Archive | November, 2013

Drinking Chocolate – Not Your Average Powdered Cocoa

Drinking chocolate is one of the most enjoyable but least thought about drinks in the world. Whenever people are feeling cold, happy, down, or just seeking to have something enjoyable they turn to this wonderful drink. However, what most people are unaware of is that drinking chocolate is not your average powdered cocoa. There is more to this drink than meets the eye.

The use of cocoa beans started out in the Mayan and Aztec cultures. This was achieved in the form of a spicy but bitter beverage that was consumed in these cultures. When the Spanish explorers came to these parts, they exported this back to their homeland. In Spain, drinking chocolate was sweetened. The Spanish sweetened version of drinking chocolate proved to be a massive hit as it spread like wildfire across Europe.

Drinking chocolate has undergone a number of changes over the years. In its original form, the beans were fermented and then roasted. They would then be ground and used to brew the drink. It was into this drink that spices would be added to give the drink its unique flavor.

Nowadays, there is powdered cocoa, sometimes with powdered milk and sugar mix that can be bought in stores. Packaged in small sachets or tins, there may be even dehydrated marshmallows added as these have become a popular addition to the drink. For those with more discriminating taste, there are gourmet brands which promise a creamy and exquisite cup of cocoa.

It may come as a surprise to many that this may not be the only way to enjoy chocolate as a drink. It is possible to melt down solid blocks of chocolate to get a cup of drinking chocolate. This is a unique and interesting variation on one of the most loved drinks of all time.

Smooth solid chocolate pieces are mixed in with whole milk and melted down. Water and sugar are added in to taste and you get a hot beverage that is rich in chocolate. This chocolaty drink can be customized to suit any taste through the addition of unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, vanilla, or any of a number of flavored syrups on the market.

Remember when adding the water and milk that they are used to tone down the intense nature of pure chocolate taste. It is therefore advisable to use them in a controlled and careful manner to ensure that the end result suits your palette best.

The creative process with this drinking chocolate does not need to end there. You can give it a unique twist by adding orange peel garnish or spices as the Aztecs did. If you are interested in giving it a special kick, you can add in different liqueurs to give it that special zest.

It is important to note that there is no need for a special type of chocolate bar to be used in the process. It is possible to melt down any of your favorite bars of chocolate to make it into drinking chocolate. This presents a unique world of possibility where you can try different bars until you find the one that suits your palate best

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Chocolate Processing – The Breakdown from Dark to White

 

When it comes to desserts and all things yummy, chocolate is one of the most beloved sweet treats that there is. Typically, when the world chocolate comes to mind people usually think of the silky smooth, classic milk chocolate that is used in all of their favorite candy bars, brownies and more. As delicious as milk chocolate may be, there are several more distinct forms of scrumptious cocoa filled chocolate for people to indulge themselves in.

Believe it or not, chocolate actually holds a lot of nutritional value, in its raw form that is. When chocolate has not been processed, it is actually of essential vitamins and nutrients – the more pure it is, the more vitamins and nutrients there are. The most pure forms of chocolate include nibs of cocoa, chocolate liquor, and powdered cocoa. These forms of chocolate are also filled with antioxidants that increases ones overall health and wellbeing.

Another form of pure chocolate is unsweetened chocolate which is usually used when baking cakes and mixing frosting as it adds a rich and bold flavor. Unsweetened chocolate is a balanced pair of cocoa solids and cocoa butter. As it is chocolate in one of its purest forms, it has a bit of a bitter taste and is the least processed version of chocolate besides raw cocoa.

The next form of chocolate is bittersweet which a form of chocolate liquor is. This kind of chocolate usually appeals to those who love dark chocolate because of its dark and rich flavor. Bittersweet chocolate is made up of at least fifty percent cocoa solids along with a touch of sugar and vanilla.  Sometimes lecithin is added but this is a rare occurrence.

Dark chocolate is known for its bold taste and nutritional value due to its heart healthy flavonoids. Dark chocolate is primarily made up of a combination of key ingredients such as chocolate liquor, cocoa solids and cocoa butter. To keep the chocolate smooth, vanilla and sugar are added. Premium dark chocolates hold a higher cocoa percentage and the higher the percentage the more bitter the taste.

Milk chocolate is the most popular of all kinds of chocolate due to its smooth and sweet taste. It may be made up of the same ingredients as dark chocolate but what distinguishes the two is milk. Powdered or condensed milk is added to this kind of chocolate to increase the flavor for the maximum satisfying taste among some of the most popular treats and candy bars.

Even though some people around the world consider which chocolate as a confection and not a chocolate, it is still widely popular. What makes chocolate ‘white’ is that it does not contain any cocoa solids instead, contains milk solids. White chocolate is known for its unique ivory color but is also known as the least nutritious of all chocolates.

Chocolate is without a doubt one of the most popular food flavors and types in the world. Whether it is pure and dark or sweet and milky, people cannot get enough of this delicious treat.

 

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Dark Chocolate Bar

Top 5 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate BarDark chocolate is a popular food product that should consume every day. You should read this article, especially if you want to find the best benefits dark chocolate. There are many benefits offered by this product. Because of these benefits, there are many people who want to consume chocolate every day. You can improve your overall health by consuming dark chocolate regularly. Many studies show that chocolate is good for your overall body health system. Here are some health benefits offered by this product.

a. Good for our cardiovascular function

This is one main benefit offered by dark chocolate. It is a great product that can improve the function of our cardiovascular system. It works by lowering your blood pressure. As the result, you can reduce your chance of getting heart attack and stroke. Dark chocolate usually contains magnesium that is good for improving your heart health. Many doctors also recommend this product for their patients. Chocolate can reduce the LDL or bad cholesterol level in our body.

b. High antioxidants

Chocolate is very well-known for its high antioxidant activities. Cocoa or dark chocolate contains high amount of flavonoids that can act as the best antioxidants for our body. These antioxidant properties can prevent you from getting any dangerous diseases, such as cancer. Chocolate is believed to have three times more antioxidants than any other food products. It is recommended that you consume a lot of antioxidants, so you can improve your overall health by consuming chocolate.

c. It can improve your skin appearance

If you want to have smooth skin, you should consume dark chocolate regularly. This is one of the most popular benefits of chocolate for our body. You can get beautiful skin after consuming this food product regularly. Dark chocolate contains some important nutrients, such as calcium, iron, vitamin E, D, C, and A. These nutrients are good for reducing your dry skin problems. You can also remove your dead skin cells quickly after consuming chocolate regularly.

d. It is good for your hair growth

This is another benefit that you can get from dark chocolate. It is good for stimulating your hair growth. Chocolate contains some important hair nutrients, such as zinc, copper, and iron. These minerals are good for improving your hair growth rate. Consuming chocolate regularly can improve your oxygen consumption and blood flow around your scalp. You can get healthy and strong hair when consuming chocolate regularly.chocolate_piece

e. Improve our mood

Chocolate is believed to have serotonin that has good effect on your mood. This hormone can stimulate the production of your good hormone, such as endorphin. Therefore, chocolate can be used as one of the best anti depressant products for most people. If you have some problems with your mood, you may want to consume chocolate as your favorite food product.

Those are some benefits that you can get by consuming chocolate regularly. It is a good thing that you consume this product at least once a day. You can improve your overall health easily. There are many different types of chocolates that are available on the market. Dark chocolate is claimed as the best chocolate that has many benefits for all people.

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