Smoked chocolate bars? It sounds like madness and this was a complete and utter experiment executed on a hope and a whim. I didn’t know how they turned out until moments after we took the following picture and started to clean our kitchen set. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Dana raise a hand to her mouth and take her first bite.
Once Dana had given me her reaction I grabbed half the chocolate and took it to our local watering hole where a group of friends and acquaintances were watching football. Word spread quickly through the bar that I was packing chocolate heat and people were running at me from all angles to try it. I didn’t tell anyone we smoked it but they quickly identified the flavor and spread the word faster than receiver sprinting for the end zone!
The trickiest thing about this recipe was ensuring that the smoker stayed cold enough to (more-or-less) prevent the chocolate from melting while it smoked. We smoked it for about 8 hours and were doing fine until the very end when I placed the chocolate directly above the smoldering smoker and it produced enough heat to slightly melt the chocolate. This wasn’t an issue because the chocolate was resting on a layer of parchment paper – I moved the smoker and waited for the chocolate to harden before peeling it from the parchment and proceeding with the recipe. Keeping things cool was also easy because we did this on a cool winter day; the heat of summer would likely be enough to melt the chocolate on it’s own.
I’m not an overly sweet guy so I used 70$ chocolate that was unsweetened. You’ll see that we added a touch of maple sugar which you could increase or replace altogether with brown sugar.
This recipe is easily scalable and you can adjust the flavors to suit yourself. Stick with a high percentage chocolate and break it into pieces before putting it into the smoker. By breaking it down you’ll be increasing the surface area that’s exposed to smoke and will maximize the flavor transfer.
- 6 ounces (170g)/1 package of dark chocolate, 70% cacao (find this in the baking aisle).
- ¼ cup maple sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp shelled peanuts, chopped roughly.
- 2-4 small dried chilli peppers (to taste), chopped fine
- Cold smoker.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and place on a sheet of parchment paper.
- Place chocolate inside cold smoker and smoke for 6-10 hours. Hardwood is best (we used hickory). Make sure the chocolate stays cool (if it's warm outside, you can place a bowl of ice below the chocolate - just make sure that the chocolate won't get wet when it melts.
- To make the chocolate bars, create a double boiler. You do this by placing a heat-safe bowl on top of a pot of boiling water and place the chocolate in the bowl. This allows the chocolate to melt without separating.
- Line a small tray or plate with parchment paper.
- Once the chocolate is melted, add the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Immediately pour onto the parchment paper and softly jostle the tray to spread the chocolate.
- Working quick, toss the peanuts and chilies onto the soft chocolate. I do this by holding them in a lose fist and shake my hand (like I was playing rock-paper-scissors) to scatter the solids.
- Allow the chocolate to cool. The parchment should easily peel away and you can break the sheet of chocolate into bit-sized pieces.
Looking for a more traditional shape for your chocolate bars? Check out David Lebovitz’s post on how to make chocolate bars where he shares a simple solution to make your own molds and shows samples of professional models that you can buy if you want to up your chocolate game. We preferred the rustic feel of breaking of chunks of this smoky goodness.