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Five Steps to the Ultimate Chocolate Experience

Five Steps to the Ultimate Chocolate Experience

ABS-CBN.com

One does not need to be an expert to fully enjoy fine chocolates, or know how to distinguish single-plantation from single-origin chocolates. Chocolate-tasting is a far more informal affair, guided by one’s own personal preference and palate. Some may prefer the strong bitter taste of pure dark chocolate while others might lean towards creamier, lower-percentage chocolate confections.

Good chocolate, when savored properly, allows you to appreciate subtleties of flavor and tones that you would not want to miss out on. The key thing to remember is to engage all your senses to make it truly an ultimate sensorial experience. The following are a few guidelines.

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Devine Chocolate

Devine chocolate bar

Devine Chocolate – the name says it all! And, from the first taste, “devine” it is! There are no artificial flavors, all natural ingredients, 100% pure cocoa butter, no palm oil or soy, and the cocoa farmers who grow this fine quality cocoa for the chocolate also own 44% of the company and share in the profits. Check out Devine Chocolate’s website for more info on their chocolate bar selection, recipes and more at Devine Chocolate.com.

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No Bake! Mike’s Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

Chocolate coconut macaroons

Coconut Macaroon Cookies. Simple, quick No Bake Cookies that will impress your guests without them ever guessing they took you about 10 minutes.

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins

Serves: 12

Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cups sugar
• 5 tablespoons cocoa
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup shortening or butter
• 3 cups rolled oats
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 cup shredded coconut
Instructions
1. Mix sugar and cocoa in a large saucepan over low heat. Add milk slowly. Stir until sugar dissolves. This should take a few minutes.
2. Bring to a low boil then add shortening (or butter) and rolled oats, stirring quickly. Cook for 1-2 minutes then remove from heat.
3. Add the salt, vanilla and coconut and stir (wooden spoon works well) until mixed well.
4. Drop into small stacks on a parchment lined cookie sheet or cutting board. Let sit until they cool. Remove and munch away.

Recipe courtesy of Kim Beaulieu

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Chrissy Teigen’s Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Skillet Blondies

Chrissy Teigen chocolate chip peanut butter blondies

Part cookie, part blondie and part pie, this dessert with a crispy outside and gooey inside is outrageously decadent. Still, it’s not overly sweet, so don’t hesitate to serve it with vanilla ice cream (coffee is nice, too) or a cold glass of milk.

Serves 10-12.

INGREDIENTS
• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at a slightly soft room temperature, plus more for the skillet
• 2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces; 153 grams) crunchy peanut butter (not natural-style)
• 3/4 cup (5 1/8 ounces; 145 grams) packed light brown sugar
• 2/3 cup (5 1/2 ounces; 155 grams) granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs
• 1 1/4 cups (6 1/2 ounces; 181 grams) flour
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 2/3 cup (122 grams; 4 1/4 ounces) peanut butter chips
• 2/3 cup (122 grams; 4 1/4 ounces) chocolate chips (milk or dark)

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use butter to generously grease the inside of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet.

Combine the unsalted butter, peanut butter and both sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on low speed until blended. Increase the speed to medium; beat for about 2 minutes until creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as needed. Add the vanilla extract, then beat in the eggs one at a time, thoroughly incorporating after each addition. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl; alternatively, you can sift them directly into the mixer bowl. With the motor off, add the flour mixture to the mixer bowl, then beat on low speed until just incorporated, to form a soft dough. Add the peanut butter chips and chocolate chips; beat on low speed until evenly distributed.

Spread the dough in the skillet, smoothing the top. Bake (middle rack) for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is a little golden on the edges but the center is still soft. (The cookie might seem under-done when it comes out of the oven, but it will firm up as it cools).

Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes in the skillet, then cut into wedges or any portions you want. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from “Cravings: Hungry for More”, by Chrissy Teigen (Clarkson Potter, 2018)

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Quote 13

– AUTHOR UNKOWN

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Chocolate flows down German street after factory accident. Willy Wonka couldn’t be reached for comment

Chocolate flows down German street after factory accident. Willy Wonka couldn’t be reached for comment

USA TODAY

A ton of chocolate hardened on a German street, leaving 25 firefighters to clean it up using hot water, shovels and blow torches. German newspaper, Soester Anzeiger, reported that a “small technical defect” involving a storage tank caused the liquid chocolate leak from a DreiMeister chocolate factory in Westoennen on Monday night. It apparently overflowed. Quite a bit. Onto nearly four miles of a nearby street.

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Mum makes reward chart with chocolate prizes – and one big twist parents love

Mum makes reward chart with chocolate prizes – and one big twist parents love.

MIRROR UK

Parenting is tough – so a mum has developed a chocolate-based reward system for herself. Lots of mums and dads like to encourage their kids’ good behavior by rewarding them with sweets or gold stars. One mum has totally flipped this on its head and created a system to treat herself for her patient parenting – and it’s brilliant. Maralee Bradley, a blogger from Nebraska, has created a chart where she gets a different kind of chocolate snack for being a good mum.

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Li-Lac Chocolates

Li-Lac chocolates

If you live in NYC or nearby, you’re in luck! You can visit Manhattan’s oldest chocolate house – since 1923. And if you’re not nearby, visit their website. Take it from one who knows, it’s certainly worth the tasting experience! Their chocolate factory is in Brooklyn, NY, where you can look in through oversize windows and see chocolate-making in action. There are 5 locations (soon to be 6) in the NYC area. Visit their website to purchase gourmet chocolates and for more info: Li-LacChocolates.com.

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Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies

Food charlatan fudge brownies

The most decadent fudge brownies with chocolate fudge frosting you will ever eat! These brownies are thick and chewy and not cakey in any way shape or form. They really do taste like fudge.

Serves Makes 1 9×13 inch pan. Serves 24.

Ingredients
For the brownies
• 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
• 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (OR you can sub 3/4 cup cocoa)
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1 and 1/2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
For the Fudge Frosting
• 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup milk
• 1/2 cup cocoa
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• ice water (for an ice bath, not to go in the recipe)
• 1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts, to sprinkle on top

Instructions
1. Grease a 9×13 inch pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a heavy bottom 2 or 3 quart pot, melt 1 cup butter with 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate over medium heat. (You can sub 3/4 cup cocoa.) Use a wooden spoon to stir together and then remove from the heat.
3. Add 2 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
4. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla.
5. Stir in 1 and 1/2 cups flour until barely combined.
6. Add 4 eggs. Stir until combined but don’t overdo it.
7. At this point you can stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts.
8. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. (Press the walnuts into half the pan at this point, if you are going halfsies.)
9. Bake at 350 for about 20-22 minutes. Start checking early, you don’t want them to over bake. When a toothpick comes out of the center with no wet batter on it, they are done.
10. Let the brownies cool completely (otherwise it will melt the frosting.)
11. Make the frosting while the brownies cool. Clean the pot that you used for the brownies (or use a similar sized pot.)
12. Melt the 1/2 cup butter with 2 cups sugar, milk, and 1/2 cup cocoa over medium high heat. When it reaches a rolling boil, set a timer for 1 minute.
13. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
14. Prepare an ice bath. Add ice and water to a bowl that the pot you are using can rest inside. Place the pot of frosting in the ice bath. Do NOT get any water in the fudge.
15. Let the frosting cool for about 10 minutes until it is cool. Scrape the edges of the pot and stir occasionally. When the frosting has cooled down and thickened just a little remove from the ice bath.
16. Use an electric mixer to beat the frosting for 3-5 minutes. The frosting will start off really shiny and glossy, but by the time you are done it should be less glossy, but still easy to pour.
17. Pour the frosting immediately over the brownies and spread.
18. If you are using walnuts, sprinkle 1/2 to 1 cup over the top of the frosting.
19. Wait for the frosting to set, then cut into squares and serve with lots of milk!
Recipe and picture courtesy from Karen, the Food Charlatan, at theFoodCharlatan.com.

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Snoop Dogg’s Rolls Royce Peanut Butter–Chocolate Chip Cookies

Snoop Dogg PB Chocolate Chip cookies

Makes about 3 dozen.

Ingredients:
1 and 1/2 cups [210 g] all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
16 Tbsp [2 sticks, or 220 g] unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup [130 g] creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup [100 g] packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup [100 g] granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups [360 g] semisweet chocolate morsels
Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with one rack in the upper third and one in the lower third of the oven.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, combine the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Using a handheld electric mixer on medium speed, or a wooden spoon, vigorously beat the mixture until smooth.
Stir in the egg and vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour mixture just until combined. Stir in the chocolate morsels.
Using a tablespoon, drop rounded dough portions onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Place one sheet on the upper rack and one on the lower; bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden, switching the sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool on the sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the cooled cookies at room temperature in an airtight container or zip lock bag for up to 3 days.
Recipe courtesy “From Crook to Cook” by Snoop Dogg (Chronicle Books).

 

 

 

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EATING CHOCOLATE COMBINED WITH ZINC COULD HELP YOU ‘LIVE LONGER,’ STUDY SUGGESTS

EATING CHOCOLATE COMBINED WITH ZINC COULD HELP YOU ‘LIVE LONGER,’ STUDY SUGGESTS

INDEPENDENT

 

Eating chocolate and drinking coffee and tea may help you live longer, according to a new study. To reap the benefits of the treats, however, they must be consumed with zinc supplements – which together activate a compound that slows down aging. According to the researchers from the University of Erlangen in Nuremberg and Auburn University in Alabama, the combination can lengthen life by protecting against naturally-occurring “oxidative stress” – a gas that leads to aging and other illnesses such as cancer, inflammation or degenerative diseases.

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Trader Joe’s Chocolate Ornaments Are Here! So You Can Have Your Christmas Decor And Eat It, Too

Trader Joe's chocolate ornaments

If you’ve ever had that feeling of looking at a Christmas ornament and thinking, “That’s so pretty. I want…to eat it,” you’re in luck. Trader Joe’s is now selling milk chocolate ornaments for the holidays. They come in an 11-ounce container with 26 chocolate ornaments, wrapped in a variety of colors and shapes. Each chocolate ornament has a sparkly string so you can actual hang them from your tree. You can get your hands on a set for $6.99 while supplies lasts.

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Eating Three Bars of Dark Chocolate a Month Cuts the Risk of Heart Failure by 13%

Eating Three Bars of Dark Chocolate a Month Cuts the Risk of Heart Failure by 13%

Indiatimes.com

 

For all those chocoholics who have been wondering if there is any truth to what the naysayers have to say, it turns out that chocolate can benefit your health more than it can harm it. Eating up to three bars of dark chocolate a month can lower the risk of heart failure, claims a recent comprehensive study. However, indulging in such treats on a daily basis may increase the risk of heart failure by 17%, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the U.S. They also found that people who ate up to three bars a month had a 13% lower risk of heart failure compared to those who ate none.

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Looking for that extra special chocolate gift?

chocolate boxes

“Look no more!” Chocolatier Cathy Brand-Beere thinks inside the box, outside the box, and about the box! Her repertoire of fine chocolates includes a truffle collection of dark chocolate, key lime pecan, caramel, coconut, peanut butter, mocha, macadamia hazelnut, raspberry, almond, milk chocolate, deluxe nut, black and white luscious caramels, all-natural fruit creams, and distinctive truffle combinations bursting with flavors. But that’s not all! She designs edible boxes made out of chocolate! And they taste as delicious as they look. All artisan Art Boxes are handmade and therefore no two will be identical. You can find these truffle-filled, Chocolate Art Boxes, at TheGrommet.com.

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Trisha Yearwood’s Slow Cooker Chocolate Candy

slow cooker candy

Easy to make and so good to taste! From “Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood”.

Makes 30 to 40 pieces.

 

2 pounds salted dry-roasted peanuts.

4 ounces German’s sweet chocolate (about 4 squares).

1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (about 2 cups).

2-1/2 pounds white almond bark.

Put the peanuts in the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker. Layer the chocolate over the peanuts, beginning with the sweet chocolate, followed by the chocolate chips and then the almond bark. Set the temperature on low and cook for 3 hours. Do not stir the mixture.

After 3 hours, stir the mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth. Drop the candy into cupcake pan liners using about 2 tablespoons per liner. Allow the candy to cool completely before removing the cupcake liners.

 

 

 

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Utah State University Opens USU’s Aggie Chocolate Factory

Utah State University Opens USU’s Aggie Chocolate Factory

Cache Valley Daily

 

The long awaited USU Aggie Chocolate Factory has its grand opening! Although the factory will serve many purposes, first and foremost will be a laboratory in the food science program. This is the only university that has a bean-to-bar processing facility that can be used for teaching and research. The chocolate factory will introduce Aggies to high cacao content chocolate bars, as well as dark, frozen hot chocolate and pastries at the factory’s cafe.

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So What is “Ruby Chocolate”?

So What is “Ruby Chocolate”?

THE DALLAS NEWS

 

Pink isn’t a color that comes to mind when we think of chocolate. But a new, smoky rose-colored variety called “ruby chocolate” made its U.S. debut in Dallas, this summer, selling a ruby chocolate line from Prestat, the London chocolatier favored by Britain’s royal family. As described in THE DAILY MEAL, Chicago-based Vosges haut-Chocolat will start shipping orders this month. Also check out DAME CACAO for what ruby chocolate is and where to buy it.

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Slow Cooker Gooey Brownie Cake

slow cooker brownie cake

This easy-to-make cake has the best parts of a soft, warm brownie: gooey on the inside and slightly crisp around the edges. It takes almost no time to prep and gives you the excuse to use your slow cooker for something sweet. (From Food Network Kitchen)

• Total: 3 hr 10 min
• Prep: 10 min
• Cook: 3 hr
• Yield: 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing insert
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

DIRECTIONS
1. Line the insert of a 4- or 6-quart slow cooker with a large piece of foil, then generously butter the foil.
2. Whisk together the melted butter, sugar, cocoa powder, flour, eggs, vanilla and salt in a medium bowl. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Scrape the batter out into the prepared insert in an even layer. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours; the cake should be set around the edges and gooey in the center.
3. Serve the cake warm, scooped into a bowl and topped with ice cream.

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Chocolate has been around for millennia. New research suggests it’s even older than we thought.

Chocolate has been around for millennia. New research suggests it’s even older than we thought.

Vox.com

As archaeologists have generally understood it, chocolate goes back to the Aztec and Mayan people, who first domesticated cacao in what’s now Central America about 3,900 years ago. But new research suggests it’s older than that — about 1,500 years older. And it didn’t originate in Central America, either.

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Tony’s Chocolonely

Tony's Chocolonely

“Crazy about chocolate, serious about people”! With incredibility tasty chocolate, (I speak from “experience”!) Tony’s Chocolonely leads by example to show the world chocolate can be made differently in taste, packaging and the way we treat cocoa farmers. Tony’s Chocolonely’s mission? To make 100% slave-free the norm in chocolate! Experience Tony’s Chocolonely’s chocolate bars including Almond Sea Salt, Chocolate Hazelnut, Caramel Sea Salt, Pecan Coconut, as well as Milk and Dark Chocolate and, with your purchase, you will be helping support Tony’s Chocolonely’s goal – to make 100% slave-free chocolate, not just Tony’s chocolate, but all chocolate worldwide. For more info, visit the website, Tony’s Chocolonely.

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Amore di Mona

AmorediMona resized

 

Amore di Mona Chocolates

 

Luxury, artisanal, vegan chocolate gift collections. Made pure and simply using only organic, non-GMO, common allergen free, and Kosher ingredients. Amore di Mona chocolates are rich, dark, soy free, dairy, preservative free, artificial ingredient free, low glycemic, peanut free, tree nut free, corn free, sesame free, lupin free. Source from France and Belgium. Cocoa content is 75%. For scrumptious gifts, visit Amore di Mona.