10 Things You Wouldn't Think Would Be Good with Chocolate -- But Are

If you think you can take the heat, try peppers dipped in chocolate.
If you think you can take the heat, try peppers dipped in chocolate.

If your tongue's accustomed to sweet, sugary chocolate, the heat of a pepper-tinged confection will be a good kick to the palate. Chili or cayenne peppers are key ingredients in Aztec-style hot chocolate, which also depends on a healthy dose of cinnamon [source: Lake Champlain Chocolates]. When paired, the cinnamon tips toward the hot end of the scale instead of flaunting its usual sweetness.

Pepper has started to show up in nearly every chocolate available. Chili and jalapeno lend their kick to a range of snacks, from cakes, chocolate bars and truffles to pepper-dusted, chocolate-covered fruit. High-end chocolatiers, always on the lookout for the most exotic specimen, favor guajilo, pasilla and ancho chili varieties.

The flavors are often carefully arranged so the heat is pleasurable instead of intolerable. Braver souls can take a bite of a chocolate covered pepper; the chocolate helps neutralize the burn of the pepper's oil (much like a glass of milk would) but leaves the smoky, savory flavor intact.

Tempted, but don't think your taste buds can take the heat? Get out the ice cream maker and experiment with chocolate pepper ice cream recipes. You'll still get the hot flavor in a pleasantly cold mouthful.