June 16, 2013
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate
CHOCOLATE! Hershey’s! S’mores! 3 Musketeers! Rolos! Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!
Most of us all like chocolate to some extent or are addicted to it. But I will have you know that chocolate has some health benefits to it, especially if it is DARK CHOCOLATE (but you still do not want to consume too much it is high in calories)!
Dark chocolate can help your brain (improve circulation, including blood flow to the brain), heart (lower risk of heart failure by eating one to two servings per week), lowers high blood pressure (helps you relax by sending endorphins), and control blood sugar.
“Doctors at the Mind Lab in England asked six couples to let squares of dark chocolate melt in their mouths and then kiss, all while hooked up to brain and heart monitors. Both tasks made participants’ hearts pound and brains buzz, but chocolate doubled excitation rates in the brain’s pleasure center during the kiss, especially in women. Cocoa’s blend of sugar and caffeine produces a longer-lasting high, according to researchers.” (Prevention.com)
Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants (help free your body of free radicals, some of which are dangerous), contains theobromine (mild stimulant, but not as strong as caffeine. It can also help to suppress cough), and high in vitamins and minerals (potassium, copper, magnesium, and iron).
Cocoa beans are healthy and are high in flavanols, which are full of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories. Frequent chocolate consumption is associated with a lower body mass index (BMI). The darker the chocolate the better, so white chocolate and milk chocolate are not on the list. The more cocoa beans, the darker the chocolate gets, which is good for you. They say to buy dark chocolate with at least 30 to 65%.
Take 5 (Hershey’s) has 210 calories, 11 grams total fat, 5 saturated fat, YES it does contain trans-fat, 18 grams of sugar lower than other chocolate bars compared (remember, you also want something low in sugar grams that is what is going to pack on the weight if you are worried about that). Take 5 was compared to Snickers, Milky Way, Tootsie Roll, Hershey’s special dark chocolate, and more.
“The rich flavor of dark chocolate tastes indulgent, to say the least. We have collected a few of our favorite dark chocolate recipes to help you reap the nutritional benefits—and enjoy every bite.
You will need an eight-inch springform pan for this rich and fudgy dessert. Dark chocolate and orange are a classic flavor combination. Garnish the center of the cake with curls of orange rind for a great finishing touch.”
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
1 tablespoon hot water
Dash of salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Powdered sugar (optional)
Orange rind strips (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 8-inch springform pan with cooking spray; line bottom of pan with parchment or wax paper. Wrap outside of pan with aluminum foil.
Place 3/4 cup sugar and eggs in a bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed 7 minutes.
Combine cornstarch and cocoa in a small bowl; set aside. Place juice, liqueur, water, salt, and chocolate in a small glass bowl; microwave at high 1 minute or until almost melted, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture; whisk until smooth.
Gently stir one-fourth of egg mixture into chocolate mixture; gently fold into remaining egg mixture. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Place pan in a 13 x 9-inch baking pan; add hot water to larger pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes or until top is set. Remove cake pan from water; cool 5 minutes on a wire rack. Loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with powdered sugar and rind just before serving, if desired.
Image Credit: kubais / Shutterstock