Hottie Loves Chocolate
Hi, my name is Ilana, and I am a chocoholic. It’s been … thirty seconds since my last fix. I don’t know how to live my life without chocolate. I have it for breakfast, after lunch, after dinner. I don’t think I am strong enough to live without it.
Good thing I don’t have to, eh?
CHOCOLATE happens to be a food with a great PR team. I mean, who doesn’t like chocolate? (I actually know someone who doesn’t. I believe SHE HAS NO SOUL.) For me, there is no greater pleasure than … melting chocolate, and then eating it. But it doesn’t just taste great. I’m sure you’ve heard the news by now: Cacao, the bean from which my beloved chocolate is derived, is chock-fulla antioxidants, which actually helps purify your body and help it function better. Some other benefits of cacao:
- The smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves, which are the level of brainwaves often associated with daydreaming, resulting in relaxation.
- Cacao contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay (so raw cacao is actually GOOD FOR YOUR TEETH – blows your mind a little, eh?)
- Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, which has been shown to increase attention and relieve depression.
- The flavanoids in chocolate may help keep blood vessels elastic.
- The carbohydrates in chocolate raise serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being. (source)
As you can see, chocolate is pretty much a miraculous food that makes you happy AND healthy. It definitely keeps me satisfied – if I don’t have chocolate at least twice a day, I feel unfulfilled and deprived, so I try not to deprive myself. But that doesn’t mean I eat a bag full of Hershey’s Kisses daily (I only do that once every few months). It’s very important to be conscious of the chocolate you choose, to be aware of the ingredients and content when you buy it. The above benefits of chocolate are widely-known, but also widely known are the negative affects that too much sugar can have on the body, which is why it is important to choose a chocolate with a high content of cacao, and a lower content of sugar. I generally choose 70-80% cacao chocolate, but I’m a fan of darker chocolates as well. I also am aware of the otehr ingredients in chocolate – because I have lactose sensitivities, I am conscious to choose chocolate free of dairy (although at this point in my journey, chocolate with trace dairy is occasionally okay). Others might be conscious of choosing chocolate that is soy free, or not processed on machinery with nuts. It’s all up to your needs and desires, but the higher the cacao content, the better for your health.
Ok, so now that I’ve talked you through my chocolate-buying thought process, what do I do with the chocolate (other than devour it in unholy amounts)? Well, here’s one of my favorite treatments. It’s a crowd-pleaser, but it’s hard to want to share.
First, I set a small pot with about an inch of water over the heat, and place a glass bowl atop my pot.
This is how I do a double-boiler. If you have one in your kitchen, feel free to use that instead! This works just fine and dandy for me.
Into the glass bowl, I place my chocolate, broken up into evenly-sized pieces so they melt uniformly.
This is a mixture of Lindt 70% cacao and Lindt 80% cacao, which makes it like Lindt 75% cacao.
It works best to keep the pot over medium-low heat, which allows the chocolate to melt evenly and carefully. Heating chocolate up too high messes with the sugar composition.
Tell me you don’t want to just swim in that (it’s hot though, so don’t). Seriously. That is sexy.
So then you take your strawberries, which don’t have to be perfect since you’re covering them with chocolate, rinse them, and pat them dry.
My method is to just spoon up some chocolate and roll the berry around in the spoon. I do this so I don’t get water or strawberry bits into the batch of melted chocolate, which can mess up the way the chocolate hardens as it cools.
Set on a plate (covered in parchment, tin foil, or nothing at all) and allow to rest at room temperature until the chocolate hardens. If it is particularly hot or humid in your kitchen, you may want to let them set in the fridge, but I often find that method problematic, as my fridge-chilled chocolate melts when I take out of the refrigerator.
I made these for a movie night with my boyfriend. I told him I was going to make cookies, but I got lazy (and selfish, since I don’t eat eggs or a lot of flour) and decided upon chocolate covered strawberries so we could both indulge in something healthy and sinful at the same time! Win-win.
As I bit into one of these divine little jewels, I l sighed, “I could eat chocolate covered strawberries every day for the rest of my life!” Pure bliss.
Tell me that isn’t hot.
And now tell me … what’s your chocolate story? Do you love it dark and bitter, or are you a sweetie with a taste for milk chocolate? Or white chocolate? Do you have a favorite chocolate recipe?
If you were asked to give up chocolate for life in exchange for a million dollars right now, would you? I honestly don’t think I would! I have tried to not eat chocolate and I feel miserable and completely deprived on these days! I would rather have chocolate than money – and I’m a broke ass broke college student with d-e-b-t, so that’s really saying something.
Now I’m off to get another hit of that good stuff…Dark and smooth. MMmmmmhmmm.