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powdered chipolte differs from smoked paprika

How does dried, powdered chipotle differ from smoked paprika and can they be used interchangeably? I want to make chipotle chocolate sauce for ice cream and am not sure of using the chipotle in adobo sauce for this purpose. I could experiment for certain but wanted a chowhound's comment.

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  1. Smoked paprika is a sweet smoky taste, dried powdered chipotle has noticeably more heat. Chipotle in adobo sauce will scorch you.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Spanish smoked paprika comes in 3 grades of heat. Dulce or sweet is the mildest and most common. But even the picante, hot, one is mild compared to chipotle.

      So a given level of heat in your sauce, the smoked paprika will contribute a lot more smokiness. So what is the chipotle chocolate sauce supposed to taste like (besides the chocolate)? A hint of heat or a hint of smokiness?

      1. re: Veggo

        We don't find chipotles in adobo scorchingly hot. I regularly chop up a couple with some of the sauce and add to max a half cup of mayo to put on burgers.

        @OP, are you looking at a recipe? If so, what does IT say?

        1. re: c oliver

          Mayonnaise won't scorch an average person. Chipotles in adobo will.

          1. re: Veggo

            I'm talking about two chipotles mixed into a small amount of mayo. It has heat but I've served it to children.

      2. Agreed w/ Veggo's comments. Chipotle powder packs way way way more heat than paprika does. Have a little taste of each one and you'll see.

        Awhile back I had a recipe that called for regular chili powder. I used chipotle chili powder instead, which rendered the dish so hot it was pretty much inedible, and I like hot.

        For your sauce, add a tiny bit of the chipotle in adobo, and taste. You can always add more, but you can't take away.

        1. What would I do without my chowhounds? You are the best. I knew I would get an answer. Think I will try a bit of smoked paprika and a little bit of chili to taste. Your help is so appreciated. I like spicy and not scorch.

          1. I think the adobo sauce is going to add flavors the powdered chipotle doesn't. I love both, and keep both on hand, but can't quite swallow the vinegar, onions, and garlic in the adobo sauce, on ice cream.

            Unless you've already made it, then I'm sure it will be fine!

            1. Apples and oranges.

              They taste different and have different heat levels

              1. I had no clue about adobo sauce. No, do not think I would put this on ice cream. Will stick to chili flakes in the chocolate sauce. Many thanks once more. On another note the friend that will be sharing this plans on making chili chocolate sauce by grinding up peppers with less heat and adding to a fudge sauce. I will report the result. Not sure I will like that either but will give it a try.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Choconutty

                  Chili flakes or chili powder? I'd assumed powder.

                2. c oliver that brings up another question from me: I could use chili, cayenne, ground red pepper or crushed red pepper which has a lot of pepper seeds. I am never certain of the difference. The Paprika I purchase in the super market is mild. I do have some smoked that is not especially hot. any clues on the difference between those "chilies?"

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Choconutty

                    " I could use chili..."

                    By chili, do you mean chile powder, which has other seasonings in it, or do have some pure ground chili, like ground ancho, new mex or ground guajilo? Is what you have labeled mild, medium or hot? Same question about the "ground red pepper". I think something ground as opposed to something coarse would be better, and something medium.

                    I think there are some descriptions here


                    1. re: Shrinkrap

                      What you said! I have a number of Penzey's both ground and flakes and also things I get at my Latino market. I agree that powder seems the way to go for this.

                  2. Once again I thank you. The descriptions are most helpful. I am convinced it pays to shop in a name store. Buying chili powder in a generic package does not help when you want to make certain you will use the correct spice. Many thanks to the Chowhound chefs who took the time to help me. I will eat my chili chocolate sauce and raise my spoon to all of you.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Choconutty

                      And PLEASE report back. I could see that in our future :)

                      1. re: Choconutty

                        A few years ago there was a fun thread on CH - if you were stranded on a desert island and could have either chilies or chocolate? The replies were fairly evenly divided. Maybe your sauce could please everyone!

                        1. re: Veggo

                          I found a Emeril recipe that called for 1/2 lb Mexican chocolate, and 1/2 tsp of ground (dried) chipotle.

                      2. I don't think smoked paprika would taste very good with chocolate or sweets, personally. The smell of it reminds me of a smoked ham. Chipotle powder would probably be your best bet to experiment with.

                        1. they are completely different spices.
                          their primary similarity is that they have similar colors.
                          i guess, you could say that they are similar in that they both come from the pepper family, but that is like saying peanuts and peas are similar because they are both legumes.. . .

                          1. paulj, I live in NE PA and have no access to Mexican markets except by internet or phone. New question - how does Mexican chocolate differ from the Hershey so well known in PA or, the better chocolate sold in supermarkets or on line such as Merckens, Guittard. I love learning by the way. Any information is appreciated.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Choconutty

                              The usual 'Mexican chocolate' is sold in hexagonal tablets, and is intended for use in hot chocolate. It's a coarse chocolate, with a sugar graininess. Sweetness level is about that of bittersweet. It's flavored with cinnamon, and sometimes almond.

                              So basically it is cinnamon flavored cooking chocolate.

                              There are also instant hot chocolate mixes and syrups that immitate this taste.

                              In Mexican you can also buy locally ground chocolate, where the blend of cocoa beans, sugar, and spices can vary with the shop's (or customers) preferences.