We all love chocolate in some form, some like it mixed with nuts or fruits, some like light and sweeter, some dark and bitter. There is something for everyone. Chocolate makes a lovely desert, treat or even a skincare product. Chocolate benefits are great and I love chocolate flavour with coffee, strawberries and mint. I also love the scent of chocolate in general. As we are celebrating World Chocolate Day this week, I thought it would be appropriate to write about it.
WHAT IS CHOCOLATE?
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which are seeds of Theobroma cacao tree. There are three varieties and the trees are grown in South America, Indonesia and Africa. Nearly 4,600,000 tonnes of cocoa is produced in the world yearly, so its safety say we all love it.
Cocoa has always been highly regarded and historically used in celebrations, rituals and ceremonies as a drink made from crushed seeds. The cocoa arrived to Europe in the 17th century and was used as a treat for Kings and Queens and upper class. Nowadays cocoa is affordable and widely available across the world. It’s used in cooking and drinks as well as for skincare, soaps and other body care products.
CACAO OR COCOA
What is the difference between cacao and cocoa? Most people think they are the same thing, but they have different processing methods. Cacao is pure form of chocolate and less processed, it is regarded to be healthier and is usually more expensive. Cocoa is more processed and has been roasted with high temperature which destroys some of the health benefits. Both can be used the same way and are sometimes sold as a mixture of the two forma.
Chocolate benefits are amazing for health. It is rich in minerals important to human body. It contains calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron to name a few, so makes a perfect snack for active people. It’s great for brain and memory, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. It also contains caffeine so can work well as an energy boost. Cacao is great for skincare and as such is widely used in cosmetics.
USES OF COCOA
Cocoa chocolate is widely used in cooking, baking and drinks. It’s widely found around the world in sweets, cereals and deserts. You can use the powder in your porridge, smoothies, on fruits or ice cream. Cocoa butter can be used in skincare products, lip balms, lotions and creams as well as in soaps, body oils and it can also be used for cooking and baking. It’s also used in room fragrances and candles. Melt the butter to add to your skincare products.
MY FAVOURITE CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE
I have no idea where this recipe is from originally, it’s one of those I have written down to my little recipe book from my mum’s archives. She loves cooking and baking and has tons of recipes. I have grown up watching her and always love baking cakes for fiends and family. They also make great presents. Nothing lovelier than a home made cake for someones special day.
This chocolate cake is easy and simple to make, but so delicious. Serve with some vanilla ice cream or sauce for added sweetness. Bake it in a cake mould or tin. Total baking time approximately 90min.
Mix together the dry ingredients
- 4.5 dl sugar
- 6.5 dl wheat flour
- 2.5 tbls vailla sugar
- 3.5 tbls cocoa powder
- 1 tbls baking powder
Mix together wet ingredients (in a separate bowl)
- 150g melted butter
- 1.5 dl boiling water
- 1.5 dl milk
Mix the ingredients together, pour in to your baking mould and cook in 200℃ for approximately 50-60 minutes. Let cool before serving.
SIMPLE CHOCOLATE PUDDING
For this simple chocolate pudding you only need three ingredients; chia seeds, coconut milk and cacao powder. I don’t have the exact measurements, as I always do it by estimate, but approximately 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 1-2 tablespoons of cacao powder to 2-3 dl of coconut milk. Place ingredients in a bowl, mix well and place in the fridge for couple of hours. The chia seeds will swell up and create a lovely soft chocolate pudding. Serve on tis own or with strawberries or vanilla sauce.
Looking for a sugar and wheat free treats? Check out the brownie recipe by Dr Axe. I found them to be delicious. Black Bean Brownies Recipe
Hope you enjoyed my post. What’s your favourite chocolate treat? Please leave your comments below