CRAZY FOR CHOCOLATE
Americans consume 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, in forms that go well beyond the bar. The cocoa bean has been enjoyed in savory applications such as sauces and spice rubs as well as cake and gooey brownies. These recipes provide some inexpensive and delicious ways to enjoy chocolate.
OAXACAN HOT CHOCOLATE
This spicy drink is a snap to make. Traditional Mexican chocolate is infused with cinnamon and occasionally chili pepper, vanilla, or almonds.
Recipe: Dying for Chocolate
CHORIZO CON CHOCOLATE
The unlikely combination of bittersweet chocolate and Spanish chorizo is often on the menu at tapas bars in Spain. Be sure to use dark, bitter chocolate and Spanish chorizo when making this dish, as it won't work with milk chocolate or Mexican chorizo.
SOUTHERN MUD PIE
The recipe for this chocolatey custard dessert includes chocolate in the crust, filling, and topping to satisfy even the most hardcore chocolate lover. Save time by purchasing a ready-made chocolate cookie crust.
BLACK FOREST CAKE
This traditional German dessert combines dark chocolate, cherries, and kirsch, a cherry liquor. To make an alcohol-free version, substitute cherry juice. This layer cake needs to rest in the fridge for the flavors to meld, so plan accordingly.
Recipe: Genius Kitchen
Mole poblano is a Mexican sauce often served with chicken that combines everything from raisins, almonds, and chocolate with chilies, garlic, and aromatic spices. Look in the ethnic aisles of grocery stores to find the different varieties of dried chilies used in this budget-friendly Mexican dish.
Recipe: Mexico in My Kitchen
CHURROS CON CHOCOLATE
This traditional Spanish treat is often enjoyed as breakfast or a mid-morning snack, although it works well as dessert, too. The churro dough is easy to make, although it requires a piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle to get the traditional shape.
Recipe: Cooking the Globe
The main ingredient in this steak rub recipe is cacao powder (which is made from unroasted beans, whereas cocoa has been roasted). Because the cacao is complemented with chili powders and black pepper, it's savory instead of sweet.
Recipe: The Domestic Man
Fudge made its first appearance in Maryland in the late 1800s, and the mixture of cocoa, milk, sugar, and butter has become an American classic. This basic recipe can be adapted to include nuts, peppermint, or other additions.
Recipe: The Kitchn
CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT PATTIES
This chocolate-and-mint candy recipe uses only six ingredients, and the patties can be made by hand if a mixer isn't available. After mastering the peppermint patties, create other flavors to wrap in chocolate.
Recipe: Chocolate, Chocolate and More
Specialty bitters for flavoring cocktails can be pricey, but they are surprisingly simple and inexpensive to make. You can infuse ingredients such as cacao nibs into alcohol until the flavors create a powerful tincture.
Recipe: How Sweet It Is
HOMEMADE CHOCOLATE BARK
Chocolate bark is a quick and easy confection that can be customized to include nuts, fruits, candies, and more. This recipe suggests even more unusual additions, like popcorn and granola.
Recipe: Tasty Yummies
BITTERSWEET FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
Flourless chocolate cake is not as simple as regular chocolate cake. Fortunately for those who lack the stamina for whipping egg whites, a mechanical mixer can do the job.
Recipe: The Kitchn
CHOCOLATE ICEBOX CAKE
A staple from a time before commercially available frozen cakes, the icebox cake is just as delicious and easy today. This version is a frozen cheesecake that takes a few minutes to whip together and 12 hours to chill. It stays fresh for a few days -- if it lasts that long.
Recipe: Real Simple