Chocolate Dessert Recipe

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chocolate nut cake, frosted

  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 4 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup prepared cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Melt margarine completely.

    Use a glass 9" x 13" pan. greese the pan with a bit of the margarine.

    Grind the walnuts and almonds into a powder, using a blender or similar tool.

    In one bowl, combine the ground nuts, flour, 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

    In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining margarine (except for 1 tablespoon, held aside for the frosting), 1-1/2 cups cold water, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
    Add to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.

    Pour the batter into the pan.
    When you are ready to put it into the oven, put the vinegar into the batter and stir in.
    Immediately place the pan in the preheated 350 degree oven.
    Cook for 50-60 minutes, until a fork or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    While cake cools (in pan), start making the frosting.

    In a heavy saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder, cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in 1/2 cup water.

    Cook over medium heat until it starts to boil.
    Cook another minute or two longer, until smooth, but no longer.
    Add in 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract, and the remaining tablespoon of melted butter.

    Cool the frosting.
    When both cake and frosting are cool, frost the top of the cake.

    Serves: 12; Preparation time: 120-180 min

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    Chocolate 'Ice Cream'

    • use half a tin of concentrated carob soya milk
    • 1 level teaspoon of agar agar
    • 1 teaspoon of sugar
    • 1 vanilla pod or 8 drops of vanilla essense.
    mix agar agar with the sugar and soya milk in a pan and almost bring to the boil stirring all the time over a low heat.
    remove from the heat and add either the vanilla pod or essence.
    freeze in ice compartement for 1 hour take out and beat throughly before returning to freezer for 1 hour or longer if necesssary.

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    Chocolate Raspberry Mocha Layer Cake

    blend 2 cups granulated sugar with 3/4 cup oil.
    add 1/4 cup water
    stir well and add 2 tsp. vanilla extract.
    in a separate bowl, mix 3 cups flour, 2tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 cup cocoa.
    measure out 2 cups soymilk and stir in 1 shot of espresso or very strong regular coffee.
    add flour mixture gradually to oil and sugar mixture, alternating with soymilk.
    pour into 2 oiled 9" pans and bake 40 minutes at 350.

    for icing:
    blend 1/2 cup each soy margarine and vegetable shortening;
    gradually add powdered sugar and cocoa until desired flavour is reached
    (usually around 3 cups sugar and 3/4 cup cocoa).
    Thin to desired consistency with either water, soymilk, or raspberry flavouring or coffee for a richer icing.

    When cake is baked, remove from pans and cool on a wire rack.
    When cool to the touch, spread the top of the bottom layer with 1/4 to 1/2 cup raspberry jam.
    Top with the second layer, ice and serve

    Medical applications

    Mars, Incorporated, a Virginia-based candy company, spends millions of dollars each year on flavanol research. The company is in talks with pharmaceutical companies to license drugs based on synthesized cocoa flavanol molecules. According to Mars-funded researchers at Harvard, the University of California, and European universities, cocoa-based prescription drugs could potentially help treat diabetes, dementia and other diseases.


    Friday, May 12, 2006

    Chocolate Applesauce Cake

    2 cup Vegan Margarine melted
    (you can also just use vegetable oil)
  • 1-1/2 cups thick stewed apples
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 teaspoon allspice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1. Mix apple with Margarine

    2. Sift dry ingredients together and add to apple mixture.

    3. Mix thoroughly and bake in a greased and floured tin (cup cakes) in a moderate oven (around 325 F) for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

    Chocolate Health Benefits

    Recent studies have suggested that cocoa or dark chocolate may possess certain beneficial effects on human health. Dark chocolate, with its high cocoa content, is a rich source of the flavonoids epicatechin and gallic acid, which are thought to posess cardioprotective properties. Cocoa possesses a significant antioxidant action, protecting against LDL oxidation, even more so than other antioxidant rich foods and beverages. Some studies have also observed a modest reduction in blood pressure and flow mediated dilation after consuming approximately 100 g of dark chocolate daily. There has even been a fad diet named "Chocolate diet" that emphasises eating chocolate and cocoa powder in capsules. However, consuming milk chocolate or white chocolate, or drinking milk with dark chocolate, appears to largely negate the health benefit. Chocolate is also a calorie-rich food with a high fat content, so daily intake of chocolate also requires reducing caloric intake of other foods.

    Two-thirds of the fat in chocolate comes in the forms of a saturated fat called stearic acid and a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. However, unlike other saturated fats, stearic acid does not raise levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Consuming relatively large amounts of dark chocolate and cocoa does not seem to raise serum LDL cholesterol levels; some studies even finding that it could lower them.

    Several population studies have observed an increase in the risk of certain cancers among people who frequently consume sweet 'junk' foods such as chocolate, however very little evidence exists to suggest whether consuming flavonoid-rich dark chocolate may increase or decrease the risk of cancer. Some evidence from laboratory studies suggest that cocoa flavonoids may possess anticarcinogenic mechanisms, however more research is needed.

    The major concern that nutritionists have is that even though eating dark chocolate may favorably affect certain biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, the amount needed to have this effect would provide a relatively large quantity of calories which, if unused, would promote weight gain. Obesity is a significant risk factor for many diseases including cardiovascular disease. As a consequence, consuming large quantities of dark chocolate in an attempt to protect against cardiovascular disease has been described as 'cutting off ones nose to spite ones face'.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Classification of Chocolate.

    Chocolate is an extremely popular ingredient, and it is available in many types.
    Different forms and flavours of chocolate are produced by varying the quantities of the different ingredients. Other flavours can be obtained by varying the time and temperature when roasting the beans.

    Unsweetened chocolate is pure chocolate liquor, also known as bitter or baking chocolate. It is unadulterated chocolate: the pure, ground roasted chocolate beans impart a strong, deep chocolate flavour. With the addition of sugar, however, it is used as the base for cakes, brownies, confections, and cookies.

    Dark chocolate is chocolate without milk as an additive. It is sometimes called "plain chocolate". The U.S. Government calls this "sweet chocolate", and requires a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor. European rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids.

    Milk chocolate is chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk added. The U.S. Government requires a 10% concentration of chocolate liquor. EU regulations specify a minimum of 25% cocoa solids.

    Semisweet chocolate is often used for cooking purposes. It is a dark chocolate with high sugar content.

    Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor (or unsweetened chocolate) to which sugar, more cocoa butter, lecithin, and vanilla has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking. The best quality bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are produced as couverture; many brands now print on the package the percentage of cocoa (as chocolate liquor and added cocoa butter) contained. The rule is that the higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the chocolate will be.

    Couverture is a term used for chocolates rich in cocoa butter. Popular brands of couverture used by professional pastry chefs and often sold in gourmet and specialty food stores include: Valrhona, Felchlin, Lindt & Sprüngli, Scharffen Berger, Cacao Barry, Callebaut, and Guittard. These chocolates contain a high percentage of cocoa (sometimes 70% or more) and have a total fat content of 36-40%.

    White chocolate is a confection based on cocoa butter without the cocoa solids.
    Cocoa powder. There are two types of unsweetened baking cocoa available: natural cocoa (like the sort produced by Hershey's and Nestlé) and Dutch-process cocoa (such as the Hershey's European Style Cocoa and the Droste brand). Both are made by pulverising partially defatted chocolate liquor and removing nearly all the cocoa butter. Natural cocoa is light in colour and somewhat acidic with a strong chocolate flavour. Natural cocoa is commonly used in recipes which call for baking soda. Because baking soda is an alkali, combining it with natural cocoa creates a leavening action that allows the batter to rise during baking. Dutch-process cocoa is processed with alkali to neutralise its natural acidity. Dutch cocoa is slightly milder in taste, with a deeper and warmer colour than natural cocoa. Dutch-process cocoa is frequently used for chocolate drinks such as hot chocolate due to its ease in blending with liquids. Unfortunately, Dutch processing destroys most of the flavanols present in cocoa.

    Flavours such as mint, orange, or strawberry are sometimes added to chocolate. Chocolate bars frequently contain added ingredients such as peanuts, nuts, caramel, or even crisped rice.

    Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    1 cup butter, room temperature
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups brown sugar, firmly packed
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    2 to 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

    PREPARATION:In large mixing bowl cream butter and sugars until light. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.Sift together the flour, salt baking powder, and soda; stir into the first mixture, blending well. Stir in chocolate chips.
    Shape into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until edges are light brown.
    Makes about 4 to 5 dozen cookies.

    Origin of Chocolate.

    The chocolate residue found in an ancient Maya pot suggests that Maya were drinking chocolate 2,600 years ago, the earliest record of cacao use. The Aztecs associated chocolate with Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility. In the New World, chocolate was consumed in a bitter and spicy drink called xocoatl, often seasoned with vanilla, chile pepper, and achiote (which we know today as annatto). Xocoatl was believed to fight fatigue, a belief that is probably attributable to the theobromine content. Chocolate was an important luxury good throughout pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and cocoa beans were often used as currency. Other chocolate drinks combined it with such edibles as maize gruel (which acts as an emulsifier) and honey.

    The xocolatl was said to be an acquired taste. Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and then Mexico in the later 16th century, wrote of it:

    Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant to taste. Yet it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country. The Spaniards, both men and women, that are accustomed to the country, are very greedy of this Chocolaté. They say they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, and some temperate, and put therein much of that "chili"; yea, they make paste thereof, the which they say is good for the stomach and against the catarrh.

    Christopher Columbus brought some cocoa beans to show Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, but it remained for Hernando Cortes to introduce it to Europe more broadly.

    The first recorded shipment of chocolate to the Old World for commercial purposes was in a shipment from Veracruz to Seville in 1585. It was still served as a beverage, but the Europeans added sugar and milk to counteract the natural bitterness and removed the chilli pepper, replacing it with another Mexican indigenous spice, vanilla. Improvements to the taste meant that by the 17th century it was a luxury item among the European nobility.

    At the end of the 18th century, the first form of solid chocolate was invented in Turin by Doret. This chocolate was sold in large quantities from 1826 by Pierre Paul Caffarel. In 1819 F. L. Cailler opened the first Swiss chocolate factory. In 1828 Dutchman Conrad J. van Houten patented a method for extracting the fat from cocoa beans and making powdered cocoa and cocoa butter. Van Houten also developed the so-called Dutch process of treating chocolate with alkali to remove the bitter taste. This made it possible to form the modern chocolate bar. It is believed that the Englishman Joseph Fry made the first chocolate for eating in 1847, followed in 1849 by the Cadbury brothers.

    Daniel Peter, a Swiss candle maker, joined his father-in-law's chocolate business. In 1867 he began experimenting with milk as an ingredient. He brought his new product, milk chocolate, to market in 1875. He was assisted in removing the water content from the milk to prevent mildewing by a neighbour, a baby food manufacturer named Henri Nestlé. Rodolphe Lindt invented the process called conching, which involves heating and grinding the chocolate solids very finely to ensure that the liquid is evenly blended.

    Etymology of the Word Chocolate.

    The name chocolate most likely comes from the Nahuatl language indigenous to central Mexico, although it may have been influenced by the Mayan languages. One popular theory is that it comes from the Nahuatl word xocolatl, derived from xocolli, bitter, and atl, water. It is associated with the Mayan god of Fertility. On the other hand, Mexican philologist Ignacio Davila Garibi proposed that "Spaniards had coined the word by taking the Maya word chocol and then replacing the Maya term for water, haa, with the Aztec one, atl." But this theory assumes that the conquistadores would change indigenous words from two very different languages, while at the same time adopting hundreds of other words from these same languages as-is; a highly unlikely scenario.
    In a recent article, linguists Karen Dakin and Soren Wichmann found that in many dialects of Nahuatl, the name is 'chicolatl', rather than 'chocolatl'. In addition, many languages in Mexico, such as Popoluca, Mixtec and Zapotec, and even languages spoken in the Philippines have borrowed this form of the word. The word chicol-li refers to the frothing or beating sticks still used in some areas in cooking, and that are either a small straight stick with small strong twigs still on one end or a stiff plant stalk with the stubs of roots cleaned and trimmed. Since chocolate was originally served ceremonially with individual beater sticks, it seems quite likely that the original form of the word was 'chicolatl', which would have the etymology 'beater drink'. In many areas of Mexico, 'chicolear' means 'to beat, stir'.