The Delicious Gift Of Chocolate

Whether it’s strong dark chocolate or creamy white dairy milk, people have been consuming chocolate for the last three millenniums. You might have your preferences but what we can all agree on is that just about everyone loves chocolate; which is why whether it’s given as a gift for Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day or birthdays, it’s always appreciated.

One of the earliest recorded examples of chocolate being given as a gift was when Louis XIV’s fiancée, Princess Maria Theresa, gifted him for their engagement with a tasteful ornate chest that was filled with chocolate in 1643. Early on in its history chocolate was something that only the wealthy could afford and having chocolate was seen as a great measure of wealth.
Nowadays, thankfully, just about everyone has access to chocolate, and if you are looking to give the gift of chocolate, you’ll be thoroughly spoilt for choice because the mouth-watering variety available is mind boggling. From boxes to bars, chocolate gifts come in so many varieties and giving someone the gift of chocolate is like giving them a little bit of happiness too because chocolate contains substances called theobromine and phenylethylamine, which stimulate the human brain to produce the chemical dopamine that provides us with a relaxed and comfortable feeling.
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An Overview of the Different Chocolate Ingredients

Chocolate is possibly one of the many vices that people all over the world have that is very hard to give up. Even those who want to seriously commit to a weight loss diet cannot just easily strike out chocolate from their diet plans. However, chocolate is not at all bad to anyone’s health so you shouldn’t be guilty when you eat some.

All kinds of chocolate can be made up of one or more components that can be obtained from cocoa beans plus other ingredients in different quantities. With the correct proportions of those ingredients, it can help in determining whether the chocolate is milk, white or dark. Compared to other types of chocolate, the dark contains more health benefits because it contains higher content of cocoa liquor.

Get to Know the Different Chocolate Ingredients

Chocolate derived from the Theobroma cacao plant’s bean. Chocolate-makers remove the bean from the pod then ferment and process the bean in order to produce cocoa liquor which eventually creates cocoa powder and cocoa butter. For dark chocolate, as said above, contains higher content of cocoa liquor with additional cocoa butter and sugar, while milk chocolate has more sugar and of course, milk. For white chocolate, it has cocoa butter, sugar and milk but no cocoa liquor present. Vanilla can also be used as flavouring.

  • Chocolate liquor are cocoa beans that are ground into a paste and it is the main ingredient in both milk and dark chocolates that supplies chocolate flavor.
  • Cocoa butter is the naturally occurring fat that is found in cocoa beans. The main purpose of cocoa butter in the chocolate is to eliminate as well as lubricate sugar particles.
  • Sugar is usually the next most common and frequent ingredient found in dark chocolate and makes up an even more substantial part of white and milk chocolates. The main purpose of sugar is to simply give sweetness to bitter cacao.
  • Milk solids can provide a smooth and creamy flavour to both white and milk chocolates. The milk solids that are added to some chocolates are treated with a fat degrading enzyme that is called as lipase, in order to control the spoilage of the fat found in the dry milk.
  • Milk fat or also known as butter fat is also an important ingredient in an American dark chocolate. Dairy fat added to the dark chocolate can act as a bloom inhibitor and also to somewhat to soften the chocolate. Thus resulting to a less brittle chocolate and melts in the mouth faster. Milk fat is less expensive when it compares to cocoa butter, so in turn, lowers the cost of chocolate as well.
  • Vanilla adds creamy and floral flavour that will complement the bitter cacao.

Chocolate is the ultimate comfort food anyone can ever have. Though there are many benefits to eating chocolate such as good for the heart and circulation, always keep in mind that eating too much is not healthy at all. Know your limits and eat in moderation, maybe have a square or two after dinner is enough.

Chocolate

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, and these beans are roasted, shelled and ground into a paste. Now this paste is mixed with sugar and cooked at high temperature to make chocolate.

Chocolate is more than just food. Its richness and rarity have secured it a special status in history. Chocolate, long ago, was a symbol of wealth, and luxury. Everyone loves chocolate. And Chocolate is still revered as an icon of love and devotion today. In early days, chocolate was handmade and being the homemade product it was very expensive and available to wealthy people only. But after industrial resolution, with the new types of machinery it becomes possible to make solid chocolates in large quantities which are affordable to general public.

Chocolates come in many forms including in power form, beverage, candy bar, and syrup form. There are also a lot of chocolate-flavored desserts and treats like cake, ice cream, pudding,-chip cookies, and milkshakes. There are different types of chocolate like dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, etc. The market of chocolate has grown very fast as one can use it in different ways. Sometimes chocolate used as a medicine also yeah, it is strange but true!! Nowadays in market, you shall also find varieties of chocolate like
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Choosing the Right Chocolate

Today there are so many chocolate companies and manufactures out there it’s hard to distinguish who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. Lots of big players in the market who have been around since the beginning of time totally dominate the chocolate market simply based on branding and name recognition. I don’t have to drop any names or point any fingers but I do want to make some key points about the ingredients and practices of the big companies that manufacture chocolate and chocolate products.

 

One thing that separates our chocolate from many and nearly all others is that everything we make is completely allergen free. We don’t process our chocolate in a place that manufactures any sort of nuts. While many other companies will make chocolate with nuts, we don’t enter that market simply because we want to ensure our customers that all of our chocolate products are completely allergen free.

 

In addition to remaining allergen free, our chocolates are also gluten free. We never add anything to our products as fillers. Several other companies will add gluten-containing ingredients in order to make their products cheaper. Think about it. When you can replace an expensive product with something that is much cheaper to grow, harvest and manufacture, you’re going to be able to pass those savings on to the consumer.

 

This is why so many people buy the chocolates of others rather than ours. Yes our chocolate products are more expensive and there is more than one reason for this. Reasons we will discuss in future posts but for now we’d like to stick with the allergen free reasons.

 

Wheat products are cheap and easy to produce. The government also subsidizes the grain industry. Big lobbyists inject funds into political campaigns. These funds are then returned in the form of government subsidizes. It’s a vicious cycle that not many Americans are aware of and just one example of how our food industry is completely corrupted with the help of our elected leaders.

 

You may ask what the big deal is about in putting wheat into chocolate products. My response is absolutely nothing as long as you don’t care about your gut health and you don’t have any gluten sensitivity. In my opinion, wheat in all forms is harmful to our bodies and should only be consumed in very limited amounts. I don’t consume wheat in my diet at all due to its inflammatory properties. Our bodies just don’t know what to do with it. Our system doesn’t know how to process it and therefore causes our bodies to not only produce fat cells, but also can trigger the onslaught of all sorts of other diseases.

 

If a person doesn’t read labels and isn’t careful about the ingredients in all of the foods we consume, you will end up getting wheat products in almost every thing you eat. The more you eat over time, the more repercussions you may have for doing so.

 

In addition, if I’m eating chocolate, I want to be eating and enjoying chocolate in its purest form. Why would I want a slew of other manmade chemicals and genetically modified “food” products in my decadent chocolate?

Recipe: graveyard dessert

Halloween has always been one of my favorite times of the year. Even though we are many months away from the howling season I get asked frequently to repost this recipe that I shared some five years ago. It is a recipe that is great for the Halloween season no doubt but it can be enjoyed anytime of the year. The only issue with the recipe is that some of the ingredients are seasonal and may be difficult to find when out of season.

Fix these delicious snacks for your loved ones or kids and Munch on them no matter the season. Just like you get a craving for Turkey in March or pumpkin pie in April these Halloween treats can be eaten and shared any month of the year. My kids love them and yours will too.

It is true though that certain things just seem right during certain times of the year. Like a hot cup of Coco is not nearly as enjoyable in August as it is in October. But I certainly won’t turn down a cup of hot cocoa on a balmy summer morning while watching the birds in my backyard. You see there are no rules on what foods we can enjoy at what times of the year. It’s all matter of personal preference and desires.

I hope you enjoy this recipe although it is a little out of the season but obviously quite delicious no matter what the season.

 

Dish: graveyard pudding

Graveyard Dessert

Crust
2 cups of extra dark chocolate. As many of you know I prefer to use chocolate that has the fair trade logo on it as well as chocolate that is not processed using soy lecithin.
¼ cup of granulated sugar. You can use coconut sugar or any other sugar of your choice. I prefer to use sugars that have a low glycemic index.
1/2 cup butter, melted. I use only pure Kerry Gold butter. Derived from cows that are pasture raised on a grass diet.

Packing
1 (8 oz) fat-free cream cheese
1 (12 ounce) of whipped cream
2 cups boiling water
2 tiny containers orange gelatin
1/2 cup of chilled water
A few ice cubes

Decorations
1/4 cup dark chocolate. Same as above
Candy corn if you wish I. I prefer to not eat these north feed them to my children section below.

Preheat your oven to 350°. You’ll also need a 9 x 13 x 2” pan coated with the coconut flour or almond flour mix.

To prep the crust you’ll need the 2 cups of cookie crumbs, ¼ cup of granulated sugar, and the melted butter in a mixing bowl push them together with a spatula until they are mixed together very well. Then you’ll want to push them into the edges and corners and bottom and sides of the baking pan.

Next you’ll need to prepare the feeling bye mixing together the cream cheese, the Cool Whip and the butter all into a bowl. Also we want to pour the boiling water in here until it is entirely liquefied once it’s all mixed together then we will want to mix in the cold water and some of the ice to make about 1 ½ cups. Keep mixing the ice water in until it becomes like a gelatin. Discard any remaining ice cubes and then spoon the jelly cream cheese coating over the cupcakes. Refrigerate for three hours or until your company arrives. At this time when you’re ready you can spread it over the cupcakes.

Add any festive toppings you desire to spruce up the season.

ENJOY!!

Recipe: Jane and John’s Chocolate Lovers Leap of Faith

Recipe: Jane and John’s Chocolate Lovers Leap of Faith

1 container dark chocolate pie mix
1 cup blueberries (save 1/4 cup for garnish).
1 pint rum raisin frozen yogurt.
1 pint French vanilla frozen yogurt.
10 oat meal crisps.
2 pints cream dressing.
Whipped cream and also a delicious chocolate sauce for garnish.

Oat Crisps.
1/2 cup quick oatmeals.
1/2 cup granulated sugar…I prefer Coconut Sugar here.
2 ounces liquefied (melted) butter. I only use butter harvested from grass fed cows. Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter – Salted (8 ounce)

Topping.
1 cup powdered sugar.
1 ounce shot Southern Comfort.  Not down the hatch…this one is for the recipe!
2 cups extra heavy whipping cream.

Best ways to wow your guests with the presentation: Place the cream dressing on a platter and smooth so that it’s easier to spread. Begin by swirling the mixture from the inside to the outward side of the bowl. lace this in the middle of home plate. Set an oatmeal sharp in addition to the cake. Place a revelation of rum raisin frozen yogurt atop the orderly. Spot another crisp on top of the gelato. Place a revelation of vanilla frozen yogurt on top of the 2nd neat. On the rear end of the pudding, create whip cream coming from base of the plate to the leading, stopping at the vanilla gelato. Garnish the top of the pudding along with chocolate sauce. Spot the blueberries you kept for garnish around the plate and also serve. Produces 5 servings.

Blueberry Dark chocolate Birthday cake.
To make the birthday cake using the blueberries drop 3/4 cup of blueberries in to the cake batter before you put it in to the baking pot.

Oats Crisps.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Put them on the baking sheet in 1 ounce portions seven inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12 minutes up until caramelized. Allow plenty of time for it to cool down after baking. We will use the crisps as an added garnish at the end.

Cream Sauce.
In a mixing dish, blend coconut sugar and Southern Comfort together until they are mixed well. Whip along with a hand blender activated high as you slowly pour the cream into the mixture. Beat until the tops of the mixture are completely smooth. Cool until you are ready to serve.

Some cooking tips: Allow the batter to cool completely before dispersing it onto the cake.  The added heat could cause your cake to drop and lose it’s light and fluffy texture.  It’s ok to serve it warm.  Goes great with a cup of coffee!!