Friday, March 2, 2012

Guest Friday - The Chocolate Diva Celebrates!

This month our Chocolate Diva is trying to O.D. us with not one, but two chocolate recipes.  She uses National Chocolate Week as the excuse, but I know she’s really trying to feed our addiction to a food that needs its own food group.  Now if she’d share a recipe that combines this group with my other one…ice cream…Hint, hint—do you hear me Diva? 

National Chocolate Week
Let all chocoholics rejoice!  We live in a wonderful country where we are able to celebrate all of the glories of Chocolate during National Chocolate Week.  That’s right – seven days to savory, drink, smell, eat chocolate!  This year National Chocolate Week is March 19 – 25, 2012 and it always falls on the third week in March. 
All across the country, chocolate shops will be having sales and celebrations in honor of this sweet week and many factories that are usually closed to the public will open their doors during this week to give free tours and samples.
But don't worry that you will also have to get on that treadmill after National Chocolate Week until you hear this: Eating chocolate every day can be ... healthy?!

We've long since known that chocolate contains those healthy things called antioxidants, but now, researchers have discovered a long list of other potential health benefits.

A recent study in the Netherlands showed that eating the equivalent of one-third of dark chocolate bar every day could lower blood pressure and also reduce the risk of death by up to 50%.  
Chocolate also contains three chemicals that are good for your brain, and can make you feel better.
  1. Anandamine: can extend your feelings of happiness and make you laugh more often.
  2. Phenylethylamine: raises blood pressure and blood sugar levels just enough to make you more alert, and gives you that "love" feeling.
  3. Theobromine: similar to caffeine. It causes relaxation, but also acts as a stimulant by increasing your brain activity.

All that in a piece of a chocolate bar?  Yes – and eating dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate will give you an even stronger effect. Some companies, such as Mars Inc., are starting to take note of these new studies and market healthier products.

Now don't let the hype completely fool you. Chocolate can be healthy - if kept in moderation. Eating too much of the good stuff (as with all good stuff) can lead to obesity, which causes more health problems than all the chocolate in the world could combat.

Remember to keep everything in moderation during National Chocolate Week and make us proud fellow chocoholic. 
In honor of National Chocolate Week here are some amazing and easy chocolate delights:
Aunt Teen's Creamy Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
1.      Line an 8x8 inch pan with aluminum foil. Set aside.
2.      In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt. Bring to a full boil, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
3.      Remove from heat and pour in semisweet chocolate chips and milk chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for 2 hours, or until firm.  

Chocolate Lovers' Favorite Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
  • 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

1.      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10 inch Bundt pan.
2.      In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pudding mix. Make a well in the center and pour in sour cream, melted butter, eggs and almond extract. Beat on low speed until blended. Scrape bowl, and beat 4 minutes on medium speed. Blend in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3.      Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.


3 comments:

Lisa Fender said...

Mmmm...fudge! I love chocolate! thanks for the post, sounds wonderful to me!

Abigail-Madison Chase said...

I love fudge!

Diane Pollock said...

Chocolate cake...yummm....

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