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This week’s obsession: Spicy Chocolate

Spicy peppers in chocolate has got to be one of my favorite flavor combinations! (Ok who are we kidding? I love most dessert flavor combinations. That’s why I’m here.) The richness of the chocolate is beautifully enhanced by the slight heat of the spices which creates an unbeatable flavor experience, IMHO.


My only complaint is that every time I present a spicy chocolate anything, there’s always someone in the group who tells me that he could have taken waaaaaaay more spice in his dessert. Yeah buddy, we get it. You’re a super macho man when it comes to spice. (I’m not kidding, this happens EVERY time.) But I’ll let you in on a little secret: we ALL can handle much more spice. The thing about this flavor combination is that it’s not meant to be painful or an overwhelming flavor burn. I made the conscious decision to not burn your face off with my dessert because I only wanted to serve you something tasty. So my tip for all of you today is to please not assert your manliness at a chef over their flavoring choices – just trust that we did it that way on purpose and didn’t give your tolerance level a single thought while crafting our recipes.


On that note, it should be said that all of the following desserts aren’t anything like lava in your mouth; they’re simply a nice flavor melding to amp up your chocolate experience!

On that note, it should be said that all of the following desserts aren’t anything like lava in your mouth; they’re simply a nice flavor melding to amp up your chocolate experience!


Back in the day, I used to make a cayenne brownie topped with my signature brown butter/cream cheese/cinnamon frosting that was simply heaven. As you can see in the photo, I dusted it with straight cayenne pepper , but PLEASE pardon my terrible photography skills. This was from 6 years ago! I served a version of this at a few of the bakeries I worked at in Louisiana, and it was always well received.


For my first dinner party here on the island – a Taco Tuesday party, to be exact – I finished off the meal with individual ancho chile chocolate mousse cups topped with a candied orange slice. The smooth creaminess of the mousse really pares down the spice while providing a light dessert with a slight spicy note to end on. I highly recommend mousses for dinner parties because they’re so airy and easy to serve, but also very versatile!



More recently, for Cinco de Mayo, I had another dinner gathering and decided to bust out some of my brand new cookies cutters from @TheCookieCutterShopCom (Confession: I went wild one night and ordered 64 different cookie cutters from them. It was like Christmas morning when they arrived, and I’d been dying to use them ever since!) I played around with this great chocolate sugar cookie dough recipe that I had, and added some ground cinnamon and precisely one gram of cayenne pepper for a little flavor (a little goes a long way). Then as the cookies came out of the oven, I covered them in cinnamon and sugar. The result was outstanding! The cayenne pepper was undetectable at first, but made an appearance as a slow build of spice on the back end. It was subtle, yet effective. I don't have any blog worthy photos of these cookies for you though... I blame the tequila.


Today, because I had some of that spicy cookie dough left over, I decided to break in another one of my new cutters to whip up another batch of cookies. I also had some leftover buttercream, so I used that to decorate these lovelies with a playful sort of a spring feel. I call them Springtime Surprise 😉

I’m actually kind of kidding about the surprise part. I never want to cause pain or discomfort to those who are eating my products so I always give fair warning if I’m spicing up my sweets! And for those of you who are using spices in your desserts, you’ll notice that you’ll get way more complaints if you use too much heat than if you don’t use enough. Plus the people who think it’s too much heat won’t eat any more of your dessert while those who state that they could handle more heat always do!


#rebelbaker #pastrychef #buttercream #chocolate #chocolatemousse #piping #candiedorange #anchochiles #cayenne #foodphotography #mauifood #mauievents #mauieats #mauibaker #mauisweets

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