Cocoa Recipes for Your Summer Barbecue

The sun is here! Break out the burgers, satays and rum and give your BBQ an unmissable twist…

Charcoal and skewers at the ready – we’ve had enough of that rare British sunshine to officially declare barbecue season upon us! And since it’s us, we’ll be adding a sprinkling of cocoa to everything that graces our grill, as a chilli glaze, a cocktail tang, a salsa-style dip and more. Here’s how you can, too.



Cocoa-spiced beef satay 

Ingredients that grow well together commonly go well together on a plate. Peanuts, coconuts, citrus, ginger, chilli and cocoa all grow in our garden in the Caribbean and this recipe uses all of them in a superb twist on a classic chocolate-chilli combination. You can also make this using chicken or pork instead of beef.

Makes 16 Skewers For the Marinade For the Satay Sauce
600g beef fillet or flank steak, cut into 8–9cm-long, 2cm-thick strips
1½ teaspoons Spiced Chilli Chocolate Glaze (see recipe below)
lime wedges, to serve
1½ teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic
2 teaspoons brown sugar
70g smooth peanut butter
30ml sunflower oil
25g freshly grated coconut
30ml coconut milk
½ teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon caster sugar
70g smooth peanut butter
80ml water
2 teaspoons hot chilli sauce
1½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil

You’ll need 16 x 25–30cm bamboo skewers, soaked in water to prevent burning.

Blend all the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor. Place the meat in a large bowl and cover it with the marinade, turning the meat to coat it. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 12 hours.

To make the satay sauce, blend all the ingredients together until smooth. If the sauce is thicker than you’d like, add a little more water.

When ready to cook, preheat your barbecue or grill to high. Thread a strip of meat onto each skewer, using its full length. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. (Chicken and pork should be cooked for a minute or so longer until cooked through.) While the meat is still hot, brush it on all sides with the Spiced Chilli Chocolate Glaze (see recipe below). Do not put skewers back on the heat or the chocolate will burn.

Serve alongside a small dipping pot of the satay sauce, lime wedges and a fresh green salad.


 Spiced chilli chocolate glaze

This is our favourite glaze for burgers – it’s rich, spicy and moreish – but it works equally well with pork, chicken or fish. Just brush it on at the last minute and let the heat of the cooked meat gently melt it. Don’t put it back under the grill, as the chocolate will burn and taste bitter.

Makes 150g

100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces (we recommend 70–100% cocoa for best results) 

pinch of jerk spices (store-bought, or see A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate for recipe)

50ml sunflower oil

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water for 2 minutes. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t actually touch the hot water, and stir the chocolate occasionally. This is known as the bain-marie method, and is our recommendation when melting chocolate. Alternatively though, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave on medium power for 10 seconds, give the chocolate a stir, then repeat at 10-second intervals until the chocolate is liquid, but not hot.

Whisk in the spices and then slowly add the sunflower oil in 3 parts. Ensure each addition of oil is fully incorporated before adding more and you’ll end up with a smooth emulsion.

Leave to cool until needed. If you’re not using it all immediately, store in a sealed plastic container in the fridge for up to 1 week.


 Rabot 1745 rum sour

This is the bestselling cocktail at our Rabot 1745 restaurant in London’s Borough Market, with a dash of cocoa bitters for a piquant tang that pairs beautifully with mellow rum. We like Chairman’s Reserve rum because it’s made in Saint Lucia, not far from our plantation.

Serves 1
50ml Chairman’s Reserve (or another light amber rum)
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges to serve
2 teaspoons clear honey
6 dashes chocolate bitters (or Angostura bitters)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of roasted cocoa nibs, ground for 30 seconds in a pestle and mortar (optional)
In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients except the cocoa nibs, if using, and lime wedges. Strain through a fine strainer into a tumbler. Sprinkle over the ground nibs, garnish with lime wedges and serve.


Other ways with cocoa

Love the idea of the malty, rounded notes of cocoa or the creaminess of chocolate at your garden gathering, but no time to cook up your condiments ahead of the day? Our ketchup, oil, vinegar and dips have got you covered.

Spiced Cocoa Nib Ketchup

This is not tomato sauce with chocolate, and you won’t find the familiar flavour of a bar here – it’s a spiced ketchup with a unique twist of nibs to bring a touch of the Caribbean to your backyard. We love it smothered on burgers, but it’s also great with cold cuts.

Spiced Cocoa Nib Ketchup, £6

White Chocolate Horseradish 

Planning some celery and sticks of carrot and cucumber to balance your meaty afternoon? This deviously delicious balance of sharp, fiery grated horseradish with the soft and subtle sweetness of white chocolate energises vegetable crudités, roast beef, cold meats, mashed potato and, if you’re serving them, smoked salmon and mackerel too!

White Chocolate Horseradish, £8


Creole Chutney 

Tortilla chips, anyone? Made with rich tomato, sweet onion, hot chilli and roasted cocoa nibs, this makes a fabulous alternative dip or burger relish. It’s also great with cheese, cold cuts and king prawns.

Creole Chutney, £8

Cocoa & Chilli Finishing Oil

One for the side table. Shake to wake the chilli flakes, then drizzle and dress lightly over chicken, fish, pasta, pizza and roast vegetables. Try crushing the cocoa for some fabulous bread-dipping.

Cocoa & Chilli Finishing Oil, £12

Cocoa Balsamic

Piquant Italian balsamic vinegar is gently mellowed by the rich tones of tender roasted cocoa. If bread is your bag, don’t serve it without this, a delightful dipping sauce when poured with a little olive oil. It’s also fabulous on avocado and tomatoes if you’re serving salad, as well as roast meats, casseroles and gravy.

Cocoa Balsamic, £12

A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate

Want more summer recipes, from salads to scones and pork to puddings? Our cocoa-inspired cookbook has all you need to know to fill your buffet table – think Jewelled Superfood Salad with Cocoa and Ginger, Aged Rum Fizz and White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake.

A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate, £20

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Serving our satays at your backyard BBQ? Tweet your photos to @HotelChocolat

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