Oryx Wine Salt & Bitter Chocolate Sauce

Photo credit: Kathy Pitout Photography

Salt ‘n’ Chocolate II

Yes, chocolate features BIG this month, and in our previous blog we let you in on the secret of how salt intensifies sweetness which is why it’s often seen together with chocolate. But salt has a few more culinary tricks up its sleeve when it comes to chocolate.  Here’s another one. Did you know:

Salt reduces bitterness

Salt enlivens food by concentrating flavour but a part of the enhancing effect lies in its ability to reduce bitterness. Think olives, Radicchio or broccoli. Even coffee (we wrote about this in our blog about salt and coffee). In this case, salt isn’t used to add a salty taste so much as to hide bitterness. Yet another reason salt works so well with chocolate – especially bitter chocolate as in this sublime recipe for savoury chocolate sauce from Kathy Pitout, a student at Jackie Cameron’s School of Food & Wine. 

Oryx Wine Salt and Bitter Chocolate Sauce

Serves 4 – 6


50ml good quality red wine

500ml good quality beef stock

1tsp Oryx Wine Salt

30g unsalted butter, cut into small blocks

150g dark chocolate (at least 70%), chopped


Place the red wine and beef stock in a small pot. Reduce the liquid to 275ml by gently simmering the liquid, about 20 minutes.  Add the Oryx Wine Salt and stir to dissolve. Reduce the heat and add the butter a block at a time while whisking vigorously between each addition. This is to create a beautiful glossy sauce. Add the chopped chocolate in small batches while whisking vigorously.  Do not add too much at a time, as the sauce might split. Serve with a beef fillet cooked on the braai.