Cauliflower and Chocolate?

It is not uncommon for me to be reading about three books at once. I know some might think it is hard to keep track of them. But they are generally completely different storylines and at least one is always a cookbook, so I find it easy to keep track. Depending on my mood and time of day depends on which one I read. I have currently obtained several cookbooks within the last month or two. I have had my eye on several and between my birthday, holidays, and random impulse – Voila! A bunch of new cookbook to sift through. I am not complaining, because it love reading and flipping through them.  But, there are consequences. I know that I read somewhere recently that Chocolate and Cauliflower can be a great combo.  This intrigued me beyond belief and of course I had to give it a try. Although, by the time I was ready to take this challenge into the kitchen I could not track down exactly where I read it. I flipped through all the books two or three times. I was baffled. I then went through all the magazines I had laying around. No luck there either, what was I to do? I felt like I was going crazy, and I started to think that maybe reading so many books at once is not the best idea.

Cauliflower freshly roasted and coated in a spicy chocolate rub

To resolve my dilemma I took to the internet. I found more than several recipes where the combo was suggested. Now I was beginning to feel at ease. I was not going crazy, Chocolate and Cauliflower must be quite lovely and I couldn’t wait to try it. I started to think about Mexican food and how their rich mole sauces (usually containing chocolate) are deeply delicious and make what you are eating it with intensely yummy.  I didn’t have time to make a mole but I had time to give this Chocolate and Cauliflower a try.  I mixed up a spicy cocoa powder mix to coat the cauliflower with then roasted it. Roasting the cauliflower caramelizes the outside of it, while the inside becomes soft and custard like. The rich flavors of the cocoa and the spices only intensify the taste and experience in a lovely way. You have to give it a try.

Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Cocoa Rub

Roasted Cauliflower with Spiced Cocoa Rub (serves 4 – 6)

1 small head of cauliflower; washed, trimmed, and chopped into small flowerets

¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp sea salt

3 tbsp of olive oil

First; preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl place your cocoa powder, paprika, cayenne, and sea salt. Pour the olive oil over it all and whisk together so you have no lumps and you have a smooth consistency.

Next, place your cauliflower in the bowl and toss until it is all coated with the cocoa mixture. Pour it onto a sheet pan or a roasting dish and place it in the lower half of your oven and roast for 20 minutes. Stir it half way and rotate it in the oven and bake about 15 minutes more. You are looking for the cauliflower to be tender when pierced with a knife yet slightly roasted and crispy on the outside.

Finally, when the cauliflower is done remove from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with a bit more of sea salt and enjoy.