BBQ Cake​

Picture this, you invite your friends over for BBQ and you serve them cake:

BBQ Cake

This beauty was a happy accident.

It all started one late night when I tried to make a chocolate cake. After baking the layers I realized that I hadn’t put in the sugar! Instead of throwing them out, I decided to let them cool while I whipped up a new batch of batter.

While the new sugar filled layers were baking I had a brilliant idea ~ BBQ Cake ~ rich savory chocolate cake layered with pulled pork and served with the sauce of your choice! It was a thing of beauty in my mind and it turned into a reality:

BBQ Cake

For the meat:

Get yourself a pork shoulder, coat it with Cocoa Nib Rub, and cook it low ‘n’ slow in your crockpot.

For the cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cups cacao nib powder (or cocoa powder)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

1’2 cup olive oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of 3 eight inch cake pans with parchment paper & thoroughly grease the sides.

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine flour, cacao nib powder, salt, baking soda & powder. In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low, add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Continue mixing and slowly add the coffee ~ mix until smooth, scraping down the sides at least once.

Pour batter evenly between the three prepared pans & bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for thirty minutes then turn them onto racks to continue cooling. Use right away or wrap & refrigerate​ (or freeze) until ready to use!

Serve your cake with slaw and BBQ sauce!


Charleston Spice Co.

BBQ Cake

Sloppy Joe

Sloppy Joe

How do you elevate a common cafeteria classic to a hot mess any gourmand would die to eat? Well, for starters use mutton instead of ground beef, and throw in some Cocoa Nib Rub and some peppadews…..

Recipe for greatness:
1 pound ground mutton ( we got ours from Wishbone Heritage Farms)

1/4-1/3 cup peppadew peppers, chopped (we got ours from Bobby Behr at the Summerville Farmers Market)

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 cups cocoa nib rub

3/4 cup Porzio’s ketchup

Brown mutton, onions, and peppers. Drain off the resulting liquid. Add cocoa nib rub and mix it throughout. Add the ketchup, reduce heat, simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Add more ketchup or cocoa nib rub if desired.

And that’s it. Easy and delicious. Throw that mess on a bun and enjoy!


Charleston Spice Co.

Jowl and Collard Pie

Jowl&Collard Pie

It’s here.

Cold weather.

Weather so cold that when you stand outside you think, This is it. I’ll never be warm again.

This sort of weather calls for warm delightfully rich foods to knock some sense back into ya, No, this is not the end, you can be warm again, there’s pie waiting for you.

And this pie. Wow. Talk about a dark horse, it came outta nowhere. And by nowhere, I mean it came out of leftovers and panic. What does one do with a little jowl bacon, collards, and a lone pie crust?!

One makes pie.

By the time I got my camera out this piece was all that was left of this DELICIOUS scrumptudidilyumptious savory pie.

Jowl&Collard Pie

Here are the general guidelines for this pie:

1/2 a medium sized onion

1/2 pound jowl bacon, diced

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons Cocoa Nib Rub

a large pile of collards, 3 or 4 HEAPING handfuls (big hand handfuls, not small hand handfuls)

1 1/2 to 2 cups Jarlsberg cheese, grated

5 large/extra large eggs

a cup or so of buttermilk, read the rest of the recipe to get an idea of how much you need

1 pie crust

Masa flour

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Sauté onion, jowl bacon, and garlic. When onions are translucent and beginning to brown add a handful of collards and the Cocoa Nib Rub, add more collards as they cook down.

Grate the cheese. Beat the 5 eggs in a measuring cup then add buttermilk to bring the liquid level to 2 cups.

Roll out the pie crust and rub masa flour on one side. Place this side down in a 9 inch pie plate. This step isn’t necessary but it will keep the crust from sticking to your pie plate!!

Layer the collard mixture and cheese and pour egg mixture over all. Make the edges of your crust pretty & neat, or just fold it over like we did.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes until pie sets.

Enjoy warm or refrigerate and serve cold!


Charleston Spice Co.

London Broil

Let’s just take a minute and talk about what dreams are made of.

(Uh, a meat eater’s dreams, definitely not a vegetarian’s dreams.)

Like this luscious London broil from Solo Verdi Meats:

Solo Verdi London broil

I’m not usually one to salivate over a bloody hunk of meat. In fact if you asked me what kind of meat I love I’d tell you I like brussels sprouts.

But this was really good.

Solo Verdi London broil

Here’s how you make it happen:

1.) Go to the farmers market.

2.) Find the person who’s selling pasture raised or grass-fed beef and get yourself some.

3.) If you’re at the Charleston, Summerville, or Mount Pleasant farmers market, find your favorite spice dealer and buy some Cocoa Nib Rub or the blend of your choice. (If you’re not from around Charleston that’s okay you can still get your spice blends HERE.)

4.) The night before you plan on grilling your meat, cover it with your spice blend, place it in the fridge and let it become the piece of deliciousness it was meant to be.

5.) After you grill it to perfection the next day, remove it from the heat, cover it, and let it sit a little while longer. If it’s a really good piece of grass-fed meat then it just needs a little while longer to truly be as tasty as it can be. We let ours rest for an hour while we assembled the other part of our meal, stuffed baked potatoes.

6.) After twenty minutes to an hour, slice it up and enjoy!!

Solo Verdi London broil

Have a great weekend!!


Charleston Spice Co.


Grilled Peaches

It’s the end of summer *sigh* I thought it would last forever.

Alas, our summer frolics must come to an end, but lucky for us with our South Carolina weather our grilling and chilling may continue! However we are at the end of peach season, so we thought as a last hurrah we’d grill peach halves with some of our ginger sugar!

Grilled Peaches

They are pretty darn tasty with ginger sugar but if you want a more savory side dish we suggest a light sprinkle of Cocoa Nib Rub!

So throw those last peaches on the grill with some ribs and enjoy these last few days of summer!Grilled Peaches


Charleston Spice Co.

Roasted Chickpeas

roasted chickpeas

Market season is here and for us that means salad season is about to kick into full swing.

After standing in the humid heat of sunny SC for hours eating isn’t always top on our list of things to do, but a nice big salad can work wonders to restore morale. With four markets a week we eat a lot of salads and are always looking for ways to keep things interesting.

Enter Roasted ChickpeasCrunchy and delightful, these are a fabulous salad topper and snack.

Here’s what you need:

3 cups chickpeas (I used dried prepared according to package instructions, but you can use canned as well)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

seasoning to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat chickpeas with olive oil and throw them onto your prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Take chickpeas out, add your seasoning of choice and bake another 10-15 minutes. As far as seasonings go, it’s up to you, this is your chance to get wild. I enjoy chickpeas roasted with our Hot Curry for salad topping and for snacking I like Cocoa Nib Rub.

Happy snacking and salad eating,


Charleston Spice Co.

Pumpkin Soup

The weather here in Charleston can be deceiving, is it really fall or is summer still holding on? Sometimes the appearance of pumpkin flavored things is the only way we know fall has officially arrived.

soup&biscuitsWe spent hours dreaming about a time when it would be cold enough to make this pumpkin soup from Rachael Ray. Luckily, we’ve been having some fabulous fall weather and we finally got to make it. Well, we tried to make it but you know how things go in the kitchen, sometimes recipes just don’t get followed… So here’s what we did:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

2 handfuls of brussels sprouts, chopped

2 cloves of garlic

4 tablespoons Cocoa Nib Rub ~ more or less to taste

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 cups beef, chicken, vegetable broth

1 can pumpkin puree

2 cups heavy cream

Heat medium-sized soup pot over medium high heat. Add oil and melted butter. Add onion, brussels, and Cocoa Nib Rub. Cook until tender. Add flour and cook for a minute. Pour in broth and bring liquid to a bubble. Add in pumpkin in large spoonfuls to incorporate into broth. Simmer 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add cream. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.

We topped our soup and with chopped pecans roasted with our Pecan Pie Spice and served it with buttermilk biscuits!soup&biscuits

Dry rub ribs

July 4th 2014 RIBS

Mmmmmmm ribs. What more can we say?

Here’s how we make our dry rub ribs:

Preheat oven to 250 F.

Coat ribs with olive oil then coat with the rub of your choice. We decided to do a third with our grill seasoning, a third with cocoa nib rub, and the other third with espresso steak rub.

Place the ribs on a cookie sheet, cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 2 hours. And it is as simple as that!

We did this the night before we were going to be eating them so we placed them in the refrigerator after the 2 hours. The next day we threw the ribs on the grill to heat them back up and give them that special taste you can only get from a grill!

July 4th 2014 RIBS

Happy eating!

-Charleston Spice Co