Chocolate and Coffee Chilli

Surfing the web looking for authentic Chilli recipes, to see if I could get a feel for a “proper Chilli” and found lots of different ideas about what goes in a Chilli.

I stumbled across gourmet mum and was fascinated to find someone else as sad as me that researches authentic recipes 🙂 Chocolate and coffee in a chilli, are you crazy? Try it, I’m sure it will knock your socks off  🙂 I made 2 lots of Chilli for a family event, one “normal” and the other with Chocolate and Coffee. The pan with the choc and coffee went like wild fire, people just kept coming back for more; I only told people about the choc n coffee when they asked for the recipe and they thought I was joking!

INGREDIENTS  (that I used; from what I had in the cupboard) differs slightly from Gourmet Mum  🙂

  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed / Olive or whatever oil you prefer.
  • 750g diced beef (to be authentic but beef mince works fine).
  • 2 red onion, peeled and chopped however you want; fine is fine 🙂
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or finely chopped. Add more if you want.
  • 3 teaspoons mild chilli powder but if you like the heat use chopped chillis – with or without the seeds.
  • *Herbs – Cumin, Coriander, Oregano, Cinnamon, nutmeg. Add these if you like them!
  • 1 teaspoon good quality instant coffee.
  • 1 beef stock cube.
  • 30g plain chocolate. (less is better than more!)
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomato.
  • 1 x 400g  can Red kidney beans.
  • 1 x 400g white kidney /Cannellini beans or butter beans.
  • 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Water – to loosen the mix. The chopped tomatoes usually have enough water.
  • Optional 1 x tsp Horseradish sauce.
  • Optional 1 x tsp Ginger paste/powder.


  • Boiled Rice – white or brown.
  • Jacket potato.
  • Salad, along with “TexMex” stuff – salsa, tortilla chips etc.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan (with a good fit lid), add the chopped onions and cook until soft (cook until golden brown if you want an extra bit of flavour). Tip, if you don’t want to “stand guard” over the onions, once they have had a good coating of oil, add some water, pop the lid on and just simmer away for 20 mins  or until soft. Then boil off the water.

In a separate large frying pan, brown the beef; I tend to brown just one side of the meat.

When the onions are soft, add the chilli powder and any dried herbs that you fancy (Cummin, Coriander, Oregano, cinnamon)  along with the garlic and paprika. Let it simmer for a few minutes to allow the herbs an spices to combine.

Add the diced (or minced/ground) beef, give it a good stir to combine everything. De-glaze the frying pan with a little water and add the contents to the large pan.

Add the tomatoes, beans and stock cube and give it a good stir, bring to the boil. Add Salt and test taste. Add more salt and/or Chilli powder to taste. This should now be your “normal” chilli.

  • Add the coffee in small amounts, test taste.
  • Add the chocolate in small amounts, test taste. The chocolate can overpower!

TIP  You might be better adding the Coffee and Chocolate in small amounts, together and taste testing. When you get the right combination of “WOW” factor, you will know! We are all different!

At this point you should have a near authentic Chilli (with added beans) and it just needs simmering for about an hour or longer to make sure the meat is soft and tender. The chocolate, coffee and spicy chilli will be a surprise on your taste buds, if you have an unwanted bitter taste; try adding a little soft brown sugar or Honey or even Sultanas or Raisins. Salt can disguise a bitter taste, you’re looking to get a rich spicy but not bitter taste. If you want more “heat” add more chilli powder or even cayenne pepper!

My grand kids (age 8 & 10) quite often do the tasting, they look for initial sweetness and the (gentle) heat at the back of the throat. If you’re catering for adults, they might like more heat and less sweetness.

* Salt disguises bitterness, on the tongue; it doesn’t sweeten!

* Horseradish helps bring out flavour but has a distinctive taste so don’t over do it! It is one of the few things that add “umami” (the fifth taste), as does fish oil and mushrooms!

Herbs – Cummin, Coriander, Oregano, cinnamon and nutmeg do add to the flavour but my family are not fans unless I do a Lamb Tagine and then they love it! If you don’t normally use herbs; add each one and do a taste test. “Mixed herbs” or “Bouquet Garni” are a good start to cooking with herbs.

I tend to use Basil, Parsley and Rosemary to be my basic “Stock” herbs for beef.

Oregano can be quite a strong flavour, you could use Majoram instead; it is sweeter.

Dried Coriander tends to be from the root, fresh coriander leaves are quite a different taste but you normally sprinkle the chopped leaves on top just before serving.

  • I came across a chilli recipe that included tobacco – I won’t be trying that 🙂