I confess that I find comfort in sweets. A great cafe au lait and a sweet roll or beignet gives me a few moments to feel indulgent. This peppery pain au chocolat, a French classic, gets a Southern twist with the addition of heat..in this case cinnamon and red pepper with a bit of vanilla .
In a double broiler melt approximately a cup and a half of dark chocolate, adding red chili pepper powder, vanilla powder, and cinnamon to taste. I use double the red pepper to cinnamon and double the cinnamon to vanilla powder. Generally for a half cup of melted chocolate, a teaspoon of red pepper, half of cinnamon and a quarter vanilla. But there are no hard and fast rules, use as much as you desire. I believe cooking should be your own.
After the chocolate has melted and the dry powder blended, lay the chocolate out in thin lines on parchment paper, and put in the fridge to set up. You can use a pastry bag, an empty catsup bottle or even a spoon to make your lines of chocolate. After the chocolate has hardened, lay a strip inside puff pastry dough and roll, sealing with egg wash. I use Pepperidge Farm pastry dough and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes. When done sprinkle generously with powdered sugar...
Take a bite, and say 'yum'.