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Upgrade Any Dessert With Smoked Chocolate Chips

You’ve probably eaten smoked meat and maybe even vegetables, but what about chocolate? The combination of sweet and smoky can turn ordinary chocolate chip cookies or brownies into something truly memorable. Autumn Martin, owner of Seattle’s Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, sells and uses smoked chocolate chips. How do you even go about smoking chocolate?

The key is that the process involves cold-smoking. There’s still heat, but not nearly as much if you were smoking, say, a chicken. The smoke is created using alder chips, which produces a slightly-sweet, mild flavor. That smoke is siphoned into a tube, giving it time to cool, before it hits a big container of chocolate chips. The chips are turned every half hour, so they’re all evenly exposed to the alder smoke. After ten hours, they’re done!  

You can buy smoked chocolate chips at Hot Cakes, but if you can’t get there and have a craving that won’t stop, you can make your own. You’ll need a charcoal grill, two cake pans, and a bag of chocolate chips. Dark is best. You can use this method for smoking any kind of chocolate. If you have a propane grill, take a look at these instructions for using it as a smoker.

Begin by heating just two or three charcoal briquettes on one end of the bottom grill grate. Add two chunks of wood. For the cake pan, fill with ice cubes and then top with another cake pan filled with chocolate chips. This ice keeps the chocolate from melting. Once the wood is smoking, put the cake pans on the top grate as far away from the heat source as possible. Close the grill and smoke for 30-45 minutes. When time is up, store the chips in an airtight container. Use in your favorite recipes! The smoky flavor dissipates over time, so use within the next few weeks.