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Chilli Chocolate Mincemeat – Your Fiery Festive Friend

Christmas, Gifts, Preserves | 2nd December 2012 | By

A recipe for homemade chilli chocolate mincemeat that you can easily adapt to suit your own taste and what is available in the cupboard. The chilli and chocolate take mincemeat up to a whole new level. They give extra depth, richness and spice, without either being easily identifiable.

Homemade mincemeat is a revelation. Once you’ve made it, it’s hard to go back to a commercial product. Even inveterate mincemeat sceptics like CT are happy to dig into my mincemeat recipes. In fact it was hard to keep his hands off the chilli and chocolate mincemeat slice I made last year.


So in time for Stir-up-Sunday, the last Sunday before Advent, I had all of my ingredients ready for their final stir. This auspicious day is traditionally the time to make Christmas puddings. It gives them ample time to mature before the big day. Families gather in the kitchen to have a stir and make a wish. I wasn’t making Christmas puddings, but it’s a good time to make mincemeat too for the same reason. We gave a good stir and made a wish anyway, then jarred it all up.

Chilli Chocolate Mincemeat

Stirring up the mincemeat was a really good antidote to a disappointing week. Much of the South West is flooded due to the heavy rains we’ve been experiencing recently. This meant that the trains have been seriously disrupted. So I was unable to attend the chocolate conference that I’d taken the day off work for. Not only that but I also couldn’t get to a spend the day with Chantal Coady at her chocolate factory.

Chilli Chocolate Mincemeat

Two years ago, I made my first ever chocolate mincemeat. It was a great success. Last year, I improved the recipe by adding chilli and prunes. This year I did something different again, although I retained those three ingredients as they have now become integral to my homemade mincemeat recipe. I added my own homemade mixed peel, some of the mint vodka I made back along and one of our rare chillies that actually ripened in the excuse for a summer we had this year.

Of course, you don’t have to use mint vodka in this chilli chocolate mincemeat. Brandy, rum and whisky all work really well. I know I’ve tried them. One year I made it with Amaretto which was good too. I also have a recipe for lemon & ginger mincemeat where I’ve made ginger wine the star of the show.

Basically, it’s a question of using up whatever dried fruit I have lying around in my kitchen cupboards. I happened to have a lot of sultanas and also a bag of mixed berries, but no currents and not many raisins. Some marinade their mincemeat and some don’t. I’m in the former category and like to steep mine for five days before spooning it into jars. Who needs air fresheners when you have a bowl of fruit marinading in alcohol and spices? The house is nicely fragranced for several days.

Chilli Chocolate Mincemeat

So, as last year, I threw the following ingredients into a bowl, gave a good stir, covered with a plate and left for 5 days, stirring once a day. Packed into four sterilised 1 lb jars, then sealed with waxed discs and lids. I used some of the lovely vintage labels that the even lovelier Susan of A Little Bit of Heaven on a Plate sent me recently after I entered her home made and well preserved challenge.

The sweet and spicy aroma emanating from the bowl was intoxicating and when I did, err, lick out the bowl afterwards, I was extremely pleased with the results. It does provide an opportunity for quality control after all and I can confirm that this chocolate chilli mincemeat is once again delicious. The mint vodka gave a hint of something different and the chilli was just about right, warming rather than overheating. The chocolate was an excellent addition and worked to give a slightly deeper and richer flavour and also prevented the mincemeat from being overly sweet. I can’t imagine ever wanting to buy mincemeat again.

Recipes To Use Your Mincemeat In

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Chocolate & Chilli Mincemeat. PIN IT.

Jars of chocolate & chilli mincemeat.

Chilli Chocolate Mincemeat – The Recipe

Chilli Chocolate Mincemeat
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5 from 1 vote

Chilli Chocolate Mincemeat

A recipe for mincemeat that you can easily adapt to suit varying tastes and what you have available in the cupboard. The chilli and chocolate take homemade mincemeat up a level, giving extra depth and spice, without either being easily identifyable.
Prep Time1 hr
Soaking Time1 d
Total Time1 hr
Course: Jams, Chutneys etc
Cuisine: British
Keyword: chillies, chocolate, mincemeat, prunes
Servings: 3 ½ litre jars
Calories: 1777kcal
Author: Choclette


  • 400 g cooking apples (I used unidentified Cornish & Somerset varieties) - peeled, cored and finely chopped.
  • 75 g vegetarian suet
  • 500 g sultanas
  • 100 g prunes - chopped
  • 150 g mixed dried berries (cherries, cranberries and blueberries)
  • 60 g home-made mixed peel - chopped
  • 100 g dark chocolate (90%) - chopped
  • 150 g dark molasses sugar
  • grated zest and juice of a large organic lemon (unwaxed)
  • 1 red chilli - deseeded and chopped finely (I used a small rocoto)
  • 75 g flaked almonds
  • 12 tbsp brandy (or spirit of your choice) (I used a mix of cognac and homemade mint vodka)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • a small grating of star anise


  • Place all of the ingredients into a large glass bowl or pottery basin and give a good stir.
  • Cover with a plate and leave to marinade for at least 24 hrs but preferably five days, stirring on a daily basis.
  • Spoon into sterilised jars, cover with waxed paper discs and store in a cool dark place until ready to use or give away.


Best made a few weeks before Christmas and if stored well, should last a year.
24 hrs for soaking is the minimum time. I soak my mincemeat for 5 days, giving it a good stir every day.
Enough to easily fill 4 1 lb jars or 3 ½ litre kilner style jars.
Please note: calories and other nutritional information are per serving. They're approximate and will depend on serving size and exact ingredients used.


Calories: 1777kcal | Carbohydrates: 303g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 54mg | Potassium: 2113mg | Fiber: 23g | Sugar: 234g | Vitamin A: 475IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 221mg | Iron: 9mg


I had several chocolate mincemeat posts, but as they were all very similar, I’ve kept the best one, which is this one. I shared my first recipe, back in 2011, with the apple themed We Should Cocoa. As I’ve now deleted the post, I’m using this recipe link instead. It still contains a lot of apple.


  1. Foodycat

    2nd December 2012 at 11:53 am

    Oh now that is a good idea!

    • Choclette

      2nd December 2012 at 1:52 pm

      I thought it was too and luckily it worked.

  2. Susan heavenonaplate

    2nd December 2012 at 1:58 pm

    What a great idea and the jars look so pretty. :-)) xxx

  3. Chele

    2nd December 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Gutted you didn’t make it to the conference! I got an invite to it too and I am dying to hear how it was. But I very much approve of the way you decided to spend your day instead. Stay dry!

    • Choclette

      2nd December 2012 at 10:17 pm

      Now that would have been fun to have met up with you there Chele. I heard it was really good. The speakers were interesting and there was loads of really good chocolate – hey ho!

  4. The Caked Crusader

    2nd December 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Wow – that’s something-for-everyone mincemeat if ever i saw it!

    • Choclette

      2nd December 2012 at 10:14 pm

      Unless you don’t like mincemeat CC 🙂

  5. Kate@whatkatebaked

    2nd December 2012 at 6:21 pm

    I’m so sorry you got to miss your chocolate conference- we were stuck on the train for eleven hours on Sunday! But what a brilliant use of a day off and such a inspired version of a christmas classic!

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 8:34 pm

      Oh no Kate – eleven hours!!!! I’ve just been stuck on one for 1 1/2 hrs on way home from work and I wasn’t very impressed. Very poor you. I’m sure you could have thought of a better way to spend your Sunday. Missing two big chocolate events in two weeks was a little sad.

  6. Janice

    2nd December 2012 at 6:37 pm

    My goodness, you have taken to another level!

  7. Laura Loves Cakes

    2nd December 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I keep seeing lots of lovely posts about homemade mincemeat but I’ve never made any of my own…I really must fix this next year!! I love the chocolate twist with yours along with the prunes and cranberries! As for the chocolate conference…why have I never heard of such a thing…sounds amazing! 😉

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 8:37 pm

      It’s not to late Laura, still time to make some in time for Christmas. This was the first time I’d heard about the chocolate conference too – I also heard it was interesting AND had loads of good chocolate too!

  8. celia

    2nd December 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Chilli and chocolate mincemeat? Only you could think of that, Choc! I’m impressed you’ve gone for such a dark chocolate, but I’m guessing it will balance out the sweetness of the fruit?

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks Celia. the dark chocolate goes particularly well just because of it’s bitterness and as you say balances out the sweetness. It also adds and additional depth and richness which I like.

  9. laura@howtocookgoodfood

    2nd December 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Well you will know that my love of chilli means that this recipe is now calling me. How can I not make it even though I have a large tub full in the fridge. I have got to make this and think I may even have a couple of fresh home grown chillies on my chilli plants that I can use. You have excelled yourself here!

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 8:51 pm

      Ahh, thank you Laura. Go for it. You can never have too much mincemeat at this time of year AND it will stop your guests nodding over the fire whilst tucking into a mince pie 😉

  10. belleau kitchen

    2nd December 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Lovely idea with the mint vodka! I’ve not made any mincemeat yet but if I get the chance this week I definitely add vodka! Lovely x

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Dom you need some. How are you going to wow those unexpected guests from Cornwall (oops, gave the game away) over Xmas?

    • belleau kitchen

      4th December 2012 at 12:45 am

      you’d better come!

  11. Phil in the Kitchen

    2nd December 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Lovely stuff. You’ve added some great twists to a classic.

  12. Katie

    3rd December 2012 at 7:07 am

    Wow mint vodka, chocolate and chili, I love to try it! So interesting, I bet it makes fab mince pies

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 9:06 pm

      I’m hoping so Katie 😀

  13. rita cooks italian

    3rd December 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I love British Festive cakes filled with mincemeat. I never added chilli or chocolate to my homemade mincemeat, it sounds delicious.

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 9:07 pm

      Oh how splendid that you’ve adopted the British tradition of mincemeat and are making your own Rita, that has put a smile on my face 🙂

  14. The Ordinary Cook

    3rd December 2012 at 6:12 pm

    A chocolate conference? And you missed it? That is bad news, but made up for a little by this lovely mincemeat.

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Oh Kath, I not only missed the chocolate conference, but I couldn’t make the amazing chocolate event that was happening the same week at Chantal Coady’s factory. In fact I’ve been feeling quite chocolate deprived recently!

    • Kath

      5th December 2012 at 9:14 am

      No no no (she cries in horror). Christmas is nearly upon us can CT take some hints?

  15. Karen S Booth

    3rd December 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Fabulous Choclette and such great combination of flavours too, could become a classic that! Karen

    • Choclette

      3rd December 2012 at 9:14 pm

      Thanks Karen, the chilli bit is most certainly staying as will the prunes.

  16. The KitchenMaid

    4th December 2012 at 8:13 am

    Homemade mint vodka? I was so astounded by that I nearly forgot about the chilli and the chocolate in the mincemeat! I don’t think I will have time to make mincemeat this year, but I have really loved reading about yours x

    • Choclette

      6th December 2012 at 9:54 am

      Ahh, the wonders of flavoured vodka will never cease. Still time to make mincemeat Lucy, a week or two is still long enough to get a good texture and flavour, but obviously longer is better.

  17. Brownieville Girl

    5th December 2012 at 4:17 am

    Really sorry you missed your conference – but the mincemeat looks like a delicious compensation!

    • Choclette

      6th December 2012 at 10:01 am

      Hey BVG, great to hear from you. The conference was just one of those things. Hopefully I’ll get a chance another time. The mincemeat, I’m really pleased with.

  18. searchingforspice

    6th December 2012 at 3:00 pm

    It sounds amazing. I’ve been thinking of making my own mincemeat for the first time this Christmas and I love chilli and chocolate so this would be great for me.

    • Choclette

      8th December 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Once you’ve made your own, there is no going back!

  19. Alida

    12th December 2012 at 11:22 am

    I have never made mincemeat and I have always refused to make mince pies by buying the mince meat. I always think I can just as well buy ready made mince pies! I am intrigued by this recipe. I’d love to give it a go! Thank you!

    • Choclette

      23rd December 2012 at 7:58 am

      Alida, homemade mincemeat is so worth doing. It’s very quick and simple but so so so much better than bought mincemeat and bought mince pies.

  20. Johanna GGG

    23rd December 2012 at 6:02 am

    hi choclette – looking at your chocolate mincemeat recipes – curious to try some chocolate mince pies if I can get myself organised (yep look at the date) and it is 39 C today so not a day for baking. What made me curious about these recipes was a comment about wishing you had used butter instead of suet on your last chocolate mincemeat and then you used vegetarian suet again – I have never come across vegetarian suet here so I am curious – it is that it is much harder little chunks than butter or is there another reason to use one over the other?

    • Choclette

      23rd December 2012 at 7:56 am

      Hi Johanna – sometimes I am in a more purist mode than others. Generally I prefer not to use ingredients that have been “industrialised” so would prefer to use butter. My initial intention was to use butter, but a) I heard somewhere it doesn’t last so long with butter, b) the beauty of mincemeat is the simplicity and that you just mix everything together in one bowl and if I used butter I would have had to melt it c) vegetarian suet no longer uses hydrogenated fat so isn’t quite as bad as it used to be and is just a whole heap easier to use and pragmatism won out. The compromise I made, was not to use that much suet.

      It’s hard to imagine 39C and it must be a bit of a shock after your winter travels over here. Hope you have a lovely Christmas and thank you for all your thoughtful comments. Always much appreciated.

    • Johanna GGG

      24th December 2012 at 5:15 am

      Thanks Choclette – that makes sense – I would be interested to try suet but the mincemeat I make doesn’t have any butter or suet – which suits me – and I have left it in the fridge for 6 months and it still seems fine (to my amazement) – have a great christmas – I am off to experiment with chocolate in mince pies

  21. Lucy Parissi

    24th November 2013 at 12:07 pm

    That sounds really good. Have you baked with it? Curious as to what happens with the chocolate once baked and cooled…

    • Choclette

      24th November 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Hi Lucy. Yes baked quite a few things with it and it works really well. It works pretty much as you’d expect a choc chip biscuit to work. So the chocolate stays in noticeable chunks and you get bursts of bitter dark chocolate amongst the sweetness of the fruit which works a treat – in my book anyway!


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