January 5th is National Whipped Cream Day


Celebrate with this quick and easy recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet

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Chocolate Whipping Cream (Naturally Sweetened)

Ingredients

1 cup of heavy whipping cream, not ultra-pasteurized
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of unrefined salt, optional

Directions

In a medium sized bowl, whip the cream and cocoa powder using a hand mixer or a whisk. When the cream is thickened and starting to form very lose peaks, add the sweetener and vanilla and whisk until the whipping cream forms a soft peak when the whisk or hand mixer is lifted from the bowl. Serve and enjoy (double or triple if needed).

by KIMIHARRIS on JUNE 20, 2011

Madecasse: Bean-to-Bar Chocolate from Madagascar


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Dr. Chocolate’s carries chocolate from all over the world. Madecasse, a chocolate maker in Madagascar, is making a strong positive impact on the local community and the cocoa industry as a whole.

Did you know? 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa but less than 1% of chocolate is made there. Fast Company named Madecasse one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies for doing things different. Farmers sell whole cocoa pods to the first of many middlemen who eventually export the cocoa beans to chocolate makers in Belgium or France. Tim McCollum and Brett Beach–introduced to Madagascar and each other while in the Peace Corps–founded Madécasse in 2008 to keep more economic benefit within the island nation. The company partners with 45 cocoa farmers in the Ezaka cooperative and a factory in Antananarivo to move from bean-to-bar in one month and then onto shelves in the U.S.

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Madecasse received the 2011 Good Food Award for Chocolate and in 2010, Food & Wine Magazine named Madecasse to the “40 Under 40″ list of people changing the way Americans east and drink.

Stop in and try Madecasse’s delicious chocolate bars!

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RECIPE: Chocolate Covered Popcorn


Here’s an amazing snack idea from Laura at Got Chocolate: Celebrating All Things Chocolate

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What a genius idea. I highly recommend this addictive snack to anyone who has not experienced chocolate covered popcorn. Thank you Laura!

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Chocolate Covered Popcorn. Hmmm. I have to admit when I first considered this combination for today’s Chocolate Covered Monday, I was a little skeptical. Here’s how to make your own Chocolate Covered Popcorn.

What you’ll need: Plate covered in wax paper, popcorn (w/o butter or salt), Chocolate (any type is fine – I prefer Dark Chocolate)

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Melt Chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 30 seconds. Stir. Nuke again until melted. Be careful to not overheat or the Chocolate will burn and crystalize very quickly.

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Place on piece of popcorn in the Chocolate. Cover completely using a spoon and lift out with a fork so the excess Chocolate can drain from the popcorn. completely using a spoon and lift out with a fork so the excess Chocolate can drain from the popcorn.

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It should look like this!

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Place on wax paper. Freeze for 10 minutes or until the Chocolate is set.

Voila! Done! You’re very own Chocolate Covered Popcorn in a matter of minutes. While it’s not as good as Harry & David’s Moose Munch, it’s still pretty tasty in my opinion. Besides, it’s pretty healthy for you since it’s unbuttered and salted popcorn covered in Dark Chocolate.

Yum!

by Laura Rucker on January 24, 2011

Happy National Trivia Day! Test Your Chocolate IQ


TEST YOUR CHOCOLATE IQ

Thank you chocolatesource.com!!

QUESTIONS

1. Who first discovered the value of the cocoa plant?
2. Where, when, and by whom were the earliest cocoa plantations established?
3. What is the name of the drink made by the Mayans from cocoa beans?
4. Chocolate has not only historically been enjoyed for its flavor, but also for what purpose?
5. When was chocolate introduced into the United States?
6. By 1810, which country was producing half of the world’s requirements for cocoa?
7. By 1810, which country was consuming one-third of the cocoa being produced in the world?
8. When was the cocoa press invented?
9. In 1875, Thomas Jefferson wrote to whom, making a declaration about chocolate’s superiority over tea or coffee for both health and nourishment?
10. Why is lecithin used in making chocolates?

ANSWERS

1. The Aztecs and the Mayas
2. In 600 AD, in the Yucatan, by the Mayans
3. Legend had it that one could gain wisdom and power from eating the fruit of the cocoa tree.
4. Medicinal
5. In 1765 when cocoa beans were brought from the West Indies to Dorchester, Massachusetts.
6. Venezuela
7. Spain
8. In 1828 by C.J. Van Houten, a Dutch chocolate master. It was used to squeeze cocoa butter out from the beans.
9. John Adams
10. It is used to reduce the viscosity of chocolate, and to lessen the amount of cocoa butter required in the manufacturing process.

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CHOCOLATE FUN FACTS

…Great chocolate manufacturers choose their beans in the same way as a wine-maker chooses his or her grape varieties.

…Years ago, when harvesting was over, a dance was performed on the cocoa seeds which had been put out to dry in the sun. This tradition continues today in certain regions of Central and South America.

…Africa is now the world’s leading producer of cacao , Ghana is a leading producer country.

…In the Chuao Valley, In Venezuela, the cacao bean is still cultivated just as it was at the time of the Aztecs.

…Wicker baskets, filled with cacao beans, were among the gifts which the Aztecs offered to the conquistadors.

…For the Aztecs, cocao chocolate was a luxury and the cocao beans were like gold, a rare commodity that served as both currency and gifts for kinds and gods.

…The Aztecs used to prepare a drink for the gods made up of ground cocao bean paste mixed with spices and corn.

…The Imperial torte, a square chocolate cake with five thin layers of almond paste, was created by a master pastry chef at the court of Emperor Franz Joseph (1830 – 1916).

…In 1900, Queen Victoria sent her New Year’s greetings to the British troops stationed in South Africa during the Boer War in the form of a specially molded chocolate bar.

…The end of the Second World War marked a new era in chocolate advertising and image-making, which henceforth would be based on photography rather than the graphic arts.

…On April 4, 1828, Coenraad Johannes Van Houten took out a patent for his newly invented cocoa press, which extracted the cocoa butter from the chocolate liquor, leaving behind powdered cocoa.

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Eat Lots of Chocolate!


Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate!

-Elaine Sherman, Book of Divine Indulgences

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