Introduction: Boozy Chocolate Chillies
Chocolate and chilli is a classic combination, dating back to the Mayans spicing their cacao to make rich satifying drink. The chocolate & chilli kick of a red or black mole sauce is a staple of Mexican cuisine, and most luxury chocolate brands offer some kind of spicy confection nowadays. When I hear chilli I can't help but think of chocolate, and this is a pure combination of both flavours, with an extra hit of rum to really liven things up.
Steeped in alcohol, filled with a rich water ganache and covered in chocolate these chillies make a decadent dinner party dessert.
Step 1: Ingredients & Equipment
This is a simple recipe, with very few ingredients. The most it will cost you (besides the alcohol) is time, as the chilli peppers need to marinate for at least 12 hours before they can be filled and coated.
Large, mild chilli peppers (recipe makes enough to fill six chillies)
200 g good dark chocolate
Flavoured tea (optional to flavour the ganache filling)
You'll also need a small sharp knife, a saucepan, bowls, spoons, a seive, a clean jar/pot with a lid, piping bag, baking parchment.
Step 2: Prepare the Chillies
First you need to prepare the chillies. Using a small sharp knife, cut a long slit down one side of each chilli. Remove all of the seeds and membrane. This can be a bit tricky to do while keeping the pepper intact. I cut out most of it with the tip of a knife, and scooped the rest away with my little finger. You might want to wear some plastic gloves at this point.
If your chillies are quite spicy, or you're serving them to friends you want to keep, you probably want to reduce the heat first. Poach the chillies in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then strain.
Step 3: Marinate the Chillies
Put the deseeded chillies into a clean jar or other container, and pour in enough of the rum to cover them. Put a lid on and leave the chillies to marinate for at least 12 hours.
(I might be biased, loving both chillies and rum, but this extra spiced alcohol makes some kick ass cocktails)
Step 4: Make the Filling
These chillies are filled with a water ganache, which I've been dying to try since hearing about it at a chocolate festival a few months ago. The basic principle is to make an emulsion using chocolate and boiling water. Since no cream is added, the only flavour you get is the pure rich dark chocolate. Adding water to chocolate seems like the last thing you should do, with the threat of seizing ever present, but with hot water and enough stirring you can work through this.
All you need is 100 g dark chocolate and about half a cup of hot water. The great thing about a water ganache is that it's easy to get flavour into it by infusing the water, or using strong brewed tea instead. I had a mango chilli tea kicking around that fit this project perfectly.
First melt the chocolate, using the microwave or with a double boiler/bain marie method. Once melted, begin adding the water/tea, a tablespoon at a time. Stir in each spoonful thoroughly, waiting until it is fully incorporated before adding the next. Don't worry if the mixture seems to be seizing, just keep adding the liquid and stirring., Eventually you will get a smooth, runny chocolate mix (this took me about six tablespoons, but can vary depending on the fat content of your chocolate). This is your ganache.
Step 5: Fill the Chillies
Leave the ganache to cool a little, until it is a pipeable consistency. Meanwhile, fish out the chillies from the alcohol and drain off any extra liquid.
Fill a piping bag with the ganache, cut off the end and pipe the filling into the chillies. Wipe away any excess squeezing out. Leave the them to set for a couple of hours, or stick them in the fridge to speed up the process.
Once the ganache has set, melt the rest of the chocolate and coat the chillies with it. Lay them on some baking parchment to set.
Step 6: The Finish
And you're done!
Once the chocolate layer has set peel the chillies from the parchment, trim off any rough edges and serve.