Friday, December 16, 2011

Chocolate – An Aphrodisiac and a Health Food!

It is Christmas!  Bring on my Dessert! – And let it be Rich Dark Chocolate… I need my Cocoa Cravings Fix. Fixed…

While sitting on the office chair on a Friday afternoon piled with work that you dont wish you had , the thought of an awaiting weekend, with a glass of your choice beverage is definitely a good feeling.

Similarly, exploring dessert options post any elaborate course of meal, again, is a purposeful wait. So how about coupling the last few relaxed weekends left in 2011 with a feast of a divine dessert and a drink that is GOOD for you ?

1000 times more powerful than Green Tea as an Antioxidant Food! Raw cocoa beans contain over 300 chemically identifiable compounds – This makes cocoa one of the most complex food substances on Earth!
Anandamide (a neurotransmitter known as “the bliss chemical”) Arginine (nature’s aphrodisiac) Dopamine (a neurotransmitter) Epicatechins (antioxidants) Magnesium (for healthy heart function) Serotonin (anti-stress neurotransmitter) Tryptophan (anti-depressant amino acid) Phenylethylamine (PEA) (controls the ability to focus attention and stay alert) Polyphenols (antioxidants)

One tablespoon of of this a day.. gets you all the above and more. It’s great stuff. It’s a great substitute for a coffee lift during the day…. Buy this here :  Delicious Drinking Chocolates

In central and southern Mexico, people commonly drink chocolate twice a day year-round. Having a layer of foam on hot chocolate is as important today in Mexico as it was in ancient times. Mexicans believe the spirit of the drink is in the foam. The chocolate is whipped to a froth with a carved wooden utensil called a Molinillo and served in mugs.

And I  thought it would be sweet to explore the zillion ways to exploit chocolate’s popularity and once there decided why stop with just the health benefits of cocoa ?

So here is a CAKE for you… This is heavenly…and yes it is a Dessert.

Magnifique! Sensory extravaganza in every detail.. Devil’s food refers to a dark, dense, chocolate concoction that is usually baked.  It is so named because since it is so rich and delicious it must be “sinful.” Devil’s food usually has a greater proportion of chocolate than regular chocolate cake. This recipe comes from Lynne Kaplan, a chef who owns the Victoria House Bed & Breakfast in Spring Lake, NJ.

  • 8 oz unsalted butter plus extra for greasing pans
  • 3 oz. unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder plus some for dusting pan
  • 11 oz. dark Belgium ale (or amber ale or dark beer)
  • 12 oz. unbleached flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 and a quarter tsp. baking soda
  • 16 oz. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 oz. buttermilk

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease two 8-inch cake pans with butter. Cut two circles of parchment paper to fit the bottoms of the pans. Grease the parchment with butter and dust the pans with cocoa powder.
Place the ale in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa, stirring until it dissolves and becomes smooth and creamy. Let cool to room temperature.  Sift together the flour, salt and baking soda, and set aside. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each one.  Add the ale/cocoa mixture and blend well.

Alternately, blend in the flour mixture and buttermilk, (start with the flour mixture and end with the flour mixture in 3 additions).  Pour into prepared pans and bake until cake tester comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool the cakes on wire racks for 10 minutes, then invert on racks and cool completely. Frost with ale frosting.


  • 6 oz. dark Belgium ale
  • 1 oz Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 8 oz. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 24 oz. confectioners’ sugar

Chocolate shavings from a dark chocolate candy bar for garnish