Warm Up Winter Nights with Chocolate Chili UncategorizedBean Bulletin, Cooking Nothing warms up a cold winter evening like chili, and the best chili recipes call for a few tablespoons of chocolate. Pairing chocolate with spicy hot peppers is a tradition that goes back some four thousand years. The Mayans of Central America, who are credited with discovering chocolate, didn’t use it as the sweet treat we love today. Instead, they consumed a fiery and bitter drink made from crushed cocoa beans and chili peppers. The treasured beverage was a regular offering at celebrations. Adding unsweetened chocolate to a pot of bean or beef chili pays homage to the history of these flavors. Stir in one tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder for every pound of meat or two cups of cooked beans in your recipe. You’ll find that this simple addition takes any chili recipe to the next level, giving it extra depth and richness.