Cooking with chocolate opens up a world of flavour possibilities. And it’s a lot easier than you think. Whether you’re cooking dinner for two (don’t forget the bottle of red wine), or you’re hoping to spice up this year’s holiday meal with something a little unexpected, these recipes infused with chocolate are the very height of comfort food and are perfect for any occasion big or small.
Beef Stew with Chocolate
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
- 4 strips bacon, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
- 2 lb (900 g) stewing beef cubes
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine
- 4 cups (1 L) beef broth
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (plus more for garnish)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 6 oz (170 g) pearl onions, blanched and peeled
- 2 to 4 pieces (20 to 40 g) Lindt Excellence 90% Cacao Dark Chocolate
- In a 12-inch (30 cm) braising pan, cook bacon on medium until browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve on a large plate.
- Season flour with salt and pepper, then toss beef cubes in mixture to coat. Sear cubes in same pan as bacon, browning on all sides. Remove browned beef from pan and set aside.
- Add onion to pan and cook to soften and caramelize it. Add chopped celery and cook until softened. Pour in wine and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits off bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Boil for a couple of minutes to reduce it and boil off some of the alcohol.
- When wine has reduced, add beef broth, browned beef and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Add in 2 sprigs of fresh thyme. Bring stew to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer until beef is tender (about 2.5 hours).
- About 30 minutes before stew is ready, stir in carrots and pearl onions. Continue simmering stew with lid on until veggies are tender.
- When veggies are tender, remove sprigs of thyme, then stir in 2 pieces of chocolate. Taste and add more chocolate as needed. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Garnish with thyme leaves.
Maître Chocolatier Tip: With dark chocolate, a little goes a long way: Start with two pieces, taste, and add more until you’ve achieved the right balance.
Beef Tenderloin with Dark Chocolate Blackcurrant Pan Sauce
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 2 tsp (10 mL) finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 1 ½ lb (680 g) beef tenderloin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup (125 mL) dry red wine
- 1 cup (250 mL) beef broth
- ½ cup (125 mL) water
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) blackcurrant jelly
- 2 squares (20 g) Lindt Excellence 85% Cacao Dark Chocolate, finely grated
- Using the flat side of a knife, mash rosemary and garlic against your chopping board, then drizzle with a ½ tbsp of olive oil.
- Use paper towel to pat beef tenderloin dry, then rub with rosemary/garlic/oil mixture.
- Season with salt and pepper, cover with plastic wrap and let marinate on counter for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).
- Heat a cast iron pan (or other heavy ovenproof skillet that can fit the tenderloin) on high heat. Coat the hot pan with remaining ½ tbsp of oil, season meat generously with salt, then sear, turning a few times, for about 3 minutes on each side. Put pan in preheated oven and roast tenderloin to medium rare, about 15 to 20 minutes, or to a core temperature of 125°F (50°C) using a meat thermometer. Transfer meat to a plate, cover with foil and let it rest while you prepare the sauce.
- Set tenderloin pan on stovetop on medium heat and add wine to deglaze, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Let wine bubble away for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together broth, water and cornstarch. Add to pan and simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally. Whisk in jelly, grated chocolate, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a couple of minutes more or until smooth and glossy.
- Slice tenderloin and top with some sauce, serving remaining sauce on the side. Serve with roasted carrots, if desired.
Maître Chocolatier Tip: Grate your chocolate using a fine rasp or hand grater to ensure quick and uniform melting.
Ricardo’s Curried Chocolate Pork Tenderloin
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
- ½ lb (225 g) small parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp (8 mL) curry powder
- 1 tsp (5 mL) crushed coriander seeds
- ½ tsp (3 mL) cayenne pepper
- 1 pork tenderloin (approx. 1 lb/450 g)
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) red wine
- ½ cup (125 mL) prepared demi-glace
- 1 ½ squares (15 g) Lindt Excellence 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Position one rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large ovenproof skillet, melt butter with honey over medium-low heat. Add parsnips; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cover skillet with foil; bake parsnips for 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake for about 15 minutes more, tossing frequently, until parsnips are tender-crisp. Remove from oven; cover with foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, stir together oil, curry powder, crushed coriander seeds and cayenne. Rub spice mixture all over pork tenderloin.
- In a second large ovenproof skillet, melt butter over medium heat; brown meat on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven; roast pork, about 15 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer pork to cutting board; tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
- While pork is resting, skim fat from skillet and discard. Set skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in wine; cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits for 1 minute. Add demi-glace and bring to a boil. Remove from heat; add chocolate, stirring until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Thinly slice pork across the grain and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve with parsnips.