January 2012

Why are There Chocolate Chips in Mah Pancakes…

Not That I'm Complaining

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Pancakes have always been a tasty and well wanted treat on my breakfast table. They tend to be light and fluffy (well until they settle into your belly) and go well with eggs, bacon, sausage and the normal trappings of breakfast. Then again pancakes by themselves taste awesome with almost anything on them.

It’s no secret with the many toppings people put onto them raging from fruits to odder fair like seafood. But I’m not looking for those kinds of toppings. I’m looking for my chocolate fix. And what better way to cater to that on a pancake than with chocolate chips.

Now, you’d think chocolate with my breakfast, with MY PANCAKES?! But they like oddly bacon and chocolate go good together. And they are simple to make too! Here’s a quick little recipe from here:

5 Great Things to Pair with Chocolate

Is it bad that I planned all week how to celebrate National Chocolate Day, which is today? I just ate the last morsel of chocolate meringue pie, but really, to tell you a secret I've been scarfing bits of dark chocolate all day with a variety of accompaniments.

Before you get jealous, let me share with you five great things you can pair with chocolate -- not just tonight on this day of recognition but on any day.

Extreme Chocolate – The Edible iPhone

Do you love your iPhone? Do you love your chocolate? Well then here's a sweet combination to try on for size.

 

I never realized how appetizing an iPhone can be until I saw this. Made by this seller on etsy, this edible iPhone resembles the real thing down to the packaging. Each 'button' is a square of chocolate with the small custom iPhone labeling. Except that the buttons aren't plastered with small pictures, but are printed on edible ink. So don't worry about peeling off any wrappers, all of the iPhone's mini buttons can safely be eaten. Each 'iPhone' comes with 20 pieces available in four assorted flavors. The box prevents breakage en route and melting.

 

Healthy chocolate? Yes please!

Many of us love chocolate and feel that life is not worth living without it.  But what if you knew that chocolate was healthy for you and that it is good for you to eat.  Well, it is!  Just like anything, you do need to eat it in moderation or else it is no longer healthy for you.  But here are the benefits you get from chocolate.

Flavonoids – This is a sub class of antioxidant which helps to lower your blood pressure as well as helping to protect with heart disease.   For this reason, chocolate manufacturers are being pressured to develop a method of processing the cocoa beans to preserve this content.  Current processes destroy up to three-quarters of the flavonoids

Fat – Unfortunately, you do need to remember that chocolate still contains a lot of fat.  Forty grams of dark chocolate can contain 210 calories as well as 13 grams of fat of which 8 grams are saturated fat.

How to Purchase High-Quality Chocolate

"Use one or all of these tips the next time a craving for chocolate hits"

Ever taken a bite of chocolate and you just know it is good without realizing exactly why it melts in your mouth? I love chocolate and as such a self-confessed chocoholic, I have tried many types from different companies. What I've found is that a tell-tale pattern exists, giving me the ability to distinguish the good from the bad. Other not so known reasons that let you know whether or not the chocolate is high-quality includes the percentage of chocolate, the placement of ingredients and the type of wrapper used by the makers to place the candy in.

 

Check to see where the word “cocoa” appears on the ingredient list. Cocoa showing up at the beginning is a good indicator that what you're about to eat is considered high-quality chocolate. Cocoa that's listed further on down the list indicates that the candy you're about to consume contains a higher amount of sugar. The origin of the chocolate has no real bearing on its quality; however, it can alter the taste, depending on where it originated from.

 

Purchase chocolate that contains up to 60 percent of cocoa in it because; otherwise, you will find the candy has a bitter taste. Reserve chocolate with 80 percent cocoa for baking that requires a high percentage of cocoa.

Take the bitter plunge into Dark Chocolate

Not to sound like a cacao snob, but you haven’t REALLY had chocolate until you’ve had the 100% variety.  I mean the deep chocolate bars with zero sugar, zero milk, zero butter – nothing but pure, ground cacao bean.

I took the plunge about five years ago when I wanted to cut sugar out of my life. I loved chocolate and had to find a healthier way to consume it. When I read that dark chocolate itself has an abundance of antioxidants, flavonoids, and other healthy phytochemicals, I was convinced that I didn't need to avoid chocolate, but merely embrace the darkest varieties.

Hershey's Air Delight

It's pretty tasty, but as consumers, we have to draw the line somewhere

 

I was pretty skeptical of this new form of Hershey's chocolate. 
 
I am not a snob about Hershey's, mind you. I'm one of those oddball chocolate lovers who really enjoys a Hershey bar now and again. Ideally the kind with almonds, but just a regular old Hershey bar can be pretty darned satisfying.
 
No, I was skeptical about this "air bubbles" thing. No one has ever, to my knowledge, been eating a chocolate bar and thought, "What this thing needs is a bunch of air bubbles to make it feel kind of, like, FOAMY." Adding air bubbles is so clearly the work of a management committee. Who else would want chocolate that is - to use the word on the wrapper - "aerated"?

Chocolate and Bacon

Enough Said

Sir Francis Bacon might be the one who made chocolate bacon brittle popular in the gourmet grocery stores like Dean and Deluca, but now you can attempt to make your own. Check out this recipe for chocolate-dipped smoked almond-bacon brittle.

Makes 3 pounds.

Note: From "I Love Bacon," by Jayne Rockmill.

• 1/4 lb. bacon

• 2 c. smoked almonds

• 11/4 c. sugar

• 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. light corn syrup

• 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp. water

• 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-in. cubes, at room temperature

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp. crushed pink peppercorns

• 8 oz. (60 percent cacao) chocolate, chopped

Godiva | Love Affair With Chocolate

 

I love Godiva. I have since I was quite young, maybe 9 or 10. My mom worked for Vlasic Pickles in Farmington Hills, Michigan (shout out!), which was owned by Campbell’s Soup. Godiva and Pepperidge Farm cookies were also part of the brand at that time. She was always bringing home samples to try of new products from all four companies. In fact, she volunteered her time as a taste tester, just to get the free samples. She also stole those little creamers from every restaurant she every entered even though she took her coffee black, but that’s another story.

For Extreme Chocoholics only: The World's Largest Chocolate Bar

Need some hardcore chocolate to curb that New Year's hangover? Well here's a very rich and tasty chocolate candy bar to drool over – assuming a 9,720 pound solid chocolate bar isn't too much for you?

 

In 2010, Armenian chocolatier Grand Candy decided to go big and make a large scale, all natural chocolate candy bar in honor of there 10th anniversary. Going by the sheer size of that bar, I'd say business is doing well for them.

 

The dark chocolate bar (no milk chocolate this round) was reported to be 224in long, 110 wide and a wooing 10 inches thick. The all natural bar had cocoa beans used in its creation. Going by the picture, the fact that a sizable crowd could surround it yet sill not span the whole length is just amazing. This bar beat out a previous record holder that weighed 7,890 pounds from late 2007.