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Pork Loin with Cocoa Rub Recipe

Chocolate for Valentine’s Day is a perfect combination. Although it is a typical combination for dessert, it is not common for dinner. This pork loin is made with a cocoa rub that is surprisingly delicious. I am a huge chocolate lover but this was my first dinner that included chocolate and I was not disappointed. We ended the meal with homemade chocolate covered cherries. Add a bottle of red wine for the perfect meal.

Pork Loin with Cocoa Rub Recipe


2-4 lb. pork tenderloin
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine all the spices and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan on your stove top, using medium to high heat.
4. Rub the spice mixture on the tenderloin.
5. Sear the tenderloin in the oil on each side for a few minutes. The ideal pan to have for this is a pan that can go directly from a burner to your oven. I used a large cast iron skillet. If you do not have a pan that can go directly from a burner to the oven then simply transfer the meat to the appropriate pan.
6. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes per pound. Turn the tenderloin over halfway through cooking.
7. Allow the tenderloin to rest for 4 minutes before carving and serving.

There are many chocolate covered cherry recipes available. Some include fondant, nougat, or liqueur. For these confections I like to keep things as simple as possible. I find that they are wonderful without a ton of ingredients.

Chocolate Covered Cherries Recipe


Maraschino cherries
Confectioner’s sugar
Chocolate candy melts
Chocolate covered cherry mold (there are molds specific for chocolate covered cherries and they are the perfect size)


1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.
2. Scoop some confectioner’s sugar in a medium sized bowl.
3. Drain the maraschino cherries.
4. Roll each cherry in the sugar.
5. Fill each cavity in the mold about a third of the way with the melted chocolate.
6. Drop one cherry per each cavity.
7. Cover with melted chocolate to the top.
8. Freeze for 10 minutes.
9. Store in an airtight container.

Enjoy and sweeten the soul with chocolate!

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