Skip to Content

Cabernet Dark Chocolate & Boysenberry Baby Back Ribs

Sharing is caring!

Cabernet, Dark Chocolate & Boysenberry Baby Back Ribs!



Guess what was on sale! Ribs AND chocolate!! BAZINGA!!! 😀

But how do you combine them both? CAN you combine them both?

Yes, yes you certainly can! 😉

The very first time that I said that I was going to add chocolate to a savory dish, my hubby looked at me like I had finally lost my last marble. My glass was empty. My toast was burnt.

But think about it! It’s not nuts at all. Central and South Americans have been adding chocolate to their sauces for centuries! (Think molé. 😉 ) And probably many other cultures, too.

Chocolate and red sauces are a match made in heaven. They really truly are! This the second time that I’ve used it in a  barbecue sauce, as well as sneaking a little bit into a killer pot of chili, too!

But this sauce turned out particularly and decadently rich, and bursting with wonderful flavors! Layer, after layer, after intriguing layer!



cabernet choc bar



So, to begin, I just started getting all kinds of fun ingredients out to make a rub for the ribs, and continued to add more and more, until I thought that I had the perfect blend of herbs, spices and other surprise ingredients to make a sauce, too!

The second most important ingredient, besides the obvious barbecue sauce, was my addition of boysenberry preserves! “Spreadable Fruit”, actually, as that was another gem of a sale item found during “trip #2” to the “other” grocery store! 😉



cab dk choc ribs ingrdnts



I had so much fun making the rub and the sauce, that I forgot to get shots of them! Sorry about that. But you can see other rib rub shots on my blog if you want to, as well as my other sauces, but it really isn’t necessary.

My ribs do use a fair amount of aluminum foil, but as you can see below, all of the foil really IS necessary. Unless you love to spend hours over the sink scrubbing baking sheets. 😉

This is the second baking sheet…and I can’t imagine doing this without foil! You can also actually grill it at the end if you prefer. But for ribs like this, to me anyways, grilling disturbs the sauce too much, and too much gets left behind and stuck on the grill grates. I’d rather have all of that goodness where it belongs. On the ribs. 😉



cabernet choc ribs



Baking them sealed in foil in a slow oven for several hours, makes them fall-off-the-bone tender every time!



cab choc ribs done 2



Then a last step of basting each side with that magical barbecue sauce and two quick trips back into the oven, and you’ve got ribs unlike anything you’ve ever tasted!



cabernet dark choc bbback ribs



I was only a little worried that my hubby wasn’t going to like these as much as I knew I would, so I was VERY pleasantly surprised that they were a huge hit with us both!

They were shockingly good! So good in fact, that these would be quite a nice entree or appetizer for guests! Be it for a casual game day event, backyard bbq, or a nice dinner at the dining room table, I think everyone will agree, that these ribs are truly special and unique! I so hope that someday, hopefully soon, that you’ll give these ribs a try! Enjoy!!



Yield: 4 servings

Cabernet Dark Chocolate & Boysenberry Baby Back Ribs

Cabernet Dark Chocolate & Boysenberry Baby Back Ribs


  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs, sinew from back removed, rinsed and patted dry

Dry Rub:

  • 1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbl. smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/2 Tbl. regular table salt
  • 1/2 Tbl. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. herbs de provence
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried leaf oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning such as "Slap Ya Mama"
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/16 tsp. cinnamon

Wet Sauce:

  • 3/4 cup Sweet Baby Ray's Original Barbecue Sauce
  • 3 squares Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cabernet Matinee Chocolate, broken into small pieces (5 - 6 per square)
  • 1/4 cup Dickenson's Boysenberry Spreadable Fruit or Preserves
  • 1/2 Tbl. dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/16 tsp. cajun seasoning
  • 1/16 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/16 tsp. garlic salt


  • In medium bowl, mix together dry rub ingredients until very well combined. Set aside.
  • Remove ribs from package, pull sinew from back, rinse ribs with cold water, and pat dry with paper towel.
  • Cover a large baking sheet (with sides) with heavy duty foil. Lay a second large piece of foil out onto working surface, dull side-up, several inches bigger than the ribs. Spray center (the size of the ribs) with butter flavored no-stick spray. Place ribs, meaty side up onto sprayed foil. Sprinkle with half of the Dry Rub mixture, and pat on well. Turn ribs over and repeat with rest of rub. Bring sides of foil up and roll down to meet the top of the bone side of ribs. Roll up ends to seal.
  • Pop into preheated 300º F oven for 2 1/2 hours.
  • While ribs are baking, make sauce. Add all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring, until all is melted and well blended. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside until needed.
  • When ribs are done, remove from oven, and turn oven up to 350º F. Carefully open foil package, and transfer ribs to clean foil-lined backing sheet bone side-up.
  • Coat well with almost half of the sauce.
  • When oven has reached new temp, pop into oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove, turn ribs over, and baste with rest of sauce. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes longer.
  • Slice into serving-sized pieces and serve hot.


    Print Friendly, PDF & Email

    Skip to Recipe