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Chocolate & Salsa

Sweet though it may be, chocolate doesn’t always have to be for dessert – in fact, it doesn’t even have to be sweet and isn’t in its natural form. Chocolate can work perfectly in savory dishes and sauces, such as this chocolate salsa recipe.

This salsa has plenty of chocolate flavor, but beware – it also packs some serious heat thanks to the inclusion of ancho chilies and chipotle peppers. If you like the complexity of Mexican mole sauces, then you will find a lot to love in this mole-inspired salsa.

Fiery, savory, densely packed with layer upon layer of flavors and offering just a hint of sweetness, this is a salsa, which is less for dipping than for cooking and saucing dishes. Try using it as a sauce for pork or beef as well as anything else that strikes your fancy and prepare to amaze everyone at your table.

If chocolate to you usually means a candy bar, this recipe might have piqued your interest, because it can be a worthy ingredient in savory dishes. Adding a pinch of cocoa powder is an interesting idea and many people always do this when making a beef chili, and this chocolate salsa recipe is also worth preparing, because the chilies and spices go nicely with the rich, earthy flavor of the chocolate, and the coffee and almonds also blend nicely.

If you are new to savory chocolate recipes or Mexican recipes using chocolate in unusual ways, it might be hard to picture what this chocolate salsa is going to taste like, or to bring the expected flavor into your mind, because it is tough to imagine something brand new, so the best thing to do is just make it, because the smooth, rich and earthy flavor is going to amaze and delight you.

Hot, Smoky Chocolate Salsa
Summary: Unusual and delicious, this chocolate salsa brings together ingredients you might normally blend like coffee, chocolate, almonds, and chilies, for a breathtaking result which is typically Mexican.
Cuisine: Mexican
Recipe type: Sauce
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 4-5 dried ancho chilies, stems, and seeds removed
  • 4 sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
  • 1 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 3 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 tbsp pepitas, toasted (omit if unavailable)
  • 1-2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (adjust quantity to taste)
  • 2 tbsp grated chocolate – preferably Mexican chocolate, though any semi-sweet chocolate may be substituted
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  1. This is a recipe which is a little more demanding than most salsa recipes; you are going to need a little time and a food processor in order to make this chocolate salsa properly.
  2. Begin by removing the stems and seeds from the anchos with a sharp knife and soak them, along with the sun-dried tomatoes, in the coffee to rehydrate.
  3. While they soak, toast the almonds and pepitas (if using) in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing frequently.
  4. You can also remove the stem from the chipotle peppers and grate the chocolate while you wait.
  5. Once the peppers and tomatoes are semi-rehydrated, add them, along with the remaining ingredients to a food processor, and blend well.
  6. The consistency of this chocolate salsa recipe will end up being more like a sauce than a typical salsa but, with a salsa as delicious as this, we doubt anyone will complain.

Photo Description:

Chocolate salsa with almonds, coffee and chili offers a surprising flavor and is typically Mexican. Most of us are more familiar with tomato-based salsa, but if you are looking for a new south of the border sauce to try out, or if you want to find out what happens when you use chocolate to make a savory dish, why not have a go at making this, and you can find out exactly what it is like. This sauce is rich, earthy and unusual, and it goes beautifully with chicken or turkey. Keep the poultry plain though, so the flavor of the salsa really stands out.

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi, I'm Christine, and I'm pleased to welcome you to I have endeavored to gather as many delicious South of the border recipes here for you, including Mexican-inspired as well as traditional Mexican, and also some Tex-Mex and Mexican fusion dishes. Food is very important to our family's lives and Mexican food is certainly a favorite around here.

We have everything from appetizers and snacks to soups, drinks, entrées, and much more. You will find everything from mild dishes to super-spicy ones, simple recipes based on fresh ingredients up to more complex ones suitable for a dinner party.

Home cooks just starting out with Mexican cooking tend to be surprised how much of the emphasis is placed on using fresh ingredients and aromatic herbs and spices. Forget the typical ideas about Mexican food being all beans, cheese and beef (that applies a little more to Tex-Mex), take inspiration from authentic Mexican dishes based on fresh ingredients, and inject all your passion into cooking South of the border food, for perfect results every time.

Thanks for visiting,