Chocolate Appreciation – ‘Food Of The Gods’

Overhead shot of table with chocolate layer cake with hazelnuts, buttercream and ferrero rocher chocolates on top and scattered around.

Chocolate Appreciation

‘Food Of The Gods’

EVERYTHING CHOCOLATE

By Caro


Inner texture of chocolate truffle after biting.

Our Love Of Chocolate

Chocolate is universally loved and devoured, on a daily basis, in different forms, and apparently by the bucket load 🙂 According to Divinechocolate.com, Britain alone goes through nearly 700,000 tones per year, that equates as an average of 11kg per person, per year!!1 Please check out that website, as there is loads of information on chocolate & cocoa beans. The history of it, down to how it’s harvested and much much more. So I will only touch on a few things on this article.


Slice of Ferrero Rocher chocolate cake served, showing the edges covered in hazelnuts.

History Of Chocolate

Chocolate is loved for it’s taste, texture, and how it can make you feel. Full of vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and calcium, it also is high in antioxidants, & believed to have relaxing and aphrodisiac properties.

Aztec’s believed those who ate cocoa beans would be blessed with spiritual wisdom. It was often used as currency and the first civilisation reported to have used the beans, was The Olmec, from it growing wild in central America, over 3500 years ago2 Only in the last 200 years has cocoa beans been used to make chocolate bars.


The Cocoa Beans

Cocoa beans are a fruit of the cocoa trees, generally producing 2 harvests per year of about 50 pods in each. The trees can live up to 200 years, but only produce viable harvests for about 25 years.

In each pods is usually 40 beans. One pod can made 8 bars of milk (semi-sweet) chocolate bars, or 4 dark (bitter chocolate) bars3. (I am assuming that to be 100g bars (3.5 oz). The cocoa beans start off as red, and when ripe are yellow or orange in colour. West Africa produce about 70% of the world’s cocoa, and Ghana 25%4.

See Photo of the Cocoa Tree, where the pods are yellow, indicating they are ripe5.


Dipping chocolate truffle in cocoa.

Chocolate In Baking

Now for bakers chocolate and cocoa powder, is a very special ingredient. It can be used in recipes in so many different ways, in the bake or on top of the bake for presentation. (Photo – cocoa covering truffles, see recipe below).

Bakers tip – add some coffee or espresso powder to your chocolate cakes & cookies, and the chocolate flavour will be accentuated! Only a small amount is needed to bring out the flavour, and has no coffee taste to the bake. You can also bloom your cocoa powder, in some warm water (or even coffee), again to bring the full flavour out.


Before we hit the chocolate recipes, here’s a little about the Latin for Cocoa – they named it “Theobroma Cacao”.

This literally means “FOOD OF THE GODS”!!6 I think that say’s it all.


CHOCOLATE RECIPES


white wooden table with blue plate and halved chocolate tart served with strawberries.

INDIVIDUAL CHOCOLATE TARTS

Try my super simple recipe for indulgent chocolate tarts.

Go to my Chocolate Tarts recipe or watch the video below:


Easy Gooey Chocolate Brownies

Let me show you how to easily make, perfect gooey chocolate brownies and not just another boring chocolate cake.

The secret is whisking the sugar and eggs for 5 minutes till mousse like, very pale in colour and with a noticeable increase in volume size.

Be sure to also get the brownies out of the oven a bit sooner than if you were making a chocolate cake or tray bake.

Try my classic version or one of the 3 variations below. Including an impressive but simple to make, ‘Brownie Tower’ or ‘Brownie Stack’.

Easy Gooey Brownies

Brownies & bitesize on a biege round plate on a pale blue background with yellow flowers and green napkin

Browned Butter & Hazelnut Brownies

Browned Butter hazelnut Brownies

Here’s my new Chocolate brownie recipe, but this time, with browned butter & hazelnuts. With the same gooey texture, these Browned Butter Hazelnut Brownies are as addictive as my classic version.

Browned Butter Hazelnut Brownies

Chocolate Orange Brownie Tower

Chocolate orange and hazelnut browies in a stack.

Using my new Chocolate Orange Brownie recipe, as well as my Browned Butter Hazelnut Brownies, I created the ‘Chocolate Orange Brownie Tower’.

Chocolate Orange Brownie Tower

Mini Egg Gooey Brownies – Easter Version

Brownies on a plate and then a single served, with an Easter Spring setting.

Let me show you how to make perfect gooey brownies and not just another chocolate cake. This time with the addition of Easter chocolate mini eggs.

Mini Egg Gooey Brownies


Easter scene for a chocolate Devil's Food bundt cake.

EASTER DEVIL’S FOOD BUNDT CAKE

Looking for a super simple Easter or Spring cake? Are a beginner baker, or just wanting something with minimal decorating skills required?  Look no further than this Easter Devil’s Food Bundt Cake. 

Go to Easter Devil’s Food Bundt Cake


CHOCOLATE VICTORIA SANDWICH CAKE

Here’s my chocolate version of British classic cake Victoria Sandwich.

Go to my Chocolate Victoria Sandwich cake recipe, or watch the video below.


Large Chocolate ganache filled pastry tart with raspberries on top and powdered sugar and title.

CHOCOLATE & RASPBERRY TART REVIEW

Read my review, of Michel Roux’s recipe for a truly decadent chocolate dessert, paired with raspberries.

Go to review or watch video below


Cardamon chocolate cupcakes with various piped buttercream, on a black slate, with cake forks and yellow flower.
QUICK & EASY 1 BOWL CHOCOLATE CARDAMOM CUPCAKES WITH ESPRESSO BUTTERCREAM

This is such a super simple and quick recipe, and one you can whip up with whatever you have in. Very versatile, it can be used in different ways and made Vegan. dairy-free, egg-free & lactose free.

Go to Chocolate Cardomom Espresso Cupcakes


Close up of plate of chocolate and some coconut topped Digestive cookies.

CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVE BISCUITS

Here’s my version of the British classic cookie, with added coconut.

Go to Chocolate Digestive recipe or watch video tutorial below


Egg free chocolate layer cake with piped cream and berrie son top.

Egg & Butter Free Chocolate Layer Cake

Egg & Butter Free Chocolate Layer Cake, is a super simple & quick recipe & one you can whip up with whatever you have in the cupboard or fridge. Very versatile, it can be used in different ways & made Vegan, dairy-free, egg-free & lactose free. A great base chocolate layer cake, sandwich with cream, jam & fresh fruit – or whatever you like!

Go to Egg & Butter Free Chocolate Layer Cake


CHOCOLATE CHIP SOFT COOKIES

Try my soft chocolate chip cookies that are so simple to make.

Go to Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe or watch video below


Healthier Banana bread muffins scattered on table

Healthier Banana Bread Muffins

Here’s my quick & easy, Healthier Banana Bread Muffins recipe. Using wholemeal flour, bananas & less butter & sugar, these will be your new favourite Banana Bread Muffin! Adding chocolate chips is optional.

Healthier Banana Bread Muffins


round shortbread cookies half coated in chocolate and coconut on a dinner table.

Chocolate Coconut Scottish Shortbread

Chocolate & Coconut Scottish Shortbread is based on my traditional Scottish shortbread recipe, with a melt-in-the-mouth texture, just as we make them here in Scotland.

Go to Chocolate Coconut Scottish Shortbread


Stacked pieces of Honeycomb/sponge candy up close, some half chocolate dipped, on a white wood background.

Honeycomb (AKA Sponge Candy)

Here’s a super simple & quick, no-bake recipe for Honeycomb. This sweet treat, (also known as Sponge Candy), is so easy to make, it’s ideal for beginner bakers. You don’t need lots of equipment to be able to make this either. Half coat in chocolate to make even better!

Go to Honeycomb (Sponge Candy)


Plate of chocolate pumpkin muffins on wooden table with coffee mug, Autumn decorations and hand holding coffee.

CHOCOLATE PUMPKIN MUFFINS – With Chocolate Pudding

Try this new recipe for muffins, with pumpkin & all the spices that resonate Fall, but with a special ingredient of chocolate pudding! Instead of chocolate chips or chocolate cake, try making up an easy packet of chocolate pudding mix & use to give some surprise pockets of moist chocolate goodness!

Go to Chocolate Pudding Pumpkin Muffins


Large stack of cookies and one broken, showing nuts, on a pale black backdrop with title to top.

BROWNED BUTTER, NUT & CHOCOLATE COOKIES

These cookies get their amazing taste from browned butter, and the cherry on the cake, is the chocolate!

Go to Browned Butter Cookies recipe or watch video below


Chocolate orange sandwich cookies in square, circles and Easter shapes on a pale blue background with flowers and easter eggs.

CHOCOLATE & ORANGE SANDWICH COOKIES

My chocolate cookies, sandwiching a firmer orange buttercream filling (like a certain popular chocolate sandwich cookie 😉 )

Go to Chocolate Orange Sandwich Cookies recipe


Front shot of chocolate and pumpkin layered bundt cake with title.

CHOCOLATE & PUMPKIN BUNDT CAKE – A Recipe Review

This chocolate & pumpkin bundt cake is a recipe I tested by Anna Olson. Lean how I rated the recipe as well what I changed.

Anna Olson’s Pumpkin Choclate Bundt Cake Review


VANILLA SANDWICH COOKIES WITH CHOCOLATE FILLING

Vanilla sandwich cookies, but this time with my firmer chocolate orange filling.

Go to Vanilla Sandwich Cookies recipe


ANgled front shot of chocolate coconut Lamington cakes on platter with red roses.

Lamingtons – Australia’s Light Coconut Sponge Cakes

Try my chocolate & coconut version of this classic light sponge cake. Master the Genoise sponge.

Lamington cake


Plate of chocolate chip mini cookies with fork lines, on a paper doily.

MARY BERRY’S 3 WAYS MINI COOKIES REVIEW

Read my review of Mary Berry’s mini cookies, one way with chocolate chips.

Go to my review of Mary Berry’s 3 Ways Mini Cookies


Cupcake with whipped chocolate ganache topping and caramel drizzle with title.

CHOCOLATE ORANGE GANACHE

See how simple it is to make chocolate ganache & bonus recipe of Whipped Ganache.

Go to my Chocolate Orange Ganache recipe


Chocolate truffles, some with coconut on the outside, in heart dishes.

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

Simple no-bake chocolate-fix recipe, using chocolate ganache and can be rolled in cocoa to finish.

Go to my Chocolate truffles recipe


extra close shot of stacked chocolate fudge with title.

MICROWAVE CHOCOLATE FUDGE

Quicker & safer method of making chocolate fudge.

Go to microwave chocolate fudge recipe


£ mini chocolate bundt cakes, one filled with jam and 2 with whipped ganache.

VERSATILE CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE RECIPE

A simple chocolate cupcake recipe, that is easily changed up and made vegan.

Go to mini chocolate cupcakes & bundts recipe


Slice of chocolate Swiss roll cake with cream.

FLOURLESS (GLUTEN FREE) CHOCOLATE SWISS/JELLY ROLL

Flour-free chocolate Swiss/Jelly Roll, with just sugar, eggs & cocoa in the sponge.

Go to Flour free Gluten free Chocolate Swiss Roll recipe or watch video below


Chocolate orange yule log in background with slice served in the front, with Christmas decorations and title.

CHOCOLATE & ORANGE YULE LOG

A perfect centrepiece for a Christmas dinner table & it’s Gluten free too.

Go to Flour free Chocolate Orange Yule Log Cake recipe

Or watch the video


Easter praline crackle squares on a plate, with Easter decs 1.

PRALINE CRACKLE

Known as Christmas Crack in the US, I want to make this popular in the UK too. It’s so simple to make, tastes great and you can add any sprinkles or extra toppings you like. No need to just have at Christmas.

Go to Praline Crackle recipe


Stack of chocolate cookies tied with red and white twine, on a pale blue background, with broken cookies. twine, green napkin in corner and plates to back.

EASY CHOCOLATE COOKIES – Soft & Chunky or Thin & Crispy

Here’s my super simple beginner recipe for making double chocolate cookies. These cookies are big. Originally developed as chunky & soft, you can also make thin and crispy. Whichever way you prefer or split the batch. You can add whatever chocolate chips or nuts you would like. They are also easily customised to any season or theme, by adding some simple quick decoration.

Easy Chocolate Cookies


Here’s also some videos of recipes not online yet:

EASY BANANA BREAD MUFFINS WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS

SOFT CHUNKY PEANUT M&M CHOCOLATE COOKIES



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Happy Baking & Making

Happy Tummies & Memories!

Caro xx


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References

1, 2, 6 – Divine Chocolate, Chocolate Facts and Figures, (8 July 2019), https://www.divinechocolate.com/resources/chocolate-facts-and-figures

3 – Bitter Sweet World Of Chocolate, book by Nikki Van Der, Troth Wells, New Internationalist (06 Dec 2007)

4 – ICCO (International Cocoa Organisation), https://www.icco.org/, (2012)

5 – Photo of Cocoa tree with ripe cocoa pods from Public Domain Pictures, https://www.publicdomainpictures.net



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