Chocolate sauce, chocolate cookies, chocolate ice cream - we all have our favorite ways to enjoy the delicious ingredient. For many of us, though, the word chocolate immediately conjures up thoughts of a dessert menu, a box of chocolates, or an ice cream sundae dripping in chocolaty sauce. While these uses of chocolate will never grow old for us, we want to shake things up a bit in the chocolate department, and show you a new side to the sweet.
Read More: 8 Surprising Ways to Use Chocolate Slideshow
Chocolate's rich qualities not only make it a great post-dinner treat, but they give it a savory side, too. Its bold and complex flavors make it an ideal ingredient to include in any dish you're looking to add a little depth to, whether it's dinner or dessert. When added to a dish, chocolate gives a dose of sweetness that can result in a number of positive outcomes - whether it's rounding out the flavors, emboldening them, or a new and surprising element. Chocolate's unique qualities make the possibilities of cooking with it endless, and because we're always on the lookout for new flavors, we want to show you some innovative ideas for using chocolate in the kitchen.
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Whether you want to start your day with chocolate, feature it in your main dish at your next dinner party, or create something new in the dessert department, we have some surprising recipes to share with you. The Accidental Locavore Anne Maxfield brings chocolate to the dinner table by using it with another one of our favorite things - beer - to create flavorful and tender short ribs. Riding on the new and popular kale chips bandwagon? Then you'll be pleased to know that chocolate has a place with them, too, in this dark chocolate kale chip recipe from Amie Valpone of The Healthy Apple. We're even breaking the mold with desserts, with these wasabi brownies that use a savory ingredient in something sweet, rather than the other way around.
Credit: Los Sombreros
Whatever kind of chocolate you're looking for, these new recipes will surprise and excite you, reaffirming that - to paraphrase a favorite line from Forrest Gump - with a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.
Anne Dolce is the Cook Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @anniecdolce