ISTANBUL: Food for the soul in many a flavor: Ahead of World Chocolate Day this week, let’s have a look at some of the great ways to incorporate the luxurious ingredient into your diet
It might be a bit early since World Chocolate Day is actually on Wednesday but prepping ahead of time can’t hurt. Chocolate in its many forms has been the focus of people around the world, I mean not every food gets an international day for its own right? The usually dark brown dessert can be part of a balanced, healthy diet and lifestyle but like most things, should be consumed in moderation. One thing to keep in mind if you are looking to incorporate chocolate into a balanced diet is the darker the chocolate the better – for your health that is. Eating a bit of dark chocolate is a delightful way to boost your immune system.
One would continue writing about chocolate for hours but let’s get to the good part: The recipes!
The ‘offensive’ chocolate cake
Chocolate cakes can be made in many ways and we have covered here a few, some without gluten, sugar or dairy for those who cannot handle it or simply want to eat more consciously.
But this recipe today is a pretty old one handed down to me from my great aunt and the reason why I call it offensive is because it has a very racist name in reference to its dark color. I’m not going to honor this backward thinking but that is what it used to be called. Name aside, the velvety goodness of this cake is undeniable. And if you have ever made a cake, you may find the method of making this a bit different but it is definitely worth the effort.
- 250 grams butter/margarine
- 250 grams sugar
- 3 eggs
- 230 grams flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 9 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons cacao
Melt butter/margarine in a pot and add the water to it once it becomes completely molten. Add the sugar, vanilla and cacao and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Your house will smell amazing but resist the urge to snack on the mixture. When the cooking time is over, set it aside to cool down to room temperature. Once cooled off add three egg yolks to it, then add the flour and baking powder. Whisk three egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff and fold them into the dough. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius (340 degrees Fahrenheit) for 30-40 minutes depending on the depth of your baking tin.
You can of course eat this cake as is but the original recipe says to cover it in chocolate. You can never have too much chocolate in your life.
A classic truffle
Making truffles is an art in and of itself and I can’t claim to be an expert in the matter. But I do have a classic recipe that melts in your mouth. The recipe calls for two parts chocolate and one part heavy cream, so you don’t need to worry about grams or weight. But I need to stress this: The darker the chocolate the better. White chocolate will not provide the same results, so proceed with caution.
- 200 grams semi-dark chocolate
- 100 milliliters heavy cream
- Cocoa powder
Bring the heavy cream to a simmer and turn the heat off. Add the chocolate to the hot cream and melt it completely. Let it cool off to room temperature and toss it into the freezer for about an hour. Now you can either use a spoon to form little balls and drop them in cocoa powder or, the cleaner method, transfer the chocolatey mass into a piping bag and drop dollops into the cocoa powder. Make sure to cover them completely and put them into an airtight box or keep them fresh in the fridge. Do not keep them outside. They will melt.
Putting these little truffles into individual paper shells adds a bit of extra pizzaz and is a nice way to keep the truffles separated.
The hot chocolate
My mum used to make us hot chocolate every morning before we went to school. In a way to make us drink milk, I suppose. But she’d never use those ready mixes, we did have them at home when we wanted to make them ourselves (though my brother would eat that dry stuff just like that). So it makes only sense to share with you how to make a quick and practical hot chocolate.
Depending on what kind of cocoa powder you have (the unsweetened one I mean), you want to use about one teaspoon. I have a very dark and strong one so I use a tad less than a teaspoon of the cocoa per cup. Speaking of cups, I mean a standard cup of about 200-300 milliliters. For sugar, a teaspoon per cup will do but if you want to put more that is always easily remedied.
How to make it then?
Fill the cups you or mugs you plan to use with milk, accounting for the fact that the milk will expand. Leave a bit of the milk in the cup and while the rest of the milk is heating up, mix the cocoa powder and sugar until there are no clumps left. Once the milk starts to boil, pour in that cocoa mix and let it bubble for a few seconds. Turn the heat off and serve!
But you don’t have to stop here. You can of course add actual chocolate to the mix. Once you turn the heat off, add your desired chocolate to the beverage and stir until it is completely combined.