All chocolate is sweet. All cayenne pepper is spicy. Therefore, chocolate-cayenne bark is sweet and spicy.
Admittedly, the one about Socrates is smoother. But not as smooth as the chocolate-cayenne-peanut-studded bark I crafted and gifted this holiday season. After the chocolate has melted and gone away, and all that lingers is straggling shard of roasted peanut, the heat creeps up on you. Like a baby dragon breathing soft flames from your stomach.
Not for the faint of heart.
Cayenne pepper has always been a favorite of mine. Just a dash adds a whopping and surprising ZING. Pumpkin pie, chutney, candied yams, Mexican chocolate mousse, chocolate bark. If cayenne pepper could talk, I wonder what it would say.
“Is it hot in here, or is it just me?”
8 oz (1/2 lb) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup peanuts, chopped
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or less, to taste)
1 cup chopped raisins (optional)
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler, carefully melt the chocolate, ensuring that it doesn’t burn. (If microwaving, 15- or 20-second intervals should do the trick. When the chocolate begins to melt, reach in and stir it every 15 seconds. Tedious, but better safe than sorry that you burned half a pound of bittersweet chocolate.) When all is melted, add the chopped peanuts and cayenne; mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet and spread evenly. Throw it into the fridge for about 30 minutes, or until set.
Reminder: Warn those adventurous enough to try your bark that it contains cayenne, lest they scratch at their throats in terror at presumption that you have poisoned them. (Note: If they are allergic to peanuts, you very well may have.)