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Americans are buying more chocolate at the pandemic rages on

Americans are buying more chocolate at the pandemic rages on

USATODAY.COM

The coronavirus crisis has steered the national trend of conscious eating in the other direction. Early in the pandemic, Americans stocked up on junk food, frozen meals and various breakfast cereals. Now, data indicates that chocolate was also top of mind throughout stay-at-home orders and the ease into reopening the economy. During the 17-week period that ended on June 27, U.S. consumers spent $3.7 billion on chocolate, up 6.3% from that time period last year, according to Nielsen data. Milk chocolate was the favorite choice, with Americans spending over $2.9 billion on single serve and multi-serve versions of the snack. Dark chocolate sales were up 13.6% while mixed and white chocolate sales slid, according to Nielsen data. Scientific studies show that dark chocolate and other cocoa products can be a stress reliever.

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Why Data Is Like Chocolate

Why Data Is Like Chocolate

FORBES.COM

Data is often granted metaphors. People like to suggest that data is the new coal, the new fuel for modern business, or perhaps even the new snake oil i.e. a cure-all elixir that can transform and transport any organization to the new age of cloud-native, mobile-enabled, information-enriched business. But perhaps data is also like chocolate.

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San Francisco’s Iconic ‘Ghirardelli’ Chocolate Company Sign to Go Dark

San Francisco’s Iconic ‘Ghirardelli’ Chocolate Company Sign to Go Dark

SF.EATER.COM

SF’s huge “Ghirardelli” sign will be removed by the owners of Ghirardelli Square. Jamestown Properties, a company that since 2013 has owned Fisherman’s Wharf-adjacent tourist destination Ghirardelli Square, will remove the structure’s massive “Ghirardelli” sign piece-by piece in coming days, with a plan to erect a new sign later this summer. It appears that the years have taken a toll on the sign. It’s suffered from persistent “electrical failures” in recent years. The new sign will be revealed later this summer.

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Cadbury will reduce size of popular chocolate bars in a bid to tackle childhood obesity

Cadbury will reduce size of popular chocolate bars in a bid to tackle childhood obesity

HEART.CO.UK

Cadbury are to shrink the sizes of their famed chocolate bars Chomp, Curly Wurly and Fudge bars to reduce their calorie content to less than 100 calories each. The changes come as the confectionary giant is hoping to tackle childhood obesity seeing as the bars are very popular with children.

 

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Costco discontinues half-sheet cakes; people say coronavirus is to blame

Costco discontinues half-sheet cakes; people say coronavirus is to blame

KIRO7.COM

The $20 cakes, which were advertised as appropriate for up to 48 people, have been a fan favorite for graduations, weddings and birthday parties. Measuring 12 by 16 inches, they came in two flavors: white cake with vanilla cheesecake mousse and white buttercream or chocolate cake with chocolate mousse and chocolate buttercream. But Costco has halted the production and sales of half-sheet cakes in all its locations across the country. The reason? Many people are saying coronavirus is to blame. State guidelines have recommended limited gatherings in many areas.

 

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Tony’s Chocolonely reveals plans to build a chocolate circus with a roller coaster

Tony’s Chocolonely reveals plans to build a chocolate circus with a roller coaster

METRO.CO.UK

Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any more bizarre, it’s been announced that a Willy Wonka-style chocolate circus is coming to Amsterdam. Dutch chocolate company Tony’s Chocolonely has joined forces with architecture firm SeARCH to create a unique choccy-themed attraction. The magical wonderland is set to be made up of three buildings – one of which will have a roller coaster.

 

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Chocolate Consumption in Relation to Blood Pressure and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in German Adults

Chocolate Consumption in Relation to Blood Pressure and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in German Adults

NIH.GOV

To investigate the association of chocolate consumption with measured blood pressure (BP) and the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD), dietary intake, including chocolate, and BP were assessed at baseline (1994-98) in 19,357 participants (aged 35-65 years) free of myocardial infarction (MI) and stroke and not using antihypertensive medication of the Potsdam arm of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. The conclusion: Chocolate consumption appears to lower CVD risk, in part through reducing BP. The inverse association may be stronger for stroke than for MI. Further research is needed, in particular randomized trials.

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Chocolate Ice Cream Was Produced Before Vanilla.

Chocolate Ice Cream Was Produced Before Vanilla.

SOUTHFLORIDAREPORTER.COM

Chocolate was one of the first ice cream flavors, created before vanilla, as common drinks such as hot chocolate, coffee, and tea were the first food items to be turned into frozen desserts. Chocolate ice cream is the second most common flavor, surpassed only by vanilla. The chocolate-flavored ice cream has been in existence well over a hundred years and has been popular in the United States since the late 19th century. The earliest frozen chocolate recipes were published in Naples, Italy in 1693 in Antonio Latini‘s The Modern Steward. For more chocolate ice cream facts, click here.

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Cadbury sparks debate with its advice on storing chocolate

Cadbury sparks debate with its advice on storing chocolate

MASHED.COM

For some, there is nothing worse than when chocolate gets too warm and turns into a squishy, melty mess in your hands. For others, biting into a rock hard bonbon is the worst confectionery offense imaginable. Recently, chocolate company Cadbury set off a series of arguments on Twitter over the proper way to store your chocolate by replying to a Tweet soliciting the brand’s advice. User Bruno Bouchet tweeted at the company’s official Cadbury Australia account, asking for an ultimate ruling on how chocolate should be stored. The brand replied that Cadbury customers should keep their chocolate in a cool, dry place at around 21 degrees Celsius, which is 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

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5 healthy benefits of dark chocolate

5 healthy benefits of dark chocolate

TODAY.COM

Who doesn’t love chocolate? This sweet treat can be part of a healthy diet … In moderation. Too much of a good thing can certainly outweigh the benefits, but there are a few good reasons to support your chocolate habit. Fortunately, there has been quite a bit of tried and true evidence suggesting the benefits of chocolate when you choose a type that is at least 70% cacao, and incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle.

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Costco Sells Huge 1-Pound Tubs Of Chocolate Dip That Are Totally Plant-Based

Costco chocolate tub dip

 

Sometimes the craving for chocolate hits and you just need a little something—or a lot of something—to hold you over. That’s where this one-pound tub of chocolate dip from Costco comes in, and better yet, it’s totally plant-based. Bigger is better when it comes to snacking, and this chocolate dip is just one example of that. It’s made from cashews and almonds, so it’s dairy-free and non-GMO. The ingredient list is pretty clean, too, as it uses the aforementioned nuts, cane sugar, sunflower oil, cocoa powder, agave nectar, natural vanilla flavor, and sea salt. This dip can be used for just about anything, whether you want to dip pretzels or fruit into it or would rather use it as a spread on toast or cupcakes is up to you. The consistency looks like it would be an easy substitution for frosting if you want to try out a plant-based alternative there. Each one-pound container costs $7.69 and the label suggests you eat it within a week of opening it for the best quality.

 

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Butterfly Cannon Designs New Brand Identity for Montezuma’s Chocolates

Montezumas chocolates

 

Butterfly Cannon has created a big chunk of quirky, sustainable & delicious fun with their brand redesign for Montezuma’s Chocolates. Montezuma’s Chocolates was born out of its founders, Helen and Simon’s love affair with Latin America and the extraordinary chocolate they found on their travels there. Since setting up shop in Brighton to make their own handmade chocolates in a multitude of flavors, using only ethically sourced ingredients, Montezuma’s Chocolates’ business had grown organically. With increased investment and an ambitious plan for growth beyond their own stores, they tasked Butterfly Cannon to re-focus the brand’s purpose and re-think its creative platform and visual identity on pack to attract a more urban ethical consumer. The result is a versatile and infinitely adaptable branding system that proves Montezuma’s ever-expanding product range. Check out their new look and products on Montezuma’s website (click here).

 

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This Kailua Chocolate Company Launches New Hawaii Flavors

 

The company, Manoa Chocolate,  is launching its Flavor of Hawaii series, featuring three new flavors: banana, coconut and lilikoi (passion fruit). The coconut one is vegan, just FYI. This summer the company will release another new chocolate bar made with cacao nibs infused with local whiskey from Koʻolau Distillery in Kailua. Hawaii is the only state with a climate suitable for growing cacao, the main ingredient in chocolate. Check out their website, which includes a virtual factory tour, at ManoaChocolate.com.

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Swiss chocolate giant Barry Callebaut snaps up Australia’s GKC Foods

Swiss chocolate giant Barry Callebaut snaps up Australia’s GKC Foods

INSIDEFMCG.COM.AU

Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut is set to make its mark on the Australian and New Zealand markets with the acquisition of local B2B chocolate manufacturer GKC Foods. Barry Callebaut is one of the largest chocolate and cocoa manufacturers in Asia Pacific, with 10 chocolate and cocoa factories in operation across Asia. The GKC factory in Melbourne, which produces chocolate, coatings and fillings for consumer chocolate brands, will be upgraded with a state-of-the-art chocolate production line and an integrated management system to enhance automated production.

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Dark chocolate can help you deal with hair loss

Dark chocolate can help you deal with hair loss

INDIATIMES.COM

Dark black chocolate is a variation of chocolate that contains cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar, sans the milk found in usual milk chocolate. And, it has a wonderful reputation of being a better alternative (health-wise) when compared to other varieties of chocolates. In fact many researches have claimed that dark chocolate can help in improving a lot of bodily issues, especially those related to skin and hair. And, if you have been facing hair related issues and a extreme hair loss, then dark chocolate could be your savior after all, don’t believe us? Read on (CLICK HERE)

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The Science Behind a Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Science Behind a Chocolate Chip Cookie

WFAA.COM

Chocolate chip cookies are one of the most beloved desserts in the world. They’re so deliciously simple, yet, scientifically, a single cookie is incredibly complex. Most of the science behind a chocolate chip cookie happens inside the oven. The oven is like a tiny laboratory where a bunch of chemical reactions are happening to make a chocolate chip cookie ooey, gooey and irresistible.

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What Do Tea, Wine And Dark Chocolate Have In Common? They Reduce Dementia Risk

What Do Tea, Wine And Dark Chocolate Have In Common? They Reduce Dementia Risk

MEDICALDAILY.COM

Wine, tea and dark chocolate — no, these are not the ingredients to the potion of life, but they might as well be. For one thing, they all contain compounds that can ensure good quality of life for the years to come. Apparently, a new research study has found that tea, wine, dark chocolate and certain fruits and vegetables can significantly lower the risk of having dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease later on in life. This is all thanks to the flavonoids they contain.

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Does Chocolate Go Bad?

Does Chocolate Go Bad?

YAHOO.COM

A crumpled bag of baking chips in the pantry. The linen closet stash you forgot about. The kids’ old Halloween haul. A fun-size piece in the glove compartment. There are few things as exciting as discovering a piece of surprise chocolate from who knows when. But does chocolate go bad?

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Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

flourless chocolate cupcakes

Just 5 ingredients: Check out this recipe for flourless chocolate cupcakes!

Ingredients:
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter or spray muffin tin cups with baking spray. In a microwave safe bowl, heat butter and chocolate for 30 to 45 seconds. Stir. Heat another 30 seconds or until just melted. Whisk in brown sugar. Whisk in eggs. Next, whisk in cocoa powder until combined. Fill each muffin cup about half full of batter. Bake about 10 to 14 minutes. Check them at 10 minutes. Do not over bake. They should be fudgy. Cool completely. Great served with fresh whipped cream and berries on top! Makes about a dozen.

Watch it being made, here.

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Spicy Chocolate Milk-Simmered Chicken

Chocolate milk chicken

Simmering chicken in chocolate milk sounds strange – turns out, it’s delicious! Tyler Kord’s description in his cookbook: “This chicken may just be one of the most interesting and weird-good things you will make from a cookbook.” As Kord noted: “Chicken and chile and chocolate have a long and beautiful history in the form of mole, from the state of Puebla, Mexico.” One caveat is to buy or make good-quality, full-fat chocolate milk for the cup used in the recipe. The better the chocolate, the better the sauce. The bone-in, skin-on thighs add richness to the sauce, as well, but you could use other pieces. Kord recommends serving the chicken with sauteed zucchini and a grain such as quinoa. Those two mild sides balance the rich, rich sauce. It could be good with boiled potatoes or with long-grain rice, as well. If you have chocolate chicken left over, Kord recommends stuffing some in a corn tortilla or using the chicken to fill out a savory pie. (Recipe adapted from “Food52 Dynamite Chicken: 60 Never-Boring Recipes for Your Favorite Bird” by Tyler Kord. Ten Speed Press, 2019.)

For the chicken:

1 cup whole chocolate milk

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 jalapenos, stemmed and split lengthwise

2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)

For the zucchini:

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 zucchinis (about 1 pound total), sliced 1/2-inch thick

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

Cooked grain, such as farro, quinoa or rice, for serving

Cilantro, for garish (optional)

In a saucepan, stir together the chocolate milk, chili powder, jalapenos and 2 teaspoons of the salt until combined. Add the chicken thighs bone side down. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, for 35 to 40 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, in a large saute pan over high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the zucchini and the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini begins to caramelize and soften but does not turn to mush, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve the chicken and zucchini warm over cooked grains, garnished with cilantro, if using.

Yield: 4 servings

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Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy chocolate cake

This Easy Chocolate Cake Recipe Will Bring Back Childhood Memories (And It Tastes Amazing). Chuck out your Betty Crocker mix, put on your baker’s hat and make the most heavenly chocolate cake recipe from scratch. It’ll be fluffy, it’ll be moist and the icing on top will leave you wanting more. Really though, the icing is the secret to this killer double-layered chocolate cake recipe.

Ingredients for the cake

2 cups flour
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk + 2 tspn vinegar (mixed)
1/2 vanilla essence
1 cup hot coffee
Ingredients for the icing

1 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup butter (unsalted, softened)
3/4 tspn salt
4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup cream
2/3 cup Ovaltine (classic) or Horlicks (classic) — this is THE SECRET ingredient
1/2 tspn vanilla

Method for making the cake

In a mixing bowl, add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt (make sure to sift your dry ingredients).
Use an electric whisk to combine the dry mixture. Just a few pulses should do the trick.
In a separate bowl, mix eggs, milk, oil and vanilla.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry mix and whisk for 4-5 minutes on medium speed.
With the mixer still running, add the hot coffee to the batter and then turn it off. Do not beat a lot after adding the coffee.
Line and grease 2×9-inch pans with butter or parchment paper.
Pour the batter into the pans, smooth the surface and tap to get rid of any air bubbles. Bake in a pre-heated oven (165 degree Celsius) for 25-30mins.
Once the cake is out, let it cool in the pan until the top feels firm. Then transfer it to the cooling rack to cool fully.

Method for making the icing

In a bowl, add cocoa powder, salt, milk and butter. Whisk on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape the sides.
Gradually add the icing sugar and continue beating until fully combined.
In a bowl, add cream and Horlicks/Ovaltine and combine. Add this to the mixture above and beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes until its light and silky.

How to assemble your cake

Once your sponges have cooled, sandwich the two layers with some icing
Cover the top and sides with the remaining icing
Cut up a massive slice for yourself and enjoy

You can watch @yum_by_amna’s highlights for a step-by-step visual guide to recreating her delicious chocolate cake.

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Chocolate Icebox Cookies

According to “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker (Scribner, 1997, $30), what Irma Rombauer called “icebox cookies” in the 1931 edition, were renamed “refrigerator cookies” in the ’50s by Marion Becker. But “Joy,” along with many other cookbooks, returned to the original nomenclature. Icebox harks back to a bake-from-scratch, bygone era. Somehow it seems homier. The recipe originally called for mint chocolate chips.

Yield: About 3 1/2 dozen

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

Optional: 1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup sugar

1 egg

Garnish: 6 ounces coating chocolate or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or mint chocolate chips

PROCEDURE
1. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend.

2. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Beat in peppermint extract (if using) and vanilla extract. Beat in sugar in 3 additions. Add egg and beat until blended. Add dry ingredients and beat just until blended (dough will be sticky).

3. Divide dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Using plastic wrap or wax paper as aid, form dough on each into 2-inch-diameter log. Refrigerate dough until well chilled, at least 2 hours.

4. Position 1 rack in center and 1 rack in top third of oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap cookie dough logs; roll briefly on work surface to form smooth round logs. Cut logs crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until tops and edges are dry to touch, about 15 minutes. Transfer baking sheets with cookies to racks; cool completely.

5. Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove from over water. Chocolate should only be warm enough to melt, not hot. You can either dip half of each cookie in the white or dark chocolate (and allow to harden on a sheet of wax paper) or place melted white chocolate in a pastry bag fitted with a small, plain tip and pipe polka dots or zigzags on the top of each cooled cookie. Refrigerate cookies on baking sheets until chocolate is set, about 10 minutes. If you use coating chocolate (such as Candiquik ) it will harden at room temperature and no refrigeration is needed.

Source: Adapted from “Bon Appetit Desserts” by Barbara Fairchild

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DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Doubletree chocolate chip cookies

YUM! DoubleTree reveals its official chocolate chip cookie recipe! For the first time ever, DoubleTree by Hilton is sharing the official bake-at-home recipe for the brand’s beloved and delicious chocolate chip cookie, so at-home bakers can create the warm and comforting treat in their own kitchens. The warm chocolate chip cookie welcome is synonymous with DoubleTree hotels worldwide, and travelers look forward to receiving one, fresh from the oven, upon their arrival.

Makes 26 cookies

Ingredients:

• ½ pound butter, softened (2 sticks)
• ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
• ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
• ¼ teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 2 ¼ cups flour
• ½ cup rolled oats
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• Pinch cinnamon
• 2 ⅔ cups Nestle Tollhouse semi-sweet chips chocolate chips
• 1 ¾ cups chopped walnuts

You’ll also want a large mixing bowl, standing mixer (a hand mixer will also work), parchment paper, baking sheet, baking spatula and a spoon or scoop.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Cream the butter, sugar and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes.

Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice, blending with mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy, scraping down bowl.

With mixer on low speed, add flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, blending for about 45 seconds. Don’t overmix.

Remove bowl from mixer and stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Portion dough with a scoop (about 3 tablespoons) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for about 1 hour.

Cook’s note: You can freeze the unbaked cookies, and there’s no need to thaw. Preheat oven to 300°F and place frozen cookies on parchment paper-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden brown and center is still soft.

You can find the full, original recipe on Hilton’s website.

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Glazed Orange Blossom and Chocolate Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Glazed Orange Blossom and Chocolate Olive Oil Bundt Cake

Olive oil keeps this fine-crumbed cake fresh and moist even after it sits out for days. Its flavor — cocoa and orange blossom, amplified and echoed by urfa, a spice with the aroma of chocolate and citrus — is as complex as it is instantly agreeable. And anyone intimidated by baking will appreciate this no-fail batter that’s mixed by hand.

3 hours, largely unattended. Serves 10 to 12.

Ingredients:

Spice Blend

• ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, preferably Vietnamese
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon urfa pepper

Cake

• Nonstick pan spray, oil or butter, for the pan
• 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1½ teaspoons baking powder
• 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
• ½ teaspoon kosher salt
• ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
• ⅔ cup whole milk
• 2 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon orange blossom water
• 1 orange

Glaze

• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 3 to 6 tablespoons whole milk

Instructions:

1. To make the spice blend: Stir together the cocoa, cinnamon and urfa. Reserve one-third of the mix (¼ cup) for the glaze.
2. To make the cake: Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a small (10-cup) Bundt pan. Set the pan in a roasting pan in case any batter spills over (it shouldn’t) and to prevent the cake bottom from browning too much.
3. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining spice blend until well mixed. In another bowl, combine the oil, milk, eggs and orange blossom water. Using a microplane grater, zest the orange directly into the bowl. Halve the orange, squeeze ¼ cup of juice (57 grams), and add to the bowl with the liquids. Whisk until smooth.
4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Start whisking slowly from the center of the bowl, gradually drawing in the dry ingredients to prevent them from clumping. Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, whisk just until smooth. The thick batter should drip off the whisk. Pour into the prepared bundt pan.
5. Bake, rotating the pan 180 degrees once halfway through, until a wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Unmold and cool completely on the rack.
7. To make the glaze: Mix the reserved spice blend with the powdered sugar. Add 3 tablespoons milk to make a thick glaze, adding up to 3 more tablespoons if necessary. Pour the glaze over the cooled unmolded cake and set aside until the glaze sets up, about 45 minutes.
Make ahead
The glazed cake can be kept at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Excerpted from Mastering Spice by Lior Lev Servarz and Genevieve Ko.

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Chocolate and Pear Cake

Chocolate and Pear Cake

Chocolate and pears combine for a yummy dessert.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cups (190 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup (25 g) cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ cup (115 g) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup (160 g) brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1 egg, at room temperature
¼ cup (60 mL) milk
4 oz. (115 g) 54% to 64% dark chocolate, chopped
2 pears, unpeeled, seeded and grated (1 cup (250 mL)/250 mL)
1 pear, unpeeled, halved, seeded and cut into 10 slices, ¼ inch (½ cm.) thick

Directions:

With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9 x 5-inch (23 x 13 cm.), 6-cup (1.5 litre) bread tin. Line with a strip of parchment paper, letting it hang over two sides.
In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and cardamom.
In another bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer. Add the egg and whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk. Add the chocolate and the grated pears and mix to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Place the pear slices down the center of the cake, rounded side up, pressing them into the batter until covered almost halfway.
Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before unmolding.

Ricardo Larrivée, a Montreal-based television food writer, as published in The Star.

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Chocolate Banana Bread

Chocolate Banana Bread

This is delicious! The other great thing about this is you can freeze it for later, so it’s a great recipe to have if you need to store some food for a while.
Ingredients:
• 1 cup of flour
• 1/2 cup of cocoa
• 1 tsp of baking soda
• 1/2 tsp of salt (I make it a heaping tsp, extra salt brings out the chocolate!)
• 2 bananas mashed (original recipe called for 3 but I only had 2 and it turned out just fine)
• 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup of semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Instructions:
1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl mix mashed bananas, melted butter, and oil. Stir to combine.
4. Stir in brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth.
5. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients, mix to combine (if you over-mix, your bread will be tough). Stir in chocolate chips, leaving a a few tablespoons behind to sprinkle on the top.
6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.
7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Oven times may vary.
Once it’s cooked, set it to cool for about 15 minutes and then enjoy! This recipe makes a moist, chocolaty cake with just a hint of banana flavor. For some added deliciousness, you can mix a tablespoon or so of milk with some powdered sugar and drizzle it on top. But this bread it plenty sweet without that!
As reported on WREX

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Double Chocolate ‘War’ Cake

Double chocolate war cake

For those who may be stressed about the future of the coronavirus pandemic, this dish is meant to provide some comfort: “war” chocolate cake. The dessert gets its name from World Wars I and II, when strict rations forced people to cut back on their ingredients. Unlike other cake recipes, you won’t need any butter, milk or eggs.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup of oil
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.

Directions:
Set the oven to 350 degrees and start on the batter. Requiring just one mixing bowl, all the ingredients can be mixed together at once. While the recipe suggests you whisk the ingredients by hand, you can choose to use an electric mixer to save some time. At first, the batter feels as thick as dough, but adding in a bit of water will help thin it out. After placing the batter into an 8 inch-by-8 inch size pan, wait by the oven door for about 35 minutes to watch the batter rise!
The results are as simple as the recipe itself. Sprinkle the final cake with a little bit of cocoa powder and bite into a rich and satisfying dessert with crisp brownie-like edges and a fluffy interior. It also has an added benefit of being dairy free and vegan because of the lack of eggs and milk.
The cake serves about nine to 12 portions. For a more fudgy textured cake, double the suggested amount of chocolate chips. You can also add fresh blueberries or strawberries to top the cake for a fresh flavor.
You can dress it up or eat it plain, and it’ll satisfy anyone who is vegan or dairy free.

This article appeared in the April 2, 2020 issue of the Hatchet.

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Chocolate care packages for you or a loved one

Chocolate care packages

 

If chocolate is your cure-all, consider buying a care package for yourself or as a gift for someone else from Black Dinah Chocolatiers of Westbrook, Maine. “We were thinking of ways to appeal to different people,” says Kate Shaffer, who owns the company with her husband, Steve, so they came up with three new care packages that will make being stuck at home more palatable. For more info, click here.

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Hu Vegan & Paleo Chocolate Is Our New Comfort Food Obsession

Hu Vegan Chocolate bars

 

As reported by Carley Milne on E!News, they have a notorious sweet tooth, but they also have dietary restrictions. No dairy. No refined sugar. No junky ingredients that cause gastrointestinal distress. Which pretty much cuts out all the good chocolate…or so they thought, until they met Hu Chocolate. Hu, which comes from the phrase “Food For Humans,” created their chocolate offerings with a philosophy in mind: namely, that food can be delicious with simple, high-quality ingredients that help people get back to living, eating and thriving like humans. All of their offerings are vegan, paleo, gluten-free, non-GMO and Kosher, with no refined sugar, cane sugar or sugar alcohols, among other questionable additives. And every item features an ingredient list you can actually read and understand. To check out the varieties and more details, click here.

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5 healthy benefits of dark chocolate

5 healthy benefits of dark chocolate

TODAY

Who doesn’t love chocolate? As a nutritionist, Keri Glassman, R.D. can tell you this sweet treat can be part of a healthy diet … In moderation. Too much of a good thing can certainly outweigh the benefits, but there are a few good reasons to support your chocolate habit.

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Chocolate bar ends hostage situation in Irish prison

Chocolate bar ends hostage situation in Irish prison

TRIBLIVE

Media outlets in Ireland, including the Irish Post, report that a five-hour standoff with hostages at Midlands Prison in Ireland was brought to a peaceful end when one of two inmates agreed to trade his weapons for a chocolate bar. A Mars bar specifically. By the way, the European version of a Mars bar contains caramel and nougat coated with milk chocolate — similar to a Milky Way.

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World’s largest Craft Chocolate Experience set to sweeten San Francisco

World’s largest Craft Chocolate Experience set to sweeten San Francisco

7×7

San Francisco has a chocolatey heritage – the city is the birthplace of Guittard, Ghirardelli, and Scharffen Berger. So it’s only fitting that the world’s largest gathering of craft chocolate makers should kick off here in the city. Coming to the Palace of Fine Arts March 6-8, the inaugural Craft Chocolate Experience is about as close as you’re ever going to get to a grown-up, gourmet Willy Wonka fest. Touted as a learning experience as well as a tasting and shopping event, the three-day happening will feature cacao-centric talks, an Insta-worthy cacao-bean ball pit, and a massive marketplace of more than 90 artisanal chocolatiers from 25 different countries.

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Make-Your-Own Chocolate Workshop Coming Soon to Disney World!

Make-Your-Own Chocolate Workshop Coming Soon to Disney World!

HOTEL, WALT DISNEY WORLD

The Ganachery, an exquisite chocolate shop located in Disney Springs, will soon be offering an all-new experience at the newly opened Disney’s Riviera Resort. If you’re unfamiliar with The Ganachery, the chocolatier creates delicious (and beautiful) chocolate treats that are a must-try. Everything is handcrafted, and now, Disney World guests will get to learn all about the artistry of chocolate and even make their own Ganachery treat.

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Elementary school students learn about engineering using chocolate

Elementary school students learn about engineering using chocolate

ORLANDO.COM

As part of National Engineers Week, Florida’s Turnpike engineers taught students how to build roads from the bottom up using “Chocolate Asphalt.” Students used ingredients like chocolate, walnuts, oats, coconut, and sugar to build their road. The project is a way to raise awareness about STEM-related careers.

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Hot Chocolate Could Help Ease Painful Clogged Leg Vessels

Hot Chocolate Could Help Ease Painful Clogged Leg Vessels

US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT

Could hot chocolate deliver relief to those suffering from the painful condition known as peripheral artery disease (PAD)? A small, new study says it’s entirely possible. The chocolate used in the study is commonly available natural, unsweetened cocoa powder. This type of cocoa powder is rich in the flavanol epicatechin. This flavanol is found in larger quantities in dark chocolate containing more than 85% cacao. Dark chocolate that isn’t “alkalized” (a process to improve taste that removes some flavanols) would likely offer similar benefits. Regular chocolate wouldn’t be expected to have a similar effect. Study volunteers drank a warm mixture of milk or water and a powder packet containing cocoa and epicatechin, or a placebo three times a day for six months.

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Everything You Don’t Know About Chocolate

Everything You Don’t Know About Chocolate

NEW YORK TIMES

You probably think you already know everything you need to know about chocolate. For instance: The higher the percentage of cacao, the more bitter the chocolate, right? The term “single origin” on the label indicates that the chocolate expresses a particular terroir. And wasn’t the whole bean-to-bar movement started by a couple of bearded guys in Brooklyn? Wrong; not necessarily; and definitely not.

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The World’s First Large-Scale, 3D-Printed Chocolate Is Here, Courtesy Of Swiss Cocoa Giant Barry Callebaut

The World’s First Large-Scale, 3D-Printed Chocolate Is Here, Courtesy Of Swiss Cocoa Giant Barry Callebaut

FORBES

Customized chocolate in complex shapes will no longer be exclusively produced by seasoned culinary chefs, as Swiss cocoa giant Barry Callebaut is set to launch the world’s first large-scale, 3D-printed chocolate under its decoration brand, Mona Lisa, in Spain. 3D-printing technology already exists on a small scale in the food industry, but this marks the first time for a major chocolate processor to make it available for the general public.

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How Chocolate Can Help Save the Planet

How Chocolate Can Help Save the Planet

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

Trees are crucial weapons in the fight against climate change, but they’re also vital to the livelihoods of 1.5 billion people, including those of cocoa farmers. We can’t put a fence around forests to keep poor people from exploiting them. Doing so may reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it’s not realistic. We need to fashion a future where forests can be used to benefit those who count on trees for their living without inflicting damage on the rest of the planet. And in the cacao groves of West Africa where these conditions are being met, plants and people are thriving.

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The World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Bar Is Worth Every Penny, according to Robb Report

TOAK expensive chocolates

 

More than a century ago, Ecuador was the world’s largest exporter of cacao, with one native varietal in particular—nacional—serving as its calling card. Unfortunately, a fungal disease arrived in Ecuador in 1916 and started decimating the cacao trees, until the point people believed the varietal was lost entirely. About 12 years ago, it was found again, deep in the rainforest. After confirming through genetic testing that nacional was alive and well, To’ak started using it to make chocolate from bean to bar, with a focus on expressing the terroir of the region. According to ROBB REPORT, it’s worth every penny! Check it out at ToakChocolate.com.

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You Can Have As Much Chocolate As Your Heart Desires at This Belgian Chocolate Factory

Neuhaus chocolate factory

 

Some people can’t get enough chocolate. Luckily, at one Belgian chocolate factory, you can eat as much as you like. According to Metro, Journalist Jon Stone discovered a chocolate paradise in Brussels that would make Willy Wonka jealous. While visiting the Neuhaus Belgian Chocolate Factory, he found out that visitors can actually gorge themselves as much as they like while they’re on the premises — free of charge. There are a couple rules: First, you may only sample chocolates while in the factory. Hoarding the chocolate and eating it later is not allowed. Second, all boxed and sealed chocolates are off-limits (but available for purchase). The factory is located, as Stone noted, in Brussels (technically Sint-Pieters-Leeuw) at the end of the 5 Metro Line at the Erasme Metro station if you’re traveling by public transit.

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You Can Now Buy Mint Chocolate Hostess Cupcakes, Just In Time For St. Patrick’s Day

Mint Chocolate Hostess Cupcakes

 

In a sure sign that spring is in the air, Hostess is bringing back their limited-edition mint chocolate cupcakes just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The mint chocolate cupcakes are made with a traditional Hostess chocolate cupcake, but instead of white icing, they come with pale mint green frosting and are filled with minty green cream. The cupcakes are sold in multipacks for around $2.99 a box nationwide at grocery stores like Walmart. A Hostess representative told us they will only be around until March 15 or while supplies last, so bring them home while you can!

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19 unique chocolate gifts for Valentine’s Day that go beyond the traditional box of sweets

 

Chocolate is one of the most beloved foodstuffs on earth, making it a great choice for Valentine’s Day gifts. If you want to treat the chocolate fan in your life to something sweet this Valentine’s Day, we’ve got you covered. This Valentine’s Day, think outside the box when shopping for the chocolate fiend in your life with these 19 clever gift ideas. Check them all out at the Valentine’s Day gift guide, click here.

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Jacques Torres Valentine’s Day Chocolate— For Those Who Don’t Take The Whole Thing Too Seriously

 

Of course love is a serious matter. But didn’t you also fall for your significant other because of their terrific sense of humor? If love and laughs go together in your life, you should plan on gifting one of Jacques Torres’ delightfully amusing chocolate treats. Click, here, to see “Love Stinks” as well as many other chocolate Valentine’s Day gifts.