we have all the heat and none of the spit.

Enjoy the recipe

Chocolate Chili Pots

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Ingredients

100g milk caramel drops/callets

150ml cream, whipped cream (save some to top pots with)

Pinch of aleppo pepper

Pinch of sea salt

How to

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie and add a pinch of salt and pepper.

While the chocolate melts, whip the cream till light and fluffy.

Stir the chocolate as it melts and take off heat when ready.

Check seasoning and adjust to taste.

Gently add the chocolate to the whipped cream and fold.

Scoop into moulds, cover and let rest for 3 – 4 hours in the fridge (or overnight)

Serve topped with a extra dollop/squirt of cream and crushed meringues.

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Would be fantastic with some crystallised blooms (of which I had none!)

IMG_3345Tell me, are you a quantity person? Do you like more? or less? (I think more lets you experiment but not like 10 fake Gucci shoes or bags, not that kind of more!)

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