#CHOCOLATE – IS IT GOOD OR BAD FOR YOU?…

#Chocolate – is it good or bad for you?

There has been lots written in the tabloids about the benefits of eating #chocolate but is this true or false?

Well, according to Medical News Today, #chocolate receives a lot of bad press because of its high fat and sugar content. Its consumption has been associated with acne, obesity, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. … #chocolate’s antioxidant potential may have a range of health benefits.

Some studies have suggested #chocolate could lower cholesterol levels and prevent memory decline.

Researchers who studied cyclists doing time trials in the U.K. found that “After eating dark #chocolate, the riders used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial.”

Antioxidants can help reduce free radical damage linked with premature ageing. It can be found in foods such as beans, fruit and dark #chocolate.  Dark #chocolate ranks higher than many fruit and vegetables for its antioxidant power.

Healthline says dark #chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health. Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet. Studies show that dark #chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve your health and lower the risk of heart disease.

So, I guess eaten properly the answer is a definite ‘yes’  #chocolate can be good for you. How appropriate is that with #Chocolate Week this week from 15th – 21st October. ENJOY

 

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CHOCOLATE WEEK 15-21st OCTOBER, 2018…

Chocolate Week, the nation’s favourite themed week, returns for a 14th consecutive year, celebrating the world of fine #chocolate from 15 to 21 October 2018.

Hundreds of events are expected this Chocolate Week around the UK, with the country’s top chocolatiers and #chocolate companies, as well as hotels, bars and restaurants celebrating by hosting talks, tastings, demonstrations and sampling, as well as creating exclusive products, new launches, offers, #chocolate meals, cocktails and recipes using some of the best #chocolate brands from around the world.

Chocolate Week aims to promote fine flavour #chocolate, the independent artisan chocolatiers and the #chocolate companies who work in direct partnership with cocoa farmers, encouraging consumers to pay a fairer price for their #chocolate.

A list of participants can be found on the Chocolate Week website. 

 

HOW TO CRAFT CHOCOLATE …

If you love chocolate like me then you need to know about craft chocolate online.  They say chocolate arouses our passions and tempts our senses. Chocolates are loved by most and they come in various forms ranging from dark chocolates to milk chocolates and they leave memories of happy moments.

Chocolate is tasty and delicious but making your own chocolate at home can easily be done if you know where to buy your ingredients. Before making your own you need to check that you have the right equipment to make your chocolate in.

Some essential tools include digital thermometers, various sizes and shapes of molds, a dipping fork and other utensils. Buying the right products to make your chocolate is also something that you need to investigate. Principally start your chocolate making with buying cocoa beans from a reliable source.

With so much chocolate available on the high street you will have to think outside the box and develop a recipe that will be unique as well as tasty.

I made my first batch of homemade chocolate after reading articles on how sugar is bad for your health. I decided that if I made my own chocolate using honey as a sugar substitute it would be a healthier option for me. I am a true chocolate lover and if I could have chocolate for breakfast lunch and tea, I would have it.  I’ve even been on a chocolate diet – don’t ask ☹

I decided to give it a go and put some ingredients together and just popped them into a lined baking tray. I then put it into the freezer and waited for it to set. When it eventually set (almost) I took it out and broke it into pieces but before I had time to eat some it was already melting and falling apart.  I now know that the most important ingredient is cocoa beans.

If you get the right ingredients and utensils, making edible gifts really doesn’t get much easier than making craft chocolate bars. Just like we have seen Craft Beer and Craft Coffee the next big thing will be Craft Chocolate. Get your juices working on handmade gift ideas you could make with your own chocolate. You could start a new trend and even put kits together for people to create their own chocolate. After making the chocolate, the next challenge is where to store it as they advise you not to store in a refrigerator full of other foods. They suggest you store the chocolate in a tightly closed container away from direct sunlight. This will help your chocolate to last longer.

Chocolate making is an art and a science. The best way to create your own delicious chocolate whether you want to make it for personal use, for friends or even to sell is to go to Craft Chocolate UK who say they ‘make the dreams of chocolate lovers to come true’ by teaching the art behind the chocolate making. For anyone looking for a place in the craft chocolate art, Craft Chocolate UK are the ones to contact.

Anyone can put a few ingredients together (just like I did) but learning how to make it the correct way has to be the best way forward.

#RECIPE OF THE WEEK – EASY CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE…

This week’s recipe of the week is Olive Magazine’s Easy Chocolate Fudge Cake…

Super easy and quick to make, this gooey chocolate cake number is perfect for when you need to bake a last-minute treat for a special occasion.

Ingredients…

  • self-raising flour 150g
  • cocoa 30g
  • baking powder 1 tsp
  • muscovado sugar 175g
  • butter 175g, softened
  • eggs 3
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • dark chocolate 50g, melted

FUDGE ICING

  • butter 200g, softened
  • icing sugar 200g
  • dark chocolate 200g, melted 

Method:

Heat the oven to 180C/fan 170C/gas 4. Line and butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins.

Put all cake ingredients into the food processor and whizz until smooth. If the mix is a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water and whizz again.

Divide between tins, level and bake for 30 minutes or until springy. Leave for 5 minutes then cool on a rack.

Clean the food processor. Whizz the butter and icing sugar, add the chocolate, whizz again, then sandwich and ice the cake.

Tadah…now pop the kettle on and enjoy a nice cup of tea or coffee with a slice of this deeeelicious cake, Enjoy

SCRUMPTIOUS DESIGNER #EASTER EGGS…

Easter eggs have turned into designer eggs with some unique ways to celebrate Easter.

Design your own Easter egg with Cuckooland who have a Melt & Make Chocolate Egg Heads Create your own Chocolate Eggheads with this fun kit. This melt and make chocolate egg kit is fun and simple.  This chocolate gift is perfect for kids parties, a rainy day and obviously a great Easter gift for kids.
Made with delicious Belgium Chocolate. Each kit includes A chefs hat, moulds for the chocolate, milk chocolate buttons for melting and bags of sweet for decoration. £12.95

or their Easter chocolate pizza which is made by The Gourmet Chocolate Pizza Company. Presented in a pizza delivery box and surrounded in tissue paper, this delicious sweet treat is such a unique and fun gift! With a Belgian milk chocolate base covered with milk chocolate curls and decorated with iced carrots, candy-coated chocolate eggs, colourful rainbow drops and handmade white chocolate bunnies. £15.50

How about a personalised Cadbury’s creme egg chocolate sweet tree which can be personalised with up to 25 characters. The centre of the tree is fully edible with a crispy crunchy chocolate centre, so once you’ve devoured all the eggs, you can keep on munching! £24.95

My personal favourite is this Terry’s Chocolate Orange Bunny Bum with Brown Tail, It isTerry’s chocolate orange finished with Lindt chocolate bunny paws and a scrummy Ferrero Rocher tail, and can be personalised with white chocolate lettering to make someone feel truly special this season! £14.95

COFFEE AND MILK FOR YOUR HEART HEALTH…

Try and make your coffee with 1% fat milk instead of semi-skimmed milk for a healthier heart. You will not taste the difference but semi-skimmed milk contains 70% more than 1 % fat milk. A daily serving of two 200ml glasses of semi-skimmed milk amounts to 4g of cholesterol-raising saturated fat compared to 2.4g in the 1% fat milk.

Also, filter your coffee to cut your cholesterol. Apparently unfiltered brewed coffee contains traces of oily substances called cafestol and kahweol, which can increase blood cholesterol. So swapping to the filtered sort will get rid of the problem as the fatty residues are held back by the filter. Of course instant coffee is fine.