History Of Chocolate

It is in the tropical rainforests of Central America that the flavoursome appeal of the cacao tree was discovered over 2000 years ago. The high rain in the tropical coupled with high temperature and humidity all year round favoured the cultivation of the cacao plant. This tree produces pods whose seed are processed into chocolate. All through this time the tasty chocolate has maintained a universal appeal, growing from a local beverage in the Mesoamerican into global saccharine endeared by many cultures all over. The Mayan culture by the year 300 AD, had viewed the cocoa pods to epitomise life and fertility and it could be seen from their pictures sculptures in temples and palaces showing the cocoa pod pictures.

The Mayan civilization in Southern Mexico and Central America believed that the cacao tree was divine. To the Mayans the cacao was the God Food as the name suggested in the language and this was accentuated in the modern generic Latin name for the cacao tree ‘Theobrama Cacao’ translating into ‘Foods Of Gods’. The Mayan territory expanded when the Mayans moved from Central America to the lower parts of South America, stretching from the Pacific coast of Guatemala to the Yucatan Peninsula where they cultivated the first ever known plantations of the cocoa. This dates back to around 600 AD. The Cacao was however secularised by the European explorers and this left the Mayans pounding the roasted cocoa beans mixing it with maize and Capsicum peppers and fermenting the mixture before brewing a bitter, sweet and spicy drink.

By 1200 AD, the Aztecs in Central America associated the cocoa plant to Quetzalcoatl, one of their god. The Aztec brewed a thick, unsweetened, cold drink which was believed to have healthy benefits. They made use of various spices to flavour the drink. The drink, also referred then Xocolatl, as was associated with power and wisdom as well as having nutritious and aphrodisiac intrinsic worth. This belief led Montezuma , the Aztecs Emperor, was reported to indulge into the drink from a golden goblet. The Aztecs however had to acquire the cocoa beans through trade owing to the fact that they lived in arid regions in the north with higher altitudes and the climate was unfavourable to the cultivation of the Cacao tree. Interesting to note is that the Aztecs placed more value to the cocoa drink than silver and gold.

From here we can trace the history of chocolate to Europe. Prior to that however, Columbus in 1492 had presented a number of wonderful gifts to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella during his return from America. Among these gifts were dark brown beans believed to be the cocoa beans. The King and the Queen did not accord them lot of importance though. During Columbus fourth voyage to America in 1502 in his search for a route to India, he found himself in what is present day Nicaragua. It is here that Columbus learnt of cocoa beans being used to make a drink besides it being used as a form of currency. By the year 1513 the cocoa beans was used to trade for a slave. By this time the cocoa drink had changed its name to Chocolatl from Xocoatl, the Mayan word.

Chocolate (Chocolatl by then) was introduced to Europe by Hernando Cortez. Cortez had conquered a part of Mexico in 1519 and had envisioned making golden doubloons from the beans, being fascinated by the beans value although he was disgusted by the bitter spicy beverage of the Aztec. Later Cortez started a cocoa plantation in Spain and by the time he had packaged himself with better skills to brew the chocolate drink in a more pleasant flavour to appease the European from grounded roasted beans mixed with sugar and vanilla. Following this development the first factory of chocolate processing was opened in Spain. The Spanish exported the chocolate powder from which the European edition of chocolate drink was made. In a short time later, the cocoa a drink of choice all over Europe especially in Italy, France, Germany and Netherlands. The Cocoa beverage made its way to England in 1520.

Interesting in the history of chocolate is its return to America. When England established colonies in North America the English colonialist brought with them the chocolate to their colonies including USA and Canada. The Quakers too had a hand in the history of chocolate. They are said to have monopolised the chocolate processing in the English speaking world. Actually most chocolate products bear the Quakers’ names such as Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry.

By mid 1600′s, bakers in England began to use cocoa powder when making cakes. The breakthrough of having chocolate products in solid came when Johannes Van Houten , the Dutch chemist, innovated a way to extracting fat ,commonly known as cocoa butter, from the roasted beans. In 1847 in Bristol England, Fry &amp Sons produced the first chocolate bar through mixing cocoa powder, cocoa butter and sugar. These are how the history of chocolate has evolved and led establishment of chocolate as we know it today.

What you need to know about dark chocolate

For lovers of chocolate, dark chocolate offers one of the most outstanding candies that individuals can enjoy. Chocolate irrespective of the main recipes involved in the manufacture are loved by different individuals not only due to their sweetness but the health benefits they offer. They are some of the most favored candies by women who want to maintain their weight but still get the chance to enjoy sweet diets. Over the years, chocolate bars have become synonymous as more and more individuals seek to benefit from the benefits that they have to offer. As a magnificent ingredient, chocolate is used in the manufacture of desserts and other foods where they increase their sweetness and deliciousness. There are many types of chocolate available in the market including unsweetened, white, milk, courveture, dark chocolate among others. The type of chocolate is dependent on different features which include the quantity of added ingredients which are added on the chocolate, the incumbent temperature and the duration of roasting to which the chocolate ingredients are exposed to.

What really is dark Chocolate?

Having already looked at the main distinguishing factors to the different variations of chocolate, we take a look at what the dark chocolate is all about. It is also known as the plain chocolate. The plain connotes the fact that the chocolate does not have or contain any milk which is mostly added as an additive in many of the latter chocolate varieties. In the United States, the dark chocolate is commonly referred to as the Sweet Chocolate. The chocolate liquor accounts for approximately 15% of its ingredients content in the. This is as opposed to those in other European countries where the minimum concentration is about 35%. It is for such reasons that it is considered as a healthy chocolate and which has diverse benefits to human health. Through scientific research, it has been found out that dark chocolate might help lower blood pressure in individuals. However, it is essential to balance the calorie intake for lovers of this brand of chocolate by eating less amounts of other foods or diets.

The ingredients of Dark chocolate

The contents of dark chocolate are essential in determining the amount of calories that individuals can obtain from eating such chocolate bars. This dark chocolate is basically chocolate without milk additives. This chocolate type has more pronounced or better taste when compared to the conventional milk chocolate . This is basically due to the fact that they do not contain the milk solids which compete with the magnificent chocolate taste. The milk bars have a unique taste which when incorporated with the chocolate ingredients dilute that taste. The fact dark chocolate does not have milk additives means that they are more dry and chalky texture with a bitter taste. The main ingredients in the dark bars of the chocolate are diverse and include cocoa beans , sugar, different emulsifier including lecithin which helps to preserve texture, flavorings for which vanilla is a perfect example. This chocolate type is different from other perennial chocolate types due to the amount of cocoa seeds which are available in a bar. The sweet dark chocolate has over 30%, 70%, 75% and others have over 80% for the extremely dark varieties. Some of the commonly used terms which are components of the cocoa content in dark chocolate are varied and are bittersweet, the semi-sweet and not forgetting the sweet dark chocolate.

The health benefits of dark chocolate

From the content, the we can see that the main ingredients of dark chocolate is chocolate. Chocolate is derived from plants meaning that it has most of the health benefits of dark vegetables. Most of the health benefits are derived from the flavonoids which are mainly used as antioxidants. The antioxidants contain free radicals and which are anti-aging suppressants. Dark chocolate has many antioxidants roughly eight times those found in strawberries. The flavonoids also help regulate blood pressure by producing nitric oxide which is vital in balancing hormones in the body. Dark chocolate keeps the cardiovascular system of individuals functioning effectively hence is good for individuals heart. Main benefits to the heart lie in the fact that it lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure in the body. It also tastes good, stimulates the production of endorphins which give a feeling of pleasure, has serotonins which are anti-depressants and also has theobromine and caffeine among other stimulants.

Why You Should Eat Chocolate Desserts More Often

If you’re like plenty of people that enjoy chocolate desserts, then you know how addictive they can to be. Chocolate is one of the most popular things to have for dessert, as its amazing taste really just brings the child out of everyone. Everyone loves chocolate, and for years, new chefs and bakers have been creating new ways to make unique and delicious chocolate desserts. There are dozens of desserts out there, but chocolate desserts just happen to be on the top of the list, as there aren’t many flavors that can beat the taste of chocolate. Chocolate is the world’s most famous flavors in the world, and if you enjoy chocolate, then you may be surprised on how many ways you can turn a simple chunk of chocolate into a scrumptious dessert.

Why You Should Eat More Chocolate Desserts More Often.

One of the main reasons why people should eat these desserts often is that the smell of chocolate actually has certain health benefits. According to certain studies, chocolate soothes the mind due to its very addictive smell. Having a simple yet delicious chocolate dessert can actually eliminate your appetite, and the best part is that you already satisfied your taste buds. You have to admit, you do get cravings, and it’s pretty tough to deprive yourself from these very delicious temptations. A chocolate dessert will simply do no harm, which is why there is now nothing holding you back from enjoying these amazing desserts. If you always purchase chocolate desserts at a bakery, then you’re probably aware on how it tends to be pretty expensive, which is why you should just consider making your own chocolate desserts.

The Benefits To Creating Your Own Chocolate Desserts.

One of the main benefits to making your own chocolate dessert is that you will really be able to save money. You will also have the opportunity to even make simple chocolate dessert recipe into something that is your own. It is actually much cheaper to buy ingredients and make your own chocolate desserts instead of buying some at a store. The nice thing is that you get to dictate how much dessert you want to make. You may be surprised on how little the servings are at those bakery’s even though they cost a fortune.

How To Make Your Own Desserts.

All you need to do in order to make these delicious desserts is to read certain eBooks because those cookbooks at library’s don’t really have great recipes. You may be shocked at how the chocolate dessert recipes in eBooks are very easy to understand and follow. The recipes that you will find in cookbooks tend to be pretty tough to understand, as everything isn’t laid out clearly. Those cookbooks are also pretty expensive, which is why you should instead look for delicious chocolate dessert recipes on eBooks like the ones throughout this site. When you find dessert recipes on eBooks, you will be able to read them simply wherever you have internet access unlike cookbooks where they tend to be way too bulky to bring around.

Do eBooks Offer Delicious Chocolate Desserts?

All of the chocolate dessert recipes inside of the ebooks on this site are super unique, and the taste of those desserts are astonishing. In these eBooks, you will be able to avail a wide array of delicious chocolate desserts, and you don’t need to worry about having a hard time understanding them, as everything is clearly laid out. With these amazing eBooks, you will then be able to create all of the delicious chocolate desserts that you truly enjoy.

How To Choose The Right Chocolate Dessert Recipe.

You should at first just consider choosing a basic chocolate dessert recipe so that you can just see how it turns out. Never do anything too extravagant at first, as there is plenty of time to try those dessert recipes later on when you get better. Try to also go for the ones that have very basic ingredients needed to give yourself some experience.

Regardless of the dessert recipe you choose, chocolate desserts are always going to give your taste buds quite a treat. By choosing the right cookbook, you can be sure to get the best recipes right at your fingertips.

Chocolate Recipes

Chocolate is a favorite food among many groups of people, so it’s no wonder that there is always an abundance chocolate recipes. Recipes with chocolate in them are often a indulgent decadent treat. Use one of these recipes at your next dinner party to impress all of your friends.

Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients:

4 ounces sweetened chocolate

12 cup heavy cream

Directions:

1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces so that it melts easily. You can use dark chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, or milk chocolate. It all depends on the flavor you want.

2. Mix the chopped chocolate in a sauce pan with the heavy cream and bring the mixture to a boil, constantly stirring.

3. Take the mixture off the stove when all of the chocolate is melted and incorporated.

4. Allow the glaze to cool for a couple minutes and spread it over a cake, donuts, or other dessert.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Ingredients:

12 cup heavy cream

14 cup corn syrup

12 ounces chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Mix together the heavy cream and corn syrup in a saucepan and heat the mixture until it bubbles.

2. Take the mixture off the stove and stir in the chocolate chips until they are completely melted and incorporated.

3. Pour the fudge sauce over brownies, ice cream, or other desserts.

Molten Lava Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

5 ounces chocolate chips

10 tablespoons margarine

4 eggs

1 12 cups powdered sugar

12 cup flour

Directions:

1. Stir together the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over medium heat until they’re both completely melted and mixed together.

2. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl.

3. Add to the eggs the powdered sugar, flour, and melted chocolate mixture.

4. Pour the batter into well-greased muffin tins and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

5. Serve the cakes with chocolate sauce.

Brownies

Ingredients:

1 12 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 sticks margarine

6 ounces chopped unsweetened chocolate

5 eggs

2 14 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Mix together flour and baking powder.

2. Melt the margarine and chocolate together in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely melted.

3. Stir eggs, sugar, vanilla, and chocolate mixture together in a large bowl.

4. Add the fliur mixture and stir until incorporated.

5. Pour the batter into a well-greased baking pan.

6. Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour.

Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

1 stick margarine

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

12 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups flour

34 cup milk

1 ounce melted baking chocolate

2 12 cups powdered sugar

14 cup cocoa powder

Directions:

1. Mix together margarine and brown sugar.

2. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.

3. Stir in baking soda, flour, and milk.

4. Mix in the melted chocolate.

5. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

5 ounces chopped baking chocolate

2 sticks margarine

2 34 cups flour

14 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups sour cream

Directions:

1. Melt the chocolate and margarine together on the stove top, stirring constantly. Allow the mixture to cool.

2. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.

3. Mix the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and sour cream all together.

4. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until combined.

5. Pour the batter into a well-greased pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

6. Allow the cake to cool and spread chocolate frosting on top.

Cowboy Cookies

Ingredients:

3 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon baking soda

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

2 sticks of margarine

1 12 cups sugar

1 12 cups brown sugar

3 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

3 cups chocolate chunks

3 cups oatmeal

Directions:

1. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon and set aside.

2. Stir margarine, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

3. Add the flour mixture, chocolate chunks, and oatmeal and stir to incorporate.

4. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Regardless of which recipe you choose, you’re sure to please every chocolate lover you know. Within all of these recipes, you can even interchange different types of chocolates. Use dark chocolate for a deep and rich flavor. Use milk chocolate for a sugary sweet taste. Semi-sweet chocolate provides a sharp contrast to an otherwise sweet dessert, while white chocolate lends a smooth flavor and texture. By mixing it up and using different types of chocolate you’ll always have the most interesting and unique dessert.

Below you can find some other, great sources for chocolate recipes:

Choosing the right Chocolate Molds.

Chocolate is one of the first things that we learn to love. The first time we taste it, we fall in love with it and that’s exactly why chocolate is the world’s most favored gift and also its most favorite treat. Everyone who loves chocolate will vouch for its luscious texture and amazing taste. It’s almost like you bit a slice off heaven and let it slide down your throat. Chocolate has been described across many cultures as the Food of the Gods and The taste of Love amongst various other things, but the truth is there are simply no words to describe the true feeling of eating chocolate and there never will be.

All of us are familiar with chocolate. It’s the first thing we fell in love with anyway. But how many of us know how chocolate is made? Chances are, most of us don’t. Chocolate making is an art that is practised by a few and perfected by even fewer people. Even in today’s world of freely available information, chocolate making seems to be an art that is restricted to a select few. Everyone of us has eaten at least one intricately shaped chocolate in our lives. But do we really know what went into its making?

Chocolate as any chef worth his salt would know, is a pliable edible medium. Meaning, one can set chocolate in any kind of shape desired as long as the correct process is followed. Chocolate is the name given to the pure extract that comes from cocoa beans. However, the chocolate that we know is in reality a complex mixture of milk solids, sugar, cocoa butter and a few other simple ingredients. This is a mixture that is viscous when heated and sets comfortably into any shape one can mold it into. This brings us to the topic of chocolate molds.

Chocolate molds are trays or hollow pieces of plastic or metal that outline the shape one wishes to give to finished chocolate. The standard chocolate bars you see in the supermarket are mostly made in flat compartmentalized trays. That’s what gives them their shape. However, since chocolate can be molded into any shape we wish, it is common to find chocolate molds in various shapes, sizes and designs. The shapes of chocolate molds are only limited by the creativity of the human mind and cholocate molds have come a long way from their origins with advances in material and mold making techniques.

There are various kinds of chocolate molds. The most common are standard chocolate molds that help you make chocolate in standard sizes and shapes. Standard chocolate molds usually have a uniform pattern of troughs of the same size. The troughs consist of shapes like oval, square, rectangle, trapezoid or in some cases plain standard bars or tablets. These are useful in case you’re making large quantities of similar looking chocolates. Standard chocolate molds are uniform in size, fit in with each other and are great to make large batches of chocolate.

Of course, what’s chocolate worth if you’re not able to customize it? Custom chocolate molds offer a great way of giving your chocolate ‘character’ and making them more presentable. Custom chocolate molds are available in a few common shapes and sizes, but can also be made to order. This is expecially useful when you want to make and sell chocolates that are unique to you or your business. Custom molds are mostly made of PVC or other similar material that is easily pliable with heat. Creating custom molds is an elaborate process that involves sculpting a model of the shape you need or getting it designed in 3D software. Any level of complexity can be achieved with separable molds.

Chocolate molds can be found in various kinds of material. There are firm molds made of PVC and softer molds made of silicone. Silicone is more flexible and suited to fluid shapes. PVC is more suited to sharp geometric shapes. Chocolate molds form a world of their own with 3D molds, Two part molds, Box tray molds and even magnetic molds amongst other varieties. Overall, choosing the right mold boils down to knowing exactly what sort of shape your chocolates are going to be in and the kind of mold that will set them best.