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I wasn’t going to write another blog post before Christmas, but I had to. I blame the Chiappa sisters. This morning I discovered them on Youtube. I have recently become a bit addicted to watching cooking videos and one of the channels I subscribe to is Jamie Oliver’s Foodtube, mainly to watch my favourite greedy Italian, Gennaro Contaldo’s antics. And there they were – three rather gorgeous Welsh-Italian sisters (with the surname “Chiappa”, pronounced key-up-ah) cooking, speaking with a bit of a posh English (actually Welsh) accent but pronouncing Italian words perfectly. The recipe that they made was chilli chocolate pecans.


I fell in love with the simplicity of it right there and then. I bought all the ingredients and made the recipe the same night – gorgeously rich, sweet, salty and peppery chilli chocolate pecans. These pecans tick all the right boxes in spite of not being in the least bit Italian (though there is a tenuous link as it is a recipe by the Chiappa sisters). You can’t stop at one of them. They could make a great start to Christmas Day accompanied by a little Prosecco. Or the perfect foodie Christmas gift.

Buon Natale to each and every one of you lovely readers. I hope your day is filled with good food, good wine and lots of love.

Chilli chocolate pecans
150g shelled pecans
45g unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon (or a bit more if you are game!) cayenne pepper
140g dark chocolate

Start by preheating the oven to 150 degrees. Then heat the butter in a non-stick frypan, until it is melted. Stir in the pepper and salt. Toss in the pecans and stir with a wooden spoon until they are well coated with the butter.

Place them on an oven tray and bake for 25 minutes. They should be quite well cooked but not burnt.


Melt the chocolate either over a double boiler or in a bowl in the microwave (about 3 minutes on high) until it is molten. Stir in the pecans until they are well covered with chocolate.


Place on a sheet of baking paper using a spoon until they cool and the chocolate hardens. Store them in a sealed container in a cool place.



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