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Chocolate Week or Not, Indulge in Chocolate!

“Three to four thousand years ago, the Olmecs are the first known people to use cacao which grew wild in Central America – followed by other peoples like the Maya and then the Aztecs from the 10th century AD to the 1520s. At this time, and for many years afterwards, chocolate was purely a drink.”1

We all know how the story of chocolate goes. In all honesty, I doubt that many are too bothered by the history of chocolate. What counts is that we have this wonderful thing we can turn to in times of craving need.

Chocolate Strawberry

Chocolate Strawberry

I doubt that even the strongest-willed of persons can decline a bite of that delectable chocolate-covered strawberry you see up there! But there is more to chocolate than we normally know. There is more to chocolate than a hot drink, a huge bar, or even a chocolate chip cookie. This week, it is Chocolate Week in UK, but even if you are nowhere near there, you do not need an excuse to join them in celebrating the wonder that is chocolate! Here are some recipes that will give you a whole new appreciation for chocolate.

Chocolate Appetizers, Snacks, or Desserts

I don’t know about you, but I think that any time is the perfect time to eat chocolate! These recipes are going to rock your chocolate-loving world no matter what time of the day you make them.

Fancy a bite of this? Who wouldn’t???

Dark chocolate recipe

Dark Chocolate Tart With Bacon

This scrumptious-looking beauty has an even yummier name: Dark Chocolate Tart With Bacon and Whipped Almond Pastry Cream. Seriously, they got me at chocolate and bacon.

In spite of the fact that molten chocolate cakes have become rather common, I feel compelled to include them in this post. I am sure you understand why. There are many variations, but I have two suggestions that are not exactly molten chocolate cakes, but they might just give you more gastronomic pleasure.

Chocolate Liqueur Recipe

Chocolate Liqueur Souffles

First up, we have Chocolate Liqueur Souffles. Don’t be turned off by the “souffle” label. The result is well worth the effort. Speaking of souffles, if you like chocolate and mint (After Eight!), you will like this Chocolate Mint Souffles recipe as well.

The second option: Chocolate Fondant Rumbas. You just might find your guests dancing with delight after you serve them these!

More chocolate concoctions that you won’t see everyday but will want to eat all the time:

Chocolate Drinks

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate With Brandy and Cream

A mug of steaming hot chocolate never fails to make one feel better. If you like downing a good chocolate drink, you might as well give it a little twist.

Not only does this Après-Ski Holiday Hot Chocolate With Brandy and Cream recipe have a very nice name, but it does make one want to go skiing just so you can wrap one’s freezing hands around that mug. Of course, the skiing is not mandatory. Once you have had a sip of this chocolate drink, though, making it on a regular basis might become mandatory!

How about adding a Christmas feel? A mug of this Eggnog Hot Chocolate may not be enough for you. For best results, don’t opt out on the coffee liqueur. Using cinnamon or peppermint – whichever you prefer – sticks as garnish also adds to the appeal of this drink.

Now for even more grown up fun – chocolate drinks that can give you the slightest of buzzes. If you are not a brandy person, you might want to use vodka instead. I still remember the first time I had a chocolate-vodka-coffee mixture…whew!

Sludgy Chocolate Martini

Sludgy Chocolate Martini

I found this recipe for Sludgy Chocolate Martini, which is not exactly what I had, but the “sludgy” just got me. I don’t know why, but sludgy and chocolate just seem to be perfect bedfellows, don’t you think?

Also, it is a great idea to serve this drink on Halloween. Not only do you have something that matches the theme – you also have a drink that will bring out smiles in your guests.

Just so you know, the sludgy recipe calls for peanut butter, so if that doesn’t work for you, here is an alternative: Morta De Chocolata Gelatini. Yes, it does translate to Death by Chocolate Martini. What more can you ask for in a drink?

In case it is white chocolate you want to sip, let me throw in a recipe for White Chocolate Martini. This recipe calls for Godiva chocolate liqueur, no less, so you can expect it to be delicious.

Chocolate Mains

Chicken Mole

Chicken Mole

For most people, when chocolate is mentioned, it is normally associated with any but the main course. Of course, if you watch cooking shows, you will already know that chocolate can be used for anything. And I mean anything.

Have you ever thought about combining chicken and chocolate? Those two come together in this lovely dish called Chicken Mole. Mole is a popular Mexican sauce which has many variations. The most used version, perhaps, is this dark brown sauce which uses chocolate. In addition to chocolate, chili and other spices are used to make mole. Chocolate, chili, and other spices. You really can’t go wrong with that combination, can you? That being said, you have to try it to believe how good it tastes!

If you are sick and tired of chicken and you still want to try mole, here’s an alternative: Slow Cooker Mole-Style Pulled Pork. This recipe makes use of the slow cooker, which takes the pork to a whole new level.

Chicken and pork are not the only kinds of meat that can be paired with chocolate. I would be very hard pressed to decline a taste of this Beef & Stout Stew with Chocolatier Sauce. From the ingredients list, two things shout out at me: stout (Guinness!) and chocolate. Yum!

One last lip-smacking recipe before we end: Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Chocolate-Port Sauce. Port and chocolate. I’m sold.

I Love Chocolate!

Just to make it more fun, here is a menu I have created. Yes, it’s all about chocolate. Enjoy!

Photos via ooh la frou frou, Food.com, All Recipes, Delish, Kraft Recipes, Cooking Channel TV

  1. The History of Chocolate []

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