I’m a Giveaway Winner!

Shortly after announcing my own giveaway here a couple of weeks ago, I found out that I won one myself–I couldn’t believe it. Have a look at Tastespotting’s Scharffen Berger Chocoholic Overdose Giveaway which took place in December.  See all that chocolate? I won it all!

True to chocoholic form, I couldn’t wait to try on the (super soft, very comfortable) apron and tear into one of the chocolate bars as I leafed through the cookbook.  What could be better? The timing was perfect, too, since I promised one of my aunts that I would bake some treats for her milestone birthday party this past weekend.  And while I have bookmarked several recipes to try in the cookbook I won, I opted to use a recipe that I’m very familiar with (time was a factor), one that is truly overdose inducing (in a good way!) and lets the chocolate shine, especially if you use a high-quality product. And I certainly had that.

I used a recipe from Clotilde (of Chocolate and Zucchini fame).  Before I had any aspirations of being a blogger myself, I spent my time bookmarking and trying out recipes that my blogging pioneers swore by.  These little bites fast became a favorite with my family and friends, as did the chocolate cake which serves as the base for them.  The recipe is very simple: Chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs and only 1 tablespoon of flour, producing a little petit four that is rich, moist, chewy, and sinfully good.  The foundation of these little cakes is called “Melt-in-Your-Mouth Chocolate Cake”  and it’s true. There’s nothing here that will get in the way of your chocolate enjoyment. And can you tell from my pictures what takes them over the top?


Yep, cayenne pepper.  The pepper heightens the chocolate flavor while adding a subtle spicy note at the same time.  Unsuspecting tasters will not even guess the powdered cayenne pepper is there.   Even you, though in on the secret, might just detect the taste of pepper but your taste buds will never quite be able to pin them down.  They will tease taste buds just enough to want everyone reaching for more.

Many thanks to Tastespotting and to Scharffen Berger for this wonderful giveaway! I’ve got chocolate recipes all piled up and I can’t wait to share them here!


Chocolate and Zucchini’s Chocolate Chili Bites

(Recipe here)


  • I used Scharffen Berger 70% Dark Chocolate. You can also use semi-sweet but the flavors will be a bit more subtle. If you do use the sweeter chocolate, I recommend using 1/4 cup less sugar than called for in the recipe.
  • I used a mini muffin tray.  These little bites are delicate and will stick easily so be sure to use butter or cooking spray to prevent this.
  • I recommend making these a day ahead of time.  The flavor really develops overnight. In fact, I think they’re better a day or two later (if they last that long). I actually prefer them cold, right out of the refrigerator.
  • The recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper but I use 2 teaspoons. It all depends on the type of pepper you use but for mine, 2 teaspoons lets you know the pepper is there without making it too hot for heat-averse taste buds.  These are kid-safe.
  • The recipe also says that one batch yields about 72 bites but I’ve never been able to get more than 48.  I use a 1-tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop out the batter and manage to fill two 24-capacity mini muffin trays.


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  1. Congrats on the win!

    If uh, you need some help with all that I’d be glad to. =) Chocolate does help with anxiety ya know. Heehee. I kid, I kid. Your photos are awesome. I think I’m going to have to go dive into my box of chocolate again after seeing all this chocolatey goodness. Hmm. Yea. Definitely a good idea.

    Have a wonderful week!

  2. Deliciousness, m’dear. Were these what you brought to your aunt’s on Sat? I also really like the second shot, btw. And that table you’re using. What is it with food bloggers coveting wooden tables?

  3. I’m glad that a true chocolate lover won all that chocolate. I’m sure you are enjoying it! Hey, I’m with BB: everybody with wood tables. I love yours. So rustic!

  4. OMG congrats on the win!! I am loving these chocolate petit fours — any chance you want to send some over? 🙂 My tummy is always open to eating…

    Can’t wait to see all the other yummies you’re going to make!

  5. congrats on the win. these look wonderful and decedent yum. the photos are wonderful i love the table props and position of everything on the last photo just so well done! take care

  6. Congrats on your win, Jean! And it’s all Scharffen Berger chocolate – that’s a big win 🙂 Beautiful pics of your little chocolate chili bites – love the weathered table. Have a great week – its off to a fabulous start, no?

  7. These look fabulous!!!

  8. Beautiful! I am so addicted to brownie bites and with a cayenne bite, these would take me over the edge!

  9. Lucky lucky you! It must have been a happy day indeed when all that chocolate arrived. 🙂
    I’d probably have eaten everything before I thought to bake with it, so I tip my hat to you for showing restraint and baking something so lovely… chocolate and chili is always a great combination, and I bet it works beautifully in these little bite-sized goodies.
    I think this might be the excuse I’ve been looking for to buy a mini-muffin tin. 🙂

  10. That’s a lot of delicious chocolate you won, congrats!!

    I love a bit of spice to my chocolate so these little bites sound delicious 🙂

  11. Congrats on the win of this wonderful chocolate! I went to an professional organization that my husband belongs to years ago and the featured speaker was the founder of Scharffen Berger and he was very interesting to speak with since I was lucky enough to sit next to him during the dinner. Great photos!!!

  12. Wow, that’s a chocolate jackpot!!! Well done!! And you turned out some nice treats with the winnings. I’m new to the whole chili additions to chocolate, but I’m really loving it. Thanks for these little guys. C&Z was one of the blogs I followed before I started too! She has so many recipes that are soooo appealing!

  13. Congrats, girl!! What a stach you won! These little bites look amazing…I’m sure your aunt was beyond happy with her birthday treats!

  14. Congrats, what a fantastic treat!

  15. lovely photos! Aren’t you SUPER lucky for winning all that chocolate, what a dream come true! 😉

    I love that these are mini, you can just pop as many you want in your mouth…mmm! 🙂

  16. Mmm sounds like a good time to me…. I love Sharffen Berger! I worked for a bakery for a bit of time in San Francisco and they only used Sharffen Berger. It’s just that good! Your photos and recipe look great!

  17. Looks so nice, wonderful:)

  18. What a great giveaway to win. And fantastic photos!

  19. In your hands that chocolate is destines to become art! GREG

  20. These chocolate bites look delectable! I hope your and aunt family enjoyed them! Oh, and I hope you post what you ended up doing with the chocolate crumbs! 🙂

  21. Woohoo for the chocolate win!! 🙂 I love how cute these little chocolate bites look and of course, anything involving chocolate+cayenne immediately has my vote. So fun to hang out with you this weekend – hope to see you again soon Jean!

  22. Congrats, Jean! I love these little bits of choco yumminess! I must give these a try. 😉 Have a great week!

  23. Oh my heavens these look truly scrumptious! Congrats on your chocolate jackpot!! Aren’t you fortunate!

  24. What a great win. 😉 Man I must try this cayenne and chocolate combo…looks so good.

  25. Yum is all I can say!!

  26. Ohhhh wow! These look ridiculous fabulous!! ::drool::

    Great blog; happy I found you!

    Mary xx
    Delightful Bitefuls

  27. Congratulations! Don’t you just love winning prizes that you can then turn into something delicious? These petite chocolate treats are just too tempting! The spice is a fun twist on these. Thank you for sharing such a tasty treat! I hope you are doing well. Stay warm and enjoy the end of your week!

  28. Congrats on your awesome prize! I’m a tad bid envious! I love the photos and how you added the pepper. Something I’d love!

  29. Congrats on winning! I love what you created with the choclate. They look so good and flavorful. Love the addition of the cayenne pepper! And once again your photos are just stunning!

  30. congratulations on winning all that great chocolate! Those chocolate chili bites look delicious, and I love your images, I hope you sent those off to foodgawker!

  31. Chocolate, zucchini and chili! What an incredible combination of flavors.

  32. I heart Scharffenberger chocolate-congrats on winning. This recipe looks divine. I think I might try with chipotle-the smoky kick is also awesome with chocolate.

  33. Congrats on your win, Jean! i would have made some Gyrations of joy receiving those delicious Scharffen Berger chocolates.
    the chocolate chili bites look amazing. Thanks for sharing

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