Chocolate Dinner For Two

CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – It’s Chocolate Week on Mass Appeal! All week long we’re featuring delicious recipes with chocolate in them!

Dan Whalen, Author of “Stuffed,” showed us how to make a short rib chocolate risotto and Mexican Chocolate Pot de Creme.

Short rib Chocolate Risotto

For the braised ribs:


  • Package of celery hearts
  • bunch of carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs bone-in short ribs
  • Water
  • ANY OR ALL: thyme, parsley, black pepper, mustard seed, coriander, Parmesan rind


  1. Sear the ribs on all sides and remove from pan, add the veggies and cook till they soften and some start to brown. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes. Add the ribs back in with any accumulated juices.
  2. Add any or all of the optional ingredients. Fill with water and loosely cover. Put it in the oven at 300 (or simmer lightly on the stovetop) for 3 hours.
  3. Pull the ribs out of the stock and shred them up. Be sure to only keep the beef and some of the softer fat, discarding any tough gristle.
  4. While you are doing this, crank the heat and allow the stock to boil rapidly with the veggies for another 20 minutes or so. Finally strain out the solids and reserve the stock. Skim or separate the fat from the stock and put it on a back burner on low.

For the risotto:


  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 oz dark chocolate (70% or higher)


  1. Saute the onion in some olive oil for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and the rice and cook 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the wine and cook 3 minutes stirring often. As the liquid evaporates slowly add the stock ladle by ladle to the rice stirring often. This process should take 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. When the rice is just about cooked, add the shredded beef to the risotto and let it heat fully. Add some more stock if necessary (risotto should be very loose/creamy and not “stand up” if placed on a plate) then kill the heat and add the Parmesan and chocolate.
  5. Mix until melted and combined.

For the cauliflower:


  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon Chile powder (I used a mix of ancho and Anaheim)
  • ½ Tablespoon Cocoa Powder


  1. Break the cauliflower up into bite sized florets.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the florets with the Chile and cocoa powders. Add the butter and toss until coated.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until tender.

Put your risotto on a plate, top with cauliflower, and enjoy!

Mexican Chocolate Pot De Creme


  • 5 Extra Large Egg Yolks
  • 2 Cups Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ancho Chile Powder
  • Cayenne Pinch (Optional)


  1. Whisk sugar, salt and yolks until sugar is dissolved and mixture lightens.
  2. Heat milk and cream until it is steaming, but be careful it doesn’t boil over. Put the chocolate and spices in a large bowl and place it over the milk and cream so the chocolate warms and begins to melt. It doesn’t need to fully melt.
  3. Pour the hot cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Strain this mixture with a fine mesh strainer into the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is fully melted. Ladle into 3/4 cup baking cups.
  4. Place the cups into a baking dish and fill the dish with water about half way up the cups. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for about a half hour. The center of the cups should still be jiggly when you shake it, but it will firm up the rest of the way in the fridge.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
  6. Top with whipped cream.

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