Chocolate Chili Bites Recipe

On Saturday night, we had the pleasure of attending the fourth edition of the Paris Potluck, hosted by Alisa and her husband Jean-Yves. This time around, Alisa had suggested that we follow a theme : no more random assortment of everyone’s current food obessions! And as she (and I and pretty much everyone else) had been suffering from terrible Mexican food cravings since moving to Paris, her theme of choice was Mexican, as announced happily in an email with multicolored letters.

As always, I toyed with different ideas for a while, and waited until the very last minute to decide what I was going to make. I asked Alisa what everyone was bringing, and she told me that appetizers and main courses were well covered, so a dessert would round out the menu nicely. I’ve never been a big fan of the desserts they served at Mexican restaurants in California (much less in Paris, where the Mexican restaurants I’ve tried are an insult to Mexican cuisine), so I decided to just come up with my own idea of a Mexican dessert.

So. Mexican dessert… Inspiration struck : chocolate and chili are both very Mexican, right? How about adding ground chili to my dear melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake? And since this is a very rich cake and my petit-four silicon molds are begging to be used, stomping their tiny little feet in my kitchen cabinet, how about baking mini bites of chocolate and chili cake?

And so after a fabulous Mexican food bonanza — margaritas, three kinds of salsa, guacamole, tortilla chips, two kinds of enchiladas, chicken mole, spicy shrimp, zucchini and corn salad, cactus salad, refried beans, oh how I missed you guys — desserts were brought to the table : a delicious lime pie, wonderful crepes with pecans and homemade dulce de leche, and a bowl of my Chocolate and Chili Bites.

Those little bites are a delightful rollercoaster in taste. You pick one up, study it with curiosity because you’ve been told there’s chili in there, but it looks harmless enough so you pop it into your mouth. At first, all you’re aware of is the moist and intensely flavorful chocolate cake, with its little crusty top. And then, as an afterthought, just when you’re starting to wonder well, where did the chili go, there it comes, and a miniature heatwave invades your mouth. And as your palate tingles, you have to laugh at the spicy little trick that’s just been played on your tastebuds, and hop gaily onto the rollercoaster again.

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Chocolate Chili Bites Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Makes about 72 mini bites.

Chocolate Chili Bites Recipe


  • 200 grams (7 ounces, 1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) butter
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • 160 grams (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour (use a gluten-free flour as needed, or omit the flour entirely)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground chili pepper (I use piment d'Espelette -- adjust to your taste and to the strength of your chili)
  • a good pinch of fine sea salt


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C (400°F).
  2. Melt the butter with the chocolate in a small saucepan or in a bowl in the microwave. If melting in the microwave, be sure to do it slowly, blending with a spoon between each pass.
  3. Transfer into a mixing bowl, add in the sugar, mix with a wooden spoon and let cool a little. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well with the spoon after each addition. Add a rounded tablespoon of flour, the ground chili and salt, and mix well.
  4. Pour the dough in the petit four molds, and put into the oven to bake for ten to twelve minutes. The top should look set, but the inside should still be on the soft side.
  5. Let the the mini bites cool down enough to unmold them, then transfer to a rack to cool completely while you cook the other batches. Store in a plastic container, refrigerate, and take out about an hour prior to serving the next day.
  • Hi Clotilde,

    2 teaspoonful of chili powder sounds like quite a bit, those cuties must really have been laughably hot. :)

    I like the combination of chocolate and chili, too. I would enjoy a cup of chili-infused hot chocolate in a cold evening (although it never really gets too cold over here). I also bought a chili-infused chocolate bar lately, but haven’t tried it yet… about time, maybe!

  • Hi Clotilde,

    I think I’ll use your melt in the mouth choc cake recipe in my mini muffin pan that was begging to be used this weekend! I had been looking for a nice cake recipe to miniaturise!

  • WOW!

    What can I say? I’ll let my stomach do the talking… but it ain’t doing that! It’s growling! It wants some of your Chocolate Chili Bites!

  • olé!

  • Chika – Well, this is chili powder for 72 bites so it gets divided quite a bit, but I’ve updated the recipe to say 1.5 tsp and mentioned that each baker should adjust to his tastebuds and the strength of his chili powder!

  • Oops sorry, Clotilde, I didn’t mean to suggest you should reduce the amount of chili – I’d rather love them spicier the better! I’m not scared!
    But I think you’re right, some chili powders are spicier than others… I like spicy things really spicy, but some might like it more subtle ways…

  • Alisa

    The amount of chili pepper was absolutely perfect. There were just a few mini bites left over after the party. We gobbled them up for breakfast Sunday morning. Truly, one of the best things I have ever eaten. Sunday afternoon we went on walking tour of Le Marais. Stopped for le goute at a pâtisserie. On the menu….Petite mouleux chocolat aux piments de espilette. We tried them. They were good, yet completely mediocre compared to yours. Really.

  • Clotilde! You’ve done it again! I have never been a big fan of chilis. They overwhelm my palate, reducing me to a numb and sweaty mess. However, I’ve recently found that the only way I can enjoy this spice is when paired with rich dark chocolate. Thanks for the recipe :)

  • asha

    Your line “…stomping their tiny little feet…” is the best ever! Loved it, what a smiley start for today, Clotilde.

  • I want to reach into your photo and pluck out a mini-bite! Such a happy little description, too!

  • Clotilde –

    How wonderfully amazing… The description has left my mouth watering, and yet I’ve banished myself to “low-carbdom” until I lose these wily 25lbs.

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  • Holy god, I have got to make these asap! One question: Are they better made a day ahead or is it just for the sake of convenience?

  • Caroline

    My -Dutch- boyfriend baked a crumble last weekend but mistook the chili (labeled cayenne in French) for cinamon (canelle…). And as we LOVE cinamon, he was very generous in powdering the apples. I can’t even describe how hot the crumble was and how surprised we were!
    The chili / chocolate bites look great though…I guess it’s just a question of proportions.

  • catherine

    hi, clotilde
    I wanna join paris potluck.
    It’ll be great with good companion.
    Especially, mexican foods quicken my appetite

  • One of my favourite chocolate recipes is a molé brownie that features deep rich chocolate fudge infused with Mexican cinnamon and a heavy dose of chipotle peppers. They’re divine.

    Your bites were a perfect choice to end the dinner. They look lovely.

  • chicamaravilla, could you share your molé brownie recipe? The thought of it is distracting!

  • Hi Candy, et al.

    Sure thing!

    I don’t want to clutter up Clotilde’s comment sections, so I’ve posted that recipe over on my site.


  • Josie

    Yum! I want to make these!

  • clover

    hello clotilde
    i’m an avid reader of your wonderful blog and this post reminded me of a time years ago when my sister sabotaged my brownies y sprinkling it with dried chilli flakes when i wasn’t looking.
    my friend who could not take the spiciness of chilli tried some and turned all red!
    embarrassing and amusing all at once! but i have to say chocolate and chilli go really well together!

  • Chocolate (well, cocoa at least) and chilie is actually a fairly common combination in Mexico and throughout the Southwest, in New Mexico and here in Texas.
    There’s mole with chocolate, of course, and also desserts. Mexican hot chocolate includes several spices, including some chile powder. It’s really nice on a cold day. This page looks like it has some fairly authentic-sounding recipes:

    A place I went once in Santa Fe had a “Mexican Chocolate Torte” which included chile powder. I think it also involved almonds, Kahlua, and cinammon. For a while it was my favourite dessert.

  • Pete

    I noticed you also had Chicken Mole. I tried this in Mexico and ended up with a plate of chicken covered in what reminded me of sump oil. I found the large amount of sauce to be very bland and I am sure this should not be the case. Funny enough this was a fairly upmarket restuarant in this Mexican town. Do you have the correct recipe for Chicken Mole please?
    Love your site.

  • hrhqod1

    Wow, this sounds phenomenal…like a mole cake!

  • Hi Clotilde,

    Since I found your blog I can’t stop reading it again and again. I loved your pictures and the way you write is simply a delicious thing to eat with the eyes!

    I’m so excite to try your ‘mini choc chilli bites’, can I ask you how many little bites per batch you baked them? And how small are your molds, around 2-3cm diameter in the base?

    Thanks a lot and many congratulations for your blog and receipes.


  • Marcia – So happy you like the blog! My molds are indeed about 2.5 cm across, and they come in a tray of 24, so I made them in three batches. Hope you like these as much as we did, and do report back!

  • Erin

    The chilli bites are wonderful! I Just moved to the Hamptons on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY and needless to say the Mexican food quality has taken a plunge. The bites really hit the spot!

  • These sounded so delish I couldn’t wait to try them. I ended up making the whole cake with chili powder and cinnamon added to celebrat the Day of the Dead last weekend – everyone loved it. Wonderful!

  • Joette

    I’m definitely going to try these! And where can I find that mole brownie recipe? Thanks!

  • Megan

    mmmmmmm just looking at them makes me want them now! Im going to make these as soon as possible! I heard about chili in chocolate when I went to a mayan restaraunt here in Utah. We were there for a birthday, and they brought us out chocolate cake. We all took a bite, and the waitress said “we give this to all of our birthday guests because no one will order it” we asked why because it was soooo delicious, and she said “because it has chili powder in it.” we just gaped and ordered more! Now it is tradition to go there for birthdays. Can’t wait to try these!

  • Did you see the movie “Chocolat”? The secret to the confectioner’s success was the chili or some such pepper that went into the recipe. After seeing it I attended a “Party for the Senses” at Epcot where a chef had chocolate infused with chili. Yes, I believe it was from the southwest. It was out of this world. I did a search to find your recipe and not much else came up. Thanks, I can’t wait to try it.

  • Cindy

    After reading your recipe through, I realized there is no mention of when to add the chili powder! :)

  • colleen

    Hi there

    I am desperately looking for a recipe for chilli hot chocolate.

    Can u help

  • Thank you for sharing the recipe, Clotilde! I had a bar of cioccolate con peperoncino waiting to be used, and it suited perfectly for your recipe (I didn’t use chilli, as it was already in the chocolate).
    I really enjoyed the fierce chocolate mini muffins! Thanks again!

  • Try this for a really simple but effective chill hot chocolate recipe:

  • i have been known to use chipotle (smoke jalapeno chili) in place of the standard chili powder. it ads a mysterious smoky flavor that melds well with the chocolate. this is the most requested dessert from my friends.

  • These little cakes are so cute! I bet it is delicious, too.

  • Sympathiques!!!

  • Jasmine

    As I emailed Clothilde a few weeks ago, I served these at a party that I hosted recently, and they were a huge hit, and very fun to make. I couldn’t find petit four molds, but I used silcone mini muffin pans, which seemed to be about the same size, and they came out perfectly, and looked just like the picture above. I’ve already gotten requests to make them again!

  • I wanted to agree with monkey: ground chipolte peppers add the most wonderful deep, mysterious, smoky flavor to your chocolate torte, Clotilde. I’ve also found it works well in the standard chocolate brownie recipe. Just add enough to taste and watch the look on your guests’ faces as they try to figure out what’s happening on their palates.

  • Rosebengal

    Chocolate chili bites can only be improved upon with a chocolate chili ganache! There is a fabulous minicupcake recipe (with mouthwatering photos) at this all – cupcake blog by the talented Chockylit

  • If the chocolate-and-chilies theme tickles your fancy, look into a Latin-esque ‘mole’. I am fortunate to have a Puerto Rican friend who is an accomplished cook…the combustion of chili-fire and chocolate-sweet is unprecedented glory.
    Now I’ll have to casually slip her this muffin recipe. . .

  • Lovelly =) and delicious =)

  • Sounds interesting — a clarification though. I am assuming what you added was chile powder as in ground chile peppers and not chili powder as in chile, cumin, garlic, etc?

    The former sounds divine.. I’d think the latter would be a bit much

  • Having lived in both Tucson, Arizona and now Santa Fe, New Mexico chile is a way of life for me. Try chile in hot chocolate as well, it adds a element of mystery and spice! These little cakes remind me of the chile brownies I’ve made before. BTW, in the Southwest chile is the spelling for any chile pepper; chili with an “i” is used when describing the bean and meat stew.

  • Sounds delicious! I live in Arizona, and Mexican food is everywhere here. Chocolate and chili and a common and very tasty combination.

  • Flemish American

    Normally I find my way around the kitchen alright, but I ran into a little glitch trying to make these. You mentioned the pan, but nothing about greasing it. Since some cookies like peanut-butter cookies don’t require greasing, I figured this was also one of those times. Of course, they stuck fast.

    I finished the batch using mini-muffin molds, but may I assume in the future that I should have a well-greased pan?

  • Very tempting! I’ll try it…

  • Michelle

    I am looking forward to trying this. I actually use about 1/4t of cayenne pepper in all of my chocolate chip cookies, thie combination of the heat and the sweet makes them addictive!

  • enki

    i love your story and illustration of flavor. I laughed while, after i read the final description.
    ” people started to wonder where the chilli powder goes !”

    yeap. I will try, and let you know the response from friends. But i might keep it secrete that the small dark muffin has chilli powder in it. :)

  • kishko

    these are fantastic and are a perfect ending to the indian meals i cater! thank you!

  • Jenn

    I am in the process of making these in my mother’s mini-muffin tray, and I’ve already eaten three, despite the fact that they’re supposed to go to a party tonight. What a kick!

  • Rita Phillips

    Could I get your recipe for hot chocolate infused with chili, please?

  • maarten

    they’re so tasty!

  • Wow! I made these a couple of weeks ago and they were just amazing. I’m not a fan of really hot things so I only added a little mild chili powder. You couldn’t really taste it, more feel it. The chilli made the chocolate feel richer! My friends loved them and now I have an order to make more for a party this weekend. Thankyou!

  • izy

    scrumdiddlyumptious. thank you!

    i love how soft they are, when you bite in, and the soft chilli aftertaste. wicked bo.

    i had had the recipe printed out and waiting to be used for a while, but getting hold of the moulds took some time. the ones i found weren’t silicon so it took a bit of probing to get them out. but yeh, enjoyed by all :-D

  • Alan

    Fantastic… these complemented the Champagne Choc Brownies i made for a party really well…
    I have a great recipe for a Choc Zucchini cake i used to make years ago when i was baking full time.
    Keep up the great work
    Alan (New Zealand)

  • Wow, that was one tasty dessert. My only regret is that I chickened out a bit on the chili.

    They were great enough for me to even document them. =)

  • Alison

    We’ve got a Mexican bake off at work next week, and I’d love to make these although 72 little cakes will be far too many. How much chill powder do you suggest I use for about 24 ?

    don’t want to blow everyone’s head off with chilli

    Many Thanks

  • Alison – Well, if you divide the recipe by 3, 1/2 teaspoon of ground chili should do the trick…

  • tina Marrie

    did you use 72 individual petit four molds ? or can i use mini muffin tins ? thanks, tina

  • Jackie

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog! I spend 90% of my waking hours looking for new different recipes. I love sharpies (ultra-fine) and I have been looking for a chocolate chili recipe. Just made truffles for a gift, today I read your comments on making truffles. Looking forward to checking in daily!!

  • Ohhh my goodness. I’ve been in love with the combination of chocolate and chili ever since reviewing Michael Turback’s “Hot Chocolate” cookbook and trying the Hellfire Hot Chocolate. I must make these. Thank you for posting them!

  • krysel de leon

    you write wonderfully. makes the food even more delicious for your words capture the imagination.

  • Laura

    After having lived a year in Guadalajara and falling in love with mole (especially Mole Negro & Mole Poblano), I started working ground chipotle powder into my chocolate brownies and chocolate cookies. The surprise on folks’ faces when they realize the chili addition is priceless – and they always want more!

    I agree that ground chiptole is terrific to use because of it’s smokey edge. Sometimes I also add a pinch of Mexican cinnamon or substitute some Mexican chocolate (the kind traditionally used for hot chocolate drinks such as Ibarra) which typically has some cinnamon and almonds in it.

  • Susan

    I called my neighbor at 10pm when these were coming out of the oven. I am astounded at how good they are. I used 2 rounded tsp of the piment d’espellette powder, (don’t get me started on what I went through to procure that!) I think using the darkest and richest (70-80% cocoa) chocolate helped. Pure heaven, spiked with hell. Thank you, Clotilde!

  • Aimee

    I made these a few times at low elevation (300ft) with success and rave reviews. I now live at 5400ft and can’t figure out what to do with this recipe. They “fall” when I make them. Should I add more flour? I tried baking at a higher temp, which helped, but burned the edges…

  • Aimee – I don’t have experience baking at a high temperature so I can’t offer guidance, but this page seems to have good tips. Good luck!

  • Eileen

    I made these for a mexican meal at a friend’s house tonight and they were absolutely delicious. I love the combination of dark chocolate and chilli, so for me these were little mouthfuls of heaven! Can’t wait to try your other recipes.

  • Susan

    Try chile powder (chipotle is my favorite) in a rich bread pudding made with sour dough bread. It’s amazingly delicious! I use small ramekins but even baked up in a large pan is equally delicous (just not as pretty of a presentation).

  • six years later, and i just now came across this recipe! love it! definitely melts in your mouth.

    i think i need to experiment with different types of chili powders, though. turned out the suggested amount wasn’t nearly enough to give the choc bites the kick i was hoping for. otherwise, super-easy and delicious! thanks for sharing the recipe!

  • greg

    I couldn’t find petit four molds, but I used silcone mini muffin pans, which seemed to be about the same size, and they came out perfectly, and looked just like the picture above.


  • mb

    just wanted to ask if you know a good substitute for the 5 eggs in this recipe. thanks!

    • I don’t have much experience with that sort of substitution, but I think this recipe relies too much on the binding power of eggs for them to be replaced. If you can’t eat eggs, I’d suggest looking for a recipe that was especially designed not to include them.

  • Dani

    This is a marvellous recipe – my brother and I made it more like actual brownies (one tray cut into squares) and they look and taste delicious. Excellent idea!

  • Céleste

    Hi Clotilde,
    Have you ever tried the lazy version using chili flavored chocolate? We have some good ones here in Switzerland but I have no idea how the baking will influence the chili taste… Any ideas? Thanks a lot,

    • Chili is fairly heat-stable, so you should be fine!

  • Renee

    I’ve been making your recipe for years and just bought more chili (I always use cayenne). What a shock! My old spice must have lost its power so I’d always upped the measurement. Now I need to adjust back to yours! BTW, I’ve found that adding the chili to the chocolate/butter mix while it’s melting makes it distribute more evenly.

    Without a doubt, this is my favorite sweet treat to make and share.

    Thanks so much, Clotilde and happy holidays to you and your family.

    • Your chili mishap made me laugh. :) And thanks for the tip!

  • Hi from Poland! I’ve just made my first Chocolate Chilli Bites and I’m amazed :) They’re great – especially the consistency. Of course I had to introduce some variations on them. So I baked some regular bites, some in the form of muffins with strawberries inside and some bites I “glue” with self-made orange jam with mint. I have to say that: they’re completely awesome! :) Thanks for this recipe!

  • Rachel Page

    I am soooo trying this! We have a chili cook off next week, and I’ve been looking for a good recipe that’s original, and I think I just found it! Thanks!

  • khi

    Clotilde, quick question for you… I have been making your Chocolate Chili Bites for years and just wanted to refresh my memory as to the recipe. I distinctly remember your recipe calling for 5 eggs; in fact, in your comments section, someone even asked you about a substitution for the five eggs.

    So, I just wanted to know if you have altered the recipe, if it is a typo, or if my memory is failing me!
    Kind regards…

    • That’s correct, Khi, the way I make this recipe has evolved over the years, and I’ve updated it to reflect that — fewer eggs and less sugar, too. I prefer it this way!

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