Monday, February 1, 2010

Celebrating Chocolate

Do we really need a reason to celebrate chocolate? I say, no. But, if you do, February is National Celebration of Chocolate Month. To me, everyday is cause to celebrate chocolate.

The taste alone is enough to jump for joy and devour dark chunks of heaven everyday. Now, I am not advising you to eat a candy bar a day, but enjoy small pieces of good quality dark (50% or more cocoa) chocolate on occasion. There is mounting evidence suggesting chocolate in moderation has numerous heath benefits.

I recently read in The Healing Powers of Chocolate by Cal Corey that chocolate is loaded with health benefits. First, the antioxidants – polyphenols and flavonoids, both provide heart healthy benefits. A study at Johns Hopkins found that eating 2 Tablespoons of cocoa or dark chocolate per day showed anticlotting benefits. It is believed that cocoa stimulates the body's production of nitric oxide, which works like aspirin to stave off heart attacks.

Second, mood enhancers like serotonin and phenylethylamine (PEA) both uplift spirits. No wonder chocolate is associated with so many love holidays and gestures – it works! And it taste great.

As with all things in life moderation is key. So, take it easy and enjoy the sweet life with dark chocolate a morsel at a time.

Flourless Chocolate Cake
A super dense dark chocolate cake with a thin outer crust and soft center.

4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 and butter an 8 inch springform cake pan.
Chop chocolate into small pieces. Place chocolate and butter in double broiler and stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar. Add eggs and whisk until blended. Add cocoa and stir until well blended. Pour into pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Decorate with powder sugar.

No comments: