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Transform tenderloin into beef with chocolate chile barbecue sauce that will have everyone clamoring for more.



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August 2007

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Rubs, Marinades & Glazes

Recipe: Chocolate Barbecue Sauce

Gourmet Barbecue Sauce With Scharffen Berger Chocolate Creates Great Hors D’Oeuvres

As anyone who has ever been to an all-chocolate dinner can attest, chocolate is not “just dessert.” It can be served in any course—from cacao nibs or shaved 100% cacao tossed with the salad, to unsweetened chocolate sauces for fish, meat and poultry (think of the famed mole sauce of Mexico).

Since barbecue sauce contains sugar, the chefs at the The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania—which, as you can imagine, is the place to go for a gourmet, all-chocolate dinner as well as a luxurious all-chocolate spa treatment—used Scharffen Berger’s 82% cacao chocolate, instead of 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate, to create a barbecue sauce that’s so exquisite, it could be eaten straight from the jar. They put it on delicious hors d’oeuvres that you can serve at parties, or as the first course at dinner (a regular menu or all-chocolate).

Recipe: Chocolate Chile Barbecue Sauce

With this Chocolate Chile Barbecue Sauce, you can work wonders on chicken, beef, pork, scallops, shrimp.... In fact, we think you’ll be so in love with it, you’ll look for things to “chocolate barbecue.” Buy some pretty jars and bring this sauce as a house gift or holiday gift. (After all, how many people bring a gift of homemade chocolate barbecue sauce?)


  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ Spanish onion, small dice
  • 2 roma (plum) tomatoes, stem removed, small dice
  • 1-½ ounce dark brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 4 ounces apple cider vinegar
  • 8 ounces barbecue sauce
  • 14 ounces vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
  • 2 ounces Scharffen Berger 82%
    dark chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro,
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh-ground black


Scharffen Berger 82% Cacao Chocolate Bar
Top-quality extra-dark chocolate, Scharffen Berger’s 82% cacao (available in 3-ounce bars and in bulk), is the base of the sauce.
  1. Melt butter in small sauce pan over medium heat.  Add garlic and onion, sauté 5 minutes until golden brown. 
  2. Add tomatoes, stir, and sauté an additional 5 minutes.  Add sugar and chile powder, mix well, and cook for 5 minutes. 
  3. Add vinegar, reduce for 5 minutes; mixture should have a paste consistency.  
  4. Add sauce, stock, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a slow simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add Scharffen Berger chocolate and cilantro; allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove sauce from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
  7. Purée sauce, transfer to clean container and cool. For best results refrigerate for 12 hours before using.

Recipe: Barbecue Beef Tenderloin Hors D’Oeuvres

You can serve these 1½" rounds as hors d’oeuvres, or serve three on a plate as a first course, with a garniture of mesclun or frisée salad. Combine them with the scallop hors d’oeuvre below for a special “surf and turf.”


  • 16, 1-½" rounds whole grain bread
  • 8 ounces beef tenderloin, cleaned, trimmed, quartered
    (approximately 1½" diameter)
  • 3 ounces Chocolate Chile Barbecue Sauce
  • 32 baby arugula leaves
  • 3 ounces Maytag* blue cheese or
    other dry, crumbly blue cheese
  • Cooking oil
  • Salt and black pepper,
    fresh ground
Maytag Blue Cheese
You can purchase Maytag Blue at most cheese
stores or online. Photo courtesy of iGourmet.com.

*Yes, Maytag Blue Cheese is made by the same family that produces washing machines! Fritz Maytag, son of Frederick Louis Maytag, founded the Maytag Dairy. Handmade in central Iowa, Maytag blue was one of the first great American farmstead cheeses. It is ripened in caves dug into the rolling hills of the Iowa countryside, just as Roquefort is ripened in caves (though naturally-occurring) in southwest France. However, Maytag is a cow’s milk cheese, while Roquefort is made of sheep’s milk. You can enjoy the leftovers with a medium-bodied ale or lager or a glass of sweet wine, or make it into a sauce for pasta or vegetables.


  1. Place croutons evenly on clean, dry baking pan. Place in pre-heated 350° convection oven for 3 to 5 minutes until crisp. Remove and allow to cool.
  2. Lightly season the beef with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in medium sauté pan over high heat. Sear beef evenly on all sides, 2 minutes. Coat beef thoroughly with 2 ounces barbecue sauce.  Remove from pan and allow to cool.
  4. Evenly slice the beef into 16, ½ ounce portions.
  5. To serve, spread barbecue sauce evenly on each crouton. Top with 2 arugula leaves and one slice of beef. Garnish with blue cheese crumble. 

Yield: 16 pieces


Recipe: Scallops With Chocolate Barbecue Sauce & Strawberry Salsa

Apply the same hors d’oeuvre concept to creamy sea scallops.


  • Scallops16, 1-½" rounds of buttermilk or
    white bread
  • 8 sea scallops, cut diagonally in half
    (this will provide some height when
    the hors d’oeuvre is assembled, as
    opposed to a flatter scallop sliced
    through the middle)
  • 2 ounces Chocolate Chile Barbecue
  • 4 small strawberries, diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh basil, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper, fresh ground


  1. Place the bread evenly on a clean, dry baking pan. Place in a pre-heated 350° convection oven for 3 to 5 minutes—don’t overcook (we prefer them “rare” in the center—it preserves the delicacy of flavor). Remove and allow to cool.
  2. Lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper. 
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in large sauté pan. Sauté scallops for 1 minute. Coat scallops thoroughly with the barbecue sauce. Remove from pan.
  4. To make salsa, gently mix strawberries, basil and olive oil in small bowl.  Season to taste.
  5. To serve, place cooked scallop on crouton. Top with 1 teaspoon of salsa.  Serve immediately.

Yield: 16 pieces.

Recipe courtesy of Hotel Hershey. All rights reserved. Additional material

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