Cha Cha Cha Chillies

Serve Miss Hope and Mr Greenwood's pre-dinner appetiser as an interesting taste bud teaser or in a '9 1/2 weeks' moment of abandon
Cha Cha Cha Chillies
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 6 chillies
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus overnight soaking and chilling
  • Effort: medium


  • 6 large red chillies
  • 200 ml silver tequila
  • 125 g 30% cocoa butter content white chocolate, eg Valrhona Blanc
  • 1 lime, zest only
  • coarse sea salt, eg. Maldon, to serve


1. Slice the chillies lengthways on one side only and wearing disposable gloves, remove the seeds leaving a long pouch.

2. Put the deseeded chillies in a small container, pour over the tequila and soak overnight - this process takes some of the potency out of the chillies.

3. Strain the mixture setting the tequila aside. Dry the chillies on kitchen paper.

4. You'll need to melt the white chocolate carefully, as it burns and goes grainy very easily: heat a couple of centimetres of water in a pan. Once it begins to simmer, take it off the heat and let the pan cool for 60 seconds. Put 75g of the chocolate into the bowl on top of the pan, slipping a wooden spoon between the pan and bowl to let the heat escape. As soon as the chocolate melts, take it off the pan.

5. Put a couple of teaspoons of the tequila in a metal ladle and warm over the gas ring for about 10 seconds. Don't let it flame.

6. Pour the warm liquid into the melted chocolate with the lime zest and stir. The mixture may 'freeze' slightly, work quickly but do not over stir.

7. Fill each of the chillies with the mixture, using either a teaspoon or a piping bag. Pop in the fridge to set.

8. Melt the remaining chocolate and scrape into middle of a bowl. Dip and roll your filled chillies through the chocolate and arrange on greaseproof paper. Return to the fridge to set. Just before serving, sprinkle over a little course sea salt.

As featured in Sugar and Spice by Kate Weatherall

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