Sunday, 19 January 2014

Chocolate Chilli Pie

Eight days!! Too long for comfort that is but never mind because it's pie time.

My first experience of chocolate and chilli was when my brother handed me a sqaure of Lindt chocolate and asked me to guess what was in it. Our mother had guessed straight away but I couldn't figure it - all I knew was that the chocolate was really  nice and the other square I was supposed to be saving for Dad got a bit smaller. Since then I've wanted to do something else with the flavours but haven't really had the opportunity besides sampling more of the chocolate. You know, just to make sure I still liked each new bar. I've seen several cake recipes, one of which I've got in mind for when the occasion arises but until then, I'm glad I got the excuse to try chocolate chilli con carne. And to put it in a pie. I love pies. So healthy  I am.

I had intended to write a bit about the science behind pastry because I want to put more baking science into my posts but today I am far too giddy about the caramel brownies that I made earlier (coming soon!) for the words to flow in any sort of sensible order so I'll have to save it for another time. I also need to apologise for the awful photos. When you have been looking forward to your dinner all day, the last thing you want to do is mess about trying to get a good photo while it goes cold. Instead I'm just going to have to describe to you and hope you believe me that it was delicious and I want to make it again.

This picture doesn't do the chilli filling any justice. The chocolate mixing with the tomatoes makes it a rich, dark red brown. This shows a better colour when I had it with rice and yes, a blob of Philadelphia. You should try it. It's a bit like adding a spoonful of yorghurt or sour cream to soup but better.

So the flavour. Hearty spices create a warming dish right from the very first mouthful. The gentle dance of flames on the tongue makes you want to inhale the rest. The chocolate adds a depth of flavour that makes you realise what you have been missing. And then the pastry. Light and short, buttery and luxurious. Janine from Cake of the Week mentioned in this post here that if you replace some of the pastry water with alcohol it makes it extra flaky so I gave it a go in this dish. I was really pleased with the pastry though I'm usually pretty happy with my shortcrust pastry anyway so I'm not sure it was the possibility of some skills on my part or the whisky I added! Whichever, it imparted a lovely flavour so I'll be trying it again. I did wonder if whisky in the chilli itself would be good too mind.....



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Chocolate Chilli Pie
A deliciously warming chilli encased in a shortcrust pastry with a hint of whisky. Use your favourite chilli recipe and add a little dark chocolate for extra depth.
Ingredients
  • 1 portion of your favourite chilli
  • 1 square (or to taste) 70% chocolate, finely grated
  • 3oz plain flour
  • 1.5oz chilled butter
  • Splash of whisky
Instructions
1. I must stress that you should use your favourite chilli recipe for this. Some people like it really hot, some like just chilli powder in it and some use a mix of chilli powder and other herbs. Go with what you like an drain off any excess fluid. We want to avoid soggy bottoms here. Mix in the grated chocolate and set aside.2. Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add enough whisky to bind the dough together so it is soft but not sticky. 3. Bring the pastry together into a ball and roll out 2/3 of it on a lightly floured surface. Line an individual pie dish and fill with the chilli. Roll out the remaing 1/3 of pastry, damp the edges of the pie with water and cover the top, pressing down around the eges to seal. Trim the excess pastry and crimp the edges. Add a steam hole in the top and glaze if you wish. Either chill until ready to bake, then bring to room temperature while preheating the oven or leave in a cool place while the oven is heating to 200 C/180 C fan with a baking tray inside (this helps to cook the base).4. Bake in the preheated oven for around 25 mins until the pastry is goden brown and the filling is piping hot. Enjoy.
As I have never used chocolate in a savoury dish before I'm entering this into We Should Cocoa, run by Choclette from Chocolate Log Blog and this month hosted by Linzi from Lancashire Food. Linzi has chosen the theme of 'New Ingredient' and chilli is my new ingredient combination with chocolate. Finally I can say I've used such a popular combination myself. 

I've already mentioned Janine from Cake of the Week but I neglected to say that she runs the challenge Baking with Spirt. This month the theme is frugal recipes using alcohol and I think this one fits because it only uses a little in the pastry so would be good for using up the last bit in the bottle.

14 comments:

  1. I like chilli and chocolate and its a great combination in savoury recipes, thanks for tajing part in We should cocoa

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  2. Hmm I wonder how the spices in the whisky lended themselves to the chilli? I am tempted to try chocolate in savoury dishes, and your enthusiasm about this pie is encouraging me. Sounds like it was a pretty hearty meal. Thanks for entering BWS!

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    1. I think they were pretty complementary but I want to try this again to make sure. I think a smokey whisky would be especially good but I don't know enough about alcohol to say which one!

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    2. Haha I wouldn't know enough about whisky to tell if it was smokey or not anyway!

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  3. I'm a big fan of chocolate in this sort of dish, but I haven't yet had it in pie form. What a great idea. I'm intrigued by the use of whisky in the pastry so will have to try that out at some point. Thanks for playing along with WSC :)

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    1. It was a pleasure and I do hope you get to try it =)

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  4. This pie sounds lovely. Chilli with a hint of chocolate is a great combination and I'm with you on the pie front……. I love them too, especially in winter! Photographing food when you're hungry and want to eat it hot is always a nightmare. Never quite sure how to get round that one!

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    1. Exactly, winter is made for pies I'm sure!

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  5. Hello, my name is Francesca and I'm Italian. I stumbled upon your blog and I liked it because there are so many nice recipes that I would like to learn. I have joined your supporters. If you go too foul. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. So glad to have to have you on board Francesca and thank you for your kind words =)

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  6. Oh I was so sure this was going to be a sweet pie, what a great surprise!! :-D Looks wonderful - I have tried bittersweet chocolate in chili before but the I'm so intrigued by the idea of chili in pie (and the touch of whiskey!).

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    1. Thank you and I do hope you try it some time - it's so worth it =)

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