Month 5: High Octane’s Chocolate Hot Sauce (November 2012)
Tuesday, 27th November, 2012
Hello Hot Sauce Lovers!
Our fifth shipment of the HotChil.li Hot Sauce Club has been delivered, on time and in one piece …at least for most of you! We seem we lose about 10% to broken bottles en route …we jokingly say it is due to locked-out NHL hockey players picking up shifts with the USPS …anyway, they all get re-sent ASAP and everyone is happy in the end.
Thank you to all of our club subscribers for your continued support of our Hot Sauce Club at Hotchil.li and a hearty welcome all of our new club members!
This month we get to try High Octane Sauce Company’s SAE30 Chocolate Hot Sauce.
Name: High Octane SAE30 Chocolate Hot Sauce
Origin: Katy, Texas, USA
Creator: Kevin Billings
Pepper: Chipotle and Habanero
Following years spent in the restaurant industry where he eagerly sampled a wide variety of spicy foods, Kevin Billings decided to take a spicy leap of faith. With a fiery passion for spicy foods, and a little help from a group of like minded spice loving friends who were willing to act as taste testers, Kevin soon found himself ready to launch his own line of hot sauces. With that, the High Octane Sauce Company was born!
The High Octane Sauce Company currently boasts nine different flavors for sale on their website, featuring heat from an array of different peppers. “Flavor before the burn” is Kevin’s motto and his experience and experimentation have taught him that this delicate balance is best achieved using the following spicy delights: roasted Poblano Peppers, Jalapeno and Serrano Chilis, Bhut Jolokia Peppers and, of course, one of our personal faves here at the HotChil.li Hot Sauce Club, the deliciously potent Ghost Pepper. Featuring these hot ingredients as well as a few surprises along the way, Kevin has created some truly unique flavors including this month’s Hot Sauce Club’s selection. This month, we chose to go out on a limb and feature a hot sauce that is to be consumed in a way that is perhaps a little ‘out there’ for some but it’s a sauce that we believe needed to be shared. Not to mention, we were dying to give it a try ourselves! This month’s selection, the SAE30 Chocolate Hot Sauce is a dessert hot sauce! That’s right — chocolate, our favorite mood-boosting, endorphin-releasing concoction is now being blended with everything and the spiciest of peppers and chilis are no exception! Loves it!
Stand by Willy Wonka…
Hot Sauce Review:
I have to admit, this month’s sauce review is probably one of the easiest we have done yet. I knew the moment that we came across High Octane that I was going to have the chance to pair my two favorite food groups together and that it would be fantastic! You already know of my love for hot sauce but I’m here to admit to you all right now that ice cream comes in a very close second to spicy sauces on my list of foods I would travel far and wide for. ICE CREAM + chocolate hot sauce all mixed and melting together in one bowl…!! I know, right?
I guess I could have gone with a number of options for this one …a compliment of fruits, like strawberries, melon and pineapple, or maybe cheesecake? Pancakes were also suggested. Speaking of breakfast fodder, we could have invited our ‘ol stand-by, one that is always up for a good for a party …bacon! Another time bacon.
Admittedly, pepper it seems, has started to show up in nearly every chocolate treat available. Chili and jalapeno lend their kick to a range of snacks, from cakes, chocolate bar and truffles, to pepper-dusted, chocolate-covered fruit. High-end chocolatiers are always on the lookout for the most exotic specimen and chocolates featuring guajillo, pasilla and ancho chili varieties are fairly widely available. The flavors are often carefully arranged so the heat is pleasurable instead of intolerable. If you’re brave, you can take a bite of a chocolate covered pepper; the chocolate helps neutralize the burn of the pepper’s oil .. try it! Heh, heh, as tempting as that may be, I think the best course of action for almost any chocolate (sauce)+pepper combo is naturally pairing the hot chili flavor in a pleasantly cold mouthful of vanilla bean ice cream.
So the preparation is easy, open freezer, get ice cream, scope into bowl, done .
Due to the nature and scientific properties of chocolate, this product can actually setup (start to harden) at anything below room temperature ..so if you store it in the fridge, you have to take a quick moment to heat the heat. I simply removed the cap and placed it in the microwave for 20-25 seconds. This just keeps getting better and better…a hot fudge sundae anyone?
A quick spin in the microwave loosens the sauce up, we give it a good shake, and voila, the sauce is flowing all over our ice cream.
The temperature melted the ice cream, the heat melted my mouth, it was all good. Before I tasted it I thought there would be a chance I may be disappointed with the chocolate flavor. What would it taste like? Would it be a dark chocolate taste, heavy with bitter cocoa? Would it taste like a milk chocolate, heavy with sweetness? Would it have a grainy texture? Would it be a smooth? Heavy? Light? I am happy to report, it tasted exactly like a smooth, semi-sweet chocolate with a hint of coffee, and the heat was spicy and sharp.
To make High Octane’s SAE30 Chocolate Hot Sauce, Kevin starts with brewed espresso and then adds a smooth premium Belgium milk chocolate with ground dark coco. The heat comes from a touch of balsamic vinegar along with Chipotle and Habanero chillis. This sauce has a nice kick, and it’s not overwhelming.
SAE30 Chocolate Hot Sauce is a great flavor sensation mixed with cold ice cream. Two thumbs up and, sadly, a couple of pounds gained as it turns out that one bowl wasn’t enough. No worry as I chalked it up to research!
Kevin also sent a second offering of Island Hopper Sauce. This is a combination of charred pineapple, mango nectar, ginger, lime, yellow 7-Pot chilis and Thai chillis with some Caribbean spices. This is a rich tasting hot sauce with a nice texture, bright bold flavors that are really fresh. When I tasted this sauce, I thought of the fresh bold tastes of the tropics.
I went liberal with Island Hopper on a fresh mix of coleslaw. The charred pineapple and mango were perfect. Nice heat too!
We liked High Octane Sauce Company (thumbs up) on our Facebook page. If you want to learn more about them, check out some photos, browse their array of sauces, or send them some feedback, visit our Facebook page and check them out, While you’re there, check out our other ‘likes’! – facebook.com/thehottestclubonearth
Recap of High Octane Chocolate Hot Sauce Review:
Best pairings: Desserts like fruit, cheesecake, ice cream and bacon …yes, bacon for dessert.
Texture and Appearance: Thick dark chocolate that needs a little heat to loosen it up. Think hot fudge!
Taste: Belgium milk chocolate.
Heat Scale : 5/10
Awards and Recognition: I’ll take seconds on dessert with SAE30 anytime (and I did!)! High Octane does carry an award winning salsa (Tire Smokin’ Salsa) – you should check it out on their website.
Ingredients: Assorted chili peppers, coffee, milk chocolate, Balsamic vinegar, ground dark coco, sugar and Coco powder
Graphics/Packaging: 5 oz glass bottles with an illustration of a fiery hot chili driving a jacked-up big rig truck. I’m not sure of the story behind the High Octane name ..something I completely forgot to ask Kevin about, but it may have to do with a love of hot rods. The label is professionally printed and includes nutritional facts about the sauce on the side. They also includes the website address and email address.
Final Thoughts: High Octane Sauces offers a number of salsas and hot sauces. This was one of the only hot sauce makers that I found offering a chocolate hot sauce, so when we contacted Kevin, our goal was to get their SAE30 Chocolate Hot Sauce in the hands of our subscribers. They always use fresh high quality ingredients in small batches, and because they use a lot of locally produced exotic peppers, they can go from plant to bottle in just 3 hours. The SAE30 is no exception, the chocolate is delicious and it offers the right amount of heat to make it quite enjoyable. Try some with your friends!
(To try this hot sauce, and many more like it join the Club!)