Chocolate & chilli pair so well together and it makes a beautiful sauce for a steak that tantalises all your taste buds. It made fame when Madame Zingara put it on the menu of their Loop Street restaurant. Capetonians were flocking to the restaurant to try it. And now you can have it at home, easier than you thought it might be.

This recipe is all about the marinade. The sauce should have the right balance of sweet with a good pinch of the chillies. Before cooking the steak in the marinade, taste it as the bite doesn’t change during the cooking process. Chillies vary wildly and it’s up to you how mild or hot you like it. Make sure you get a nice kick without making it overpowering.


  • 1/3 C Brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Fortified wine or brandy
  • 2-3 Dried chillies / 2-3 tsp chopped 
  • ¼ C Cocoa 
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Prepare your sous vide water bath
    Fill a container with water and place the sous vide immersion circulator in the bath. Set temperature at 49.5C degrees.
  2. Prepare the marinade
    Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the sugar. Let it melt without stirring, and be careful not to burn it. Once the sugar has melted, add butter, soy sauce and chopped chillies and stir. Add the fortified wine, and cook off briefly. Then add the cocoa and pepper and cook further for a minute or 2. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Prepare the bag
    Pour the marinade in a vacuum bag and add the steaks. Rub the marinade over the steaks by massaging the bag. When vacuum sealing, be careful that the liquid isn’t sucked out of the bag. Cancel the vacuuming process before the liquid is sucked out, or simply use the immersion technique and seal.
  4. Cook the meat
    Drop the bag in the sous vide bath, and cook for 2 hours. After cooking time, remove the bag from the bath, and leave to cool slightly.
  5. Sear the meat
    Pour the liquid into a sauce pan and heat up to thicken. This is the sauce to serve over the steaks. Pat the steaks dry with paper towel, and heat a cast iron skillet with avocado oil. Make sure it’s piping hot for a quick sear without further cooking the meat. All you need is to develop a flavourful crust, the meat is cooked already.

Serve the steaks with the sauce and your favourite sides. As these chocolate chilli steaks will take the centre stage there’s no need to stress about fancy sides. Roasted cauliflower and sweet potato mash go very well with it.

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