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Chocolate - Food of the Gods!

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    Chocolate - Food of the Gods!

    I thought it would be fun to start a 'chocolate' topic, as everyone seems to get that starry-eyed look when mentioned! First, some interesting historial facts, then I'll post some of my favorite recipes - hope you all chime in!

    The following can be found here in more detail :

    "A Brief History of Chocolate

    * Confectionery history has a record of at least 4,000 years, when Egyptians displayed their pleasures on papyrus. Sweetmeats were being sold in the marketplace in 1566 BC. Yet chocolate didn't appear on the scene until the ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures discovered the value of the cacao plant. It is reputed to have originated in the Amazon or Orinoco basin.

    * In 600 A.D. the Mayans migrated into the northern regions of South America,
    establishing the earliest known cocoa plantations in the Yucatan. It has been argued that the Mayans had been familiar with cocoa several centuries prior to this date. They considered it a valuable commodity, used both as a means of payment and as units of calculation.

    * Mayans and Aztecs took beans from the "cacao" tree and made a drink they called "xocoatl." Aztec Indian legend held that cacao seeds had been brought from Paradise and that wisdom and power came from eating the fruit of the cacao tree.

    * Ancient chronicles report that the Aztecs, believing that the god Quetzalcoatl traveled to earth on a beam of the Morning Star with a cacao tree from Paradise, took his offering to the people. They learned from Quetzalcoatl how to roast and grind the cacao seeds, making a nourishing paste that could be dissolved in water. They added spices and called this drink "chocolatl," or bitter-water, and believed it brought universal wisdom
    and knowledge.

    * The word "chocolate" is said to derive from the Mayan "xocoatl"; cocoa from the Aztec "cacahuatl." The Mexican Indian word "chocolate" comes from a combination of the terms choco ("foam") and atl ("water"); early chocolate was only consumed in beverage form. As part of a ritual in twelfth-century Mesoamerican marriages, a mug of the frothy chocolate was shared.

    * Arthur W. Knapp, author of The Cocoa and Chocolate Industry (Pitman, 1923) points out that if we believe Mexican mythology, "chocolate was consumed by the Gods in Paradise, and the seed of cocoa was conveyed to man as a special blessing by the God of the Air."

    * Ancient Mexicans believed that Tonacatecutli, the goddess of food, and
    Calchiuhtlucue, the goddess of water, were guardian goddesses of cocoa. Each year they performed human sacrifices for the goddesses, giving the victim cocoa at his last meal.

    * Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) was dissatisfied with the word "cocoa," so renamed it "theobroma," Greek for "food of the gods."

    * Christopher Columbus is said to have brought back cacao beans to King Ferdinand from his fourth visit to the New World, but they were overlooked in favor of the many other treasures he had found.

    * Chocolate was first noted in 1519 when Spanish explorer Hernando Cortez visited the court of Emperor Montezuma of Mexico. American historian William Hickling's History of the Conquest of Mexico (1838) reports that Montezuma "took no other beverage than the chocolatl, a potation of chocolate, flavored with vanilla and spices, and so prepared as to be reduced to a froth of the consistency of honey, which gradually dissolved in the mouth and was taken cold." The fact that Montezuma consumed his "chocolatl" in goblets before entering his harem led to the belief that it was an aphrodisiac."

    Go to the above link if you wish to read more about the development of chocolate in Europe as a sweet confection!

    Chocolate recipes -

    Cappuccino-Cream Cheese Brownies with Chocolate Glaze
    . Begin making them a day ahead.

    ·20 ounces bittersweet (not sweetened) or semisweet chocolate
    ·22 tablespoons (2-3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    ·1/4 cup water
    ·4 tablespoons instant espresso powder
    ·1-1/2 cups sugar
    ·4 large eggs
    ·1 cup all purpose flour
    ·1/4 teaspoon salt
    ·1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
    ·2 8-ounce packages Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
    ·1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
    ·2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    ·1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ·1/2 cup whipping cream

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Chop 8 ounces chocolate. Combine with 12 tablespoons (1-12/2 sticks) butter, 1/4 cut water and 2 tablespoons espresso powder in heavy large saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-low heat until melted and smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Cool 5 minutes. Whisk in 1-1/2 cups sugar, then eggs 1 at a time. Mix in flour and salt, then walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs still attached, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.
    Beat cream cheese and 6 tablespoons butter in medium bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and heat until well blended. Spread cheese over brownie. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
    Chop remaining 12 ounces chocolate. Mix with cream, 4 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons espresso powder in saucepan. Stir over medium heat until smooth. Cool glaze until barely lukewarm, about 15 minutes. Pour over cream cheese; spread gently to cover. Freeze until glaze sets. Using a warm knife, cut 2-inch long, 1-1/2-inch-wide bars. Chill overnight.



    makes 1 2/3 cups

    5T butter
    ¾ cup sugar
    2/3 cup cocoa
    pinch of salt
    ¾ cup heavy cream
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Melt butter in medium saucepan; stir in the sugar, cocoa, and salt; gradually stir in the cream and heat, stirring constnatly, til mixture is smooth and hot but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. cool til thickened to consistnet of frosting, or use warm for a glaze or sauce. - Alice Medrich



    Make frosting first:
    4oz.cream cheese
    2T butter
    3T milk
    3/4cup cocoa
    3 1/3cups powder sugar
    3/4cup cocoa
    1/8 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Beat cream cheese, butter, milk at high speed til smooth; combine sugar, cocoa, salt; gradually add sugar mixture to cheese mixture at low speed til well blended; add vanilla and beat well. Cover and chill.


    1 3/4 cups flour
    1cup milk
    2/3 cup sugar
    ½ cup cocoa
    1/3 cup shortening
    2/3cup dark brown sugar
    1tsp. baking soda
    1tsp.baking powder
    2tsp. vanilla
    ½ tsp. salt
    3 eggs

    Preheat oven to 350. Coat 2 8 inch round pans with cooking spray; line with parchment paper, and coat with cooking spray.
    Combine flour and remaining ingredients in large bowl; beat at low speed 30 seconds or til ingredients are moist. Beat at medium speed 2 minutes or til well blended. Pour into pans and tap pans to remove bubbles. Bake 30 minutes, or til tests clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes on rack; loosen layers and turn out onto racks. Cool completely and frost. Chill after frosting for 1 hour.



    2 cups flour
    2tsp. baking powder
    1tsp. salt
    1 cup butter
    6oz.unsweet chocolate
    1 ½ cups sugar
    ½ cup bourbon
    4 large eggs
    2 tsp. vanilla
    ½ cup brewed espresso

    Preheat oven to 350; butter 12cup bundt pan. Mix flour, baking powder, salt; combine butter,chocolate and espresso in heavy medium pan; stir over low heat til chocolate and butter melt (mixture may look curdled). Remove from heat, add sugar and bourbon; whisk til sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth. Beat eggs and vanilla til blended; beat in chocolate mixture and add flour and stir just til blended. Pour into pan and smooth top.
    Bake about 45 minutes; cool in pan 15 minutes; invertcake on rack and cool completely.


    6T butter
    6T brown sugar
    2tsp. espresso powder
    6T cream
    1 ½ cups p.sugar
    2T bourbon

    Stir butter, sugar, and espresso powder in small saucepan over medium heat til buttermelts. Stir in cream and simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Gradually add powdered sugar, whisking til smooth. Mix in bourbon; cool slightly.
    Drizzle glaze over cake. Let stand 30 minutes.



    1 1/2 cups sugar
    3/4 cup cocoa powder (recommended: Dutch-process)
    1/2 cup cornstarch
    1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
    3 cups whole milk
    3 cups half-and-half
    3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
    2 tablespoons vanilla extract
    3 ounces white chocolate, chopped

    In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt. In a thin stream, whisk in the milk until smooth. In a thin stream, whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Over medium heat, whisking the mixture constantly, bring to a boil. Boil gently for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the bittersweet chocolate and vanilla. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes, rest the saucepan on top, and add cold water to cover the ice cubes. Let the mixture cool, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Fold in the white chocolate and pour the mixture into 1-cup ramekins, cups, or mugs. Refrigerate until well chilled. The recipe can be made up to 2 days in advance. Serve cold.

    Enjoy, and hope to see your favorites, too!


      Jackie, thank you sooooo much for starting this chocolate topic. I almost slipped into a chocolate-induced coma just reading it! [img]/forum/images/smilies/tongue.gif[/img]


        Not to make you jeaulous but uh.... we've got some REALLY good chocolate over here!


          Ohhh, BK, I know, I know!!!!


            The only chocolate I'm not crazy about is white chocolate.

            ...always seemed like an oxymoron to me... [img]/forum/images/smilies/confused.gif[/img]

            "Chocolat".. [img]/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] movie too. Juliette Benoche(sp) [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] I've always like her. Johnnny Depp's always [img]/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img]