Dark chocolate shows off its rich, savory side in flavorful sauce, chili, meat, veggie, and pasta recipes.
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Chocolate, it's not just for dessert anymore. Particularly now that we know it may be actually healthy for us. In these recipes, dark chocolate shows off its savory side, offering richness and complexity to sauces, chili, veggies, and pasta.

And don't miss the two recipes excerpted from Theo Chocolate: Recipes & Sweet Secrets from Seattle's Favorite Chocolate Maker, by Debra Music & Joe Whinney.

1. Mole Sauce

"Hot chiles and rich chocolate make this authentic mole sauce perfect for topping stewed meats or enchiladas."

Get the Recipe: Mole Sauce

Mole Sauce with Chocolate
Photo by Meredith

2. Chili Rick's

"I made this for a Chili Cookoff and won the grand prize, 20 our of 23 votes!" — AMYMORSE

Get the Recipe: Chili Rick's

Chili Rick's
Photo by CCLoves2Bake

3. Cacao Nib Pesto

"Adding cacao nibs to traditional basil pesto gives your menu a smoky dimension," says Buckwheat Queen. "Use this pesto on pasta or spread it on toasted crusty bread topped with grated Italian cheese for a unique and healthy appetizer."

Get the Recipe: Cacao Nib Pesto

Cacao Nib Pesto
Photo by Buckwheat Queen
| Credit: Buckwheat Queen

4. Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

"A dark, rich, complex Mole recipe. I generally shred the chicken so it will soak up the mole sauce, and serve it with warmed tortillas." — ELAINE05

Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Mole

Slow Cooker Chicken Mole
Photo by mauigirl

5. Enchilada Sauce

"A great, authentic enchilada sauce, without tomato sauce." — Anna Marie

Get the Recipe: Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce
Photo by MomTo6

6. Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Chocolate-Port Sauce

"Chocolate and rosemary are the surprise flavors in the delicious sauce accompanying this seared tenderloin." — amberSpire

Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Chocolate-Port Sauce
Photo by amberSpire

7. Roasted Baby Carrots with Balsamic-Bitter Chocolate Syrup

From Theo Chocolate: "A surprisingly simple syrup steals the show here, elevating an already perfect vegetable into an elegant, dramatic, delectable side dish. The syrup goes equally well with roasted beets, and it's also sublime drizzled over a well-seasoned grilled steak. Let your imagination run wild with this sauce — it will enliven a wide range of dishes." — Debra Music & Joe Whinney

Roasted Baby Carrots with Balsamic-Bitter Chocolate Syrup
Photo by Charity Burggraaf

MAKES 6 TO 8 SIDE-DISH SERVINGS

3 pounds baby carrots (about finger-width thick), green tops trimmed to about 1 inch

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

5 or 6 (4-inch) sprigs fresh thyme

For the syrup:

1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar (5- or 10-year aged is fine)

1/2 ounce Theo 85 percent dark chocolate, chopped

1/2 teaspoon honey

Generous pinch kosher salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2. Put the carrots on a sheet pan, drizzle them with the olive oil, and spread them in a single layer. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the carrots, and lay the thyme sprigs on top. Roast until the carrots are tender and brown in spots, shaking the pan and turning once or twice, about 35 minutes total.

3. While the carrots are cooking, make the syrup. Put the vinegar in the smallest saucepan you have and simmer over medium-low heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt for 30 seconds, then use a small spatula to gently stir the syrup until the chocolate has melted completely and the syrup is smooth. Add the honey and salt and mix well. Cover the pan to keep the sauce warm until you're ready to serve the carrots.

4. To serve, discard the thyme and arrange the carrots on a serving dish. Drizzle them generously with the syrup, and serve immediately.

(c)2015 By Debra Music and Joe Whinney with Leora Bloom. All rights reserved. Excerpted from "Theo Chocolate: Recipes & Sweet Secrets from Seattle's Favorite Chocolate Maker" by permission of Sasquatch Books.

8. Grilled Steak with Balsamic-Bitter Chocolate Syrup

Here's a well-seasoned steak that might like a little Theo's balsamic-chocolate sauce drizzled over it.

Grilled Steak
Photo by Meredith

9. Roasted Beets 'n' Sweets

OK, now drizzle Theo's balsamic-chocolate sauce over this side of beets and sweet onions.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Beets 'n' Sweets

Roasted Beets 'n' Sweets
Photo by Jessica

10. Chocolate Hummus

"So delicious and full of chocolate, no one will ever know you made it with garbanzo beans," says Yoly. "Try it with fresh fruit, cookies, crackers, or even by the spoonful!"

Get the Recipe: Chocolate Hummus

Chocolate Hummus
Photo by Yoly

11. Pumpkin-Filled Chocolate Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter, Pears, and Hazelnuts

From Theo Chocolate: "All the flavors of fall come together in this elegant pasta dish. The pumpkin- and ricotta-filled ravioli are a gorgeous cocoa color and very satisfying. You can make the ravioli ahead of time and freeze them on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, then store them in a freezer bag until you want to cook them. The sauce comes together very quickly, so be sure to have your ingredients prepped before you start boiling the ravioli." — Debra Music & Joe Whinney

Pumpkin-Filled Chocolate Ravioli
Photo by Charity Burggraaf

MAKES 6 TO 8 SERVINGS

For the dough:

5 eggs

1 ounce Theo 85 percent dark chocolate, melted

2½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

For the filling:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup finely chopped shallots

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup pumpkin puree

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Generous pinch ground allspice

Generous pinch ground cloves

For the sauce:

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter

1 pear, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice

12 large fresh sage leaves, cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade)

Kosher salt

For serving:

1/3 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons (1/3 ounce) Theo roasted cocoa nibs

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. You can make the pasta dough either in a stand mixer or by hand. To use a stand mixer, fit it with the whisk attachment and whisk the eggs together to break them up, then add the melted chocolate and whisk to break up again. The mixture won't be smooth, but don't worry.

2. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of the flour on medium speed until blended, then switch to the dough hook attachment. Add the remaining 1 cup flour and mix on medium-low speed until a smooth ball of dough forms around the hook, adding more flour if necessary. Mix on low speed to knead the dough for about 3 minutes. When the dough is smooth and firm, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

3. To make the pasta dough by hand, put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the center. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the melted chocolate to break them up. Pour the egg mixture into the well. Use a fork to incorporate the flour into the egg, bit by bit. When most of the flour has been incorporated, knead the dough, adding more flour as needed, until it's smooth and firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

4. To make the filling, in a small sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the cooked shallots, ricotta, pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves. Set the filling aside.

5. To make the ravioli, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Cut a slice of the pasta dough (leave the dough you're not working with wrapped in plastic wrap) and flour it well. Using a pasta machine, roll it into a thin sheet (less than 1/16 inch thick— number 5 on most pasta machines). Cut the sheet across into rectangles about 2 inches wide and 5 inches long. Place 2 teaspoons of filling about ¾ inch from one end of each rectangle. Lightly brush water around the filling, then fold the dough to enclose the filling. Press to seal the edges. Fill the ravioli quickly, before the dough dries out. Set the filled ravioli on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. When you've filled the baking sheet, cover the filled ravioli with another sheet of parchment paper, and set the next batch of finished ravioli on top. Refrigerate or freeze the ravioli until you're ready to cook them.

6. To make the sauce, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the ravioli. While it's coming to a boil, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking the butter until the milk solids have turned brown and the butter is caramel-colored and smells nutty. Turn off the heat and add the pear and sage. Stir to combine the ingredients and stop the butter from cooking. Season with salt to taste. Cover the pan and set aside to keep the sauce warm while you cook the ravioli.

7. Boil the ravioli in batches until tender, about 10 minutes (cooking time will depend on how thick you rolled the dough and whether you're cooking them fresh or frozen), and drain.

8. To serve, divide the ravioli among serving plates. Top them with the sauce and sprinkle with hazelnuts, cocoa nibs, and some cheese. Serve immediately.

(c)2015 By Debra Music and Joe Whinney with Leora Bloom. All rights reserved. Excerpted from "Theo Chocolate: Recipes & Sweet Secrets from Seattle's Favorite Chocolate Maker" by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Theo Cover
Photo by Charity Burggraaf

Check out our entire collection of sweet and savory chocolate recipes.