Cacao recipes for your summer barbecue

22 Jun 2022

Food + Drink Recipes Summer

The sun is here! Break out the burgers, satays and rum and give your BBQ an unmissable twist with our favourite cacao recipes

Charcoal and skewers at the ready – we’ve had enough of that rare British sunshine to officially declare barbecue season upon us!

Since it’s us, we’ll be adding a sprinkling of cacao to our barbecue spread, as a chilli glaze, a salsa-style dip, a cocktail twist and more. Here are our summer-ready cacao recipes…

Close-up of a person grilling on a bbq

Savoury cacao recipes

Cocoa-spiced beef satay

Ingredients that grow well together commonly go well together on a plate. Peanuts, coconuts, citrus, ginger, chilli and cocoa all grow in our garden in the Caribbean and this recipe uses all of them in a superb twist on a classic chocolate-chilli combination.

You can also make this using chicken or pork instead of beef.

Makes 16 SkewersFor the MarinadeFor the Satay Sauce
600g beef fillet or flank steak, cut into 8–9cm-long, 2cm-thick strips
1½ teaspoons Spiced Chilli Chocolate Glaze (see recipe below)
lime wedges, to serve
1½ teaspoons finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic
2 teaspoons brown sugar
70g smooth peanut butter
30ml sunflower oil
25g freshly grated coconut
30ml coconut milk
½ teaspoon grated garlic
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon caster sugar
70g smooth peanut butter
80ml water
2 teaspoons hot chilli sauce
1½ teaspoons fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil


You’ll need 16 x 25–30cm bamboo skewers, soaked in water to prevent burning.

Blend all the ingredients for the marinade in a food processor. Place the meat in a large bowl and cover it with the marinade, turning the meat to coat it. Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 12 hours.

To make the satay sauce, blend all the ingredients together until smooth. If the sauce is thicker than you’d like, add a little more water.

When ready to cook, preheat your barbecue or grill to high. Thread a strip of meat onto each skewer, using its full length. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side. (Chicken and pork should be cooked for a minute or so longer until cooked through.) While the meat is still hot, brush it on all sides with the Spiced Chilli Chocolate Glaze (see recipe below). Do not put skewers back on the heat or the chocolate will burn.

Serve alongside a small dipping pot of the satay sauce, lime wedges and a fresh green salad.


Spiced chilli chocolate glaze

This is our favourite glaze for burgers – it’s rich, spicy and moreish – but it works equally well with pork, chicken, fish, or even vegetables. Just brush it on at the last minute and let the heat of the cooked meat (or veg) gently melt it. Again, don’t put it back under the grill, as the chocolate will burn and taste bitter.

Makes 150g

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water for 2 minutes. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the hot water. Stir the chocolate occasionally. This is known as the bain-marie method and is our recommendation when melting chocolate.

Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave. Heat it on medium power for 10 seconds, give the chocolate a stir, then repeat at 10-second intervals until the chocolate is liquid — but not hot.

For more advice, see our guide on the best ways to melt chocolate.

Once your chocolate has melted, whisk in the spices and then slowly add the sunflower oil in three parts. Make sure you fully incorporate each addition of oil before adding more. You should end up with a smooth emulsion.

Leave to cool until needed. If you’re not using it all immediately, store it in a sealed plastic container in the fridge for up to one week.


Chocolate balsamic dipping sauce

Our cacao dipping sauce recipe is a surefire winner for any barbecue. This flavoursome sauce also works wonderfully with fresh bread, cooked meats, and grilled vegetables.

Cacao dessert recipes

Chocolate banana – BBQ-style

For dessert, you have to try making chocolate bananas on the barbecue. Simply take your bananas (skins on) and slice them lengthwise down the middle. Next, stuff three 70% dark chocolate batons inside. Wrap the whole thing in kitchen foil, and place on the hot embers of your barbecue.

After 10-20 minutes, you should have perfectly gooey, melted, and utterly irresistible chocolate bananas. Unwrap and serve in bowls with hearty dollops of ice cream.

The best summer barbecue drinks

When you’re hosting your barbecue, you’ll want to make sure your guests always have a drink in hand — whether it’s a tipple or something alcohol-free.

Rabot 1745 rum sour

This is the best-selling cocktail at our Rabot restaurant in London’s Borough Market. Enjoy a dash of cacao bitters for a piquant tang that pairs beautifully with mellow rum. We like Chairman’s Reserve rum because it’s made in Saint Lucia, not far from our cacao estate.

Serves 1
50ml Chairman’s Reserve (or another light amber rum)
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus lime wedges to serve
2 teaspoons clear honey
6 dashes chocolate bitters (or Angostura bitters)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of roasted cocoa nibs, ground for 30 seconds in a pestle and mortar (optional)
In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients except the cocoa nibs, if using, and lime wedges. Strain through a fine strainer into a tumbler. Sprinkle over the ground nibs, garnish with lime wedges and serve.

Cacao gin fizz

A refreshing, tangy, alcoholic beverage made with our London-distilled Cacao Gin.

Serves 1

50ml Cacao Gin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 egg white
Soda water
Lemon twist or wedge to garnish
In a cocktail shaker, add the Cacao Gin, lemon juice, egg white, maple syrup, ice, and shake well. Strain the beverage into a chilled glass. Top up with soda water before adding your lemon garnish. Serve.

Why not offer your guests a Gin Chocolate Truffle or two? Name a better duo than chocolate and cacao gin.

Warm weather and a few too many tipples is a recipe for dehydration. Make sure your guests take it easy and drink plenty of water between beverages. You could even offer them a few of these alcohol-free spritzers.

Summertime spritzer (alcohol-free)

Strawberries steal the show in this light, breezy, and naturally sweet spritzer. The real treat is in the Eton mess garnish.

Serves 1

150ml soda water
1 squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Fresh sliced strawberries
Finely sliced cucumber
Sprig of fresh mint
A chunk of our Strawberry Eton Mess Slab (to garnish)
Add the soda and ice to a long chilled glass. Squeeze in the fresh lemon juice and stir in a handful of sliced strawberries and cucumber, plus a sprig of mint. To garnish, break off a chunk of our Eton Mess Slab. Cut a long, thin triangle out of the piece so it can slide onto the rim of the glass. Serve.

More ways to cook with chocolate

Want more cacao recipes, from salads to scones and pork to puddings? Our cocoa-inspired cookbook has all you need to know to fill your summer BBQ spread – think Jewelled Superfood Salad with Cocoa and Ginger, Aged Rum Fizz and White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake. Take a look at A New Way of Cooking with Chocolate.

And don’t forget to stock up on lots of high-cacao chocolate so you can bring your cacao recipes to life. Browse our cooking chocolate for a wide range of chocolate grades and genres that can be used in savoury and sweet recipes.

Join in on Twitter

Share your barbecue-ready cacao recipes with us on Twitter @HotelChocolat. We can’t wait to see what you create.