Celebrate National Chocolate Day with Chef Jill Houk!

My October WCW, Chef Jill Houk, shared a couple recipes with me and I’m sharing them with you! Today’s recipe? Spiced Chili Pepper Hot Chocolate (reprinted with permission from The Essential Dehydrator, Adams Media) in celebration of National Chocolate Day! How many of these you consume, totally up to you! No judgement!


Spiced Chili Pepper Hot Chocolate

Makes four servings

This hot chocolate was inspired by the chocolate beverages first served in Central and South America, which contained spices and chili peppers. The dark chocolate blends seamlessly with dried chilies, cinnamon, and citrus, making for an intoxicating hot beverage.

If you don’t have three people to share your hot cocoa with, not to worry—you can refrigerate leftover hot chocolate and reheat it to enjoy a different day.


3 cups whole or 2% milk
1 small or 1/2 large dried chili pepper, left in a single piece
3 cinnamon sticks
3 star anise
1 slice dried ginger
1 slice dried orange or tangerine
6 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
½ teaspoon vanilla
Pinch salt

Place milk, pepper, cinnamon, anise, ginger, and orange into a saucepot. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Immediately remove from heat, cover, and steep 30 minutes.

Strain milk, discarding solids.

Bring milk to a boil again, and immediately remove from heat.

Whisk in chocolate, vanilla, and salt.

When well-combined, serve.

This weekend, we’ll be sipping these while we pass out candy and cheer on our Chicago Cubs (Go Cubs, Go!) in the World Series! I have a feeling these would be great spiked…


Photograph provided by Angela Garbot Photography.

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