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Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: I Don’t Love Chocolate

I know. I know. I am in the minority. I am weird. I do not know what is really good or good for me. Nevertheless, I really do not love chocolate. The reasons for this food bias may be any one or all of the following. First reason is genetic. My mother and my grandmother, the matriarch of the kitchen in our family, did not make chocolate things. and a biology teacher told me that not liking chocolate is genetic. Second reason is Chocolate Soda. I had to pay for a Coke or Dr. Pepper. I could have Chocolate Soda for free at my dad’s store; so, I would try one occasionally. BAD. Third reason is my appendix.  An appendicitis attack was misdiagnosed as a virus. My treatment was, you guessed it, chocolate-flavored medicine. BAD..

The story of cocoa is a long and interesting story.  An extensive time-line of the discovery and development of chocolate is on The Gourmet Chocolate of the Month www.chocolatemonthclub.com/chocolatehistory.htm).

A quote from that website: Chocolate has impacted the ways in which some humans worshiped and expressed their values.
Certainly chocolate has become an important part of our food experiences.
 Another quote from the website: Secret Techniques in blending and roasting beans, traditional family recipes and creative interpretations and innovative candy making techniques  have been handed down generation to generations.


Chocolate’s reputation as an aphrodisiac has flourished at times in history. Currently we look at the medical benefits of the bittersweet in helping the body with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Remember, only the unsweetened!!!

From the Mayans in Central and South America to the Aztecs to Spaniards to other European countries to the world, chocolate has made important contributions to economics, traditions and gastronomic endeavors in our world          

Now it’s not that I never eat chocolate. I do have a favorite Brownie Recipe from “Keepers,”  a book self-published by my friend, Frances Payne. (Her comment about the recipe: This is Marie Wiggnins’ recipe and I don’t believe that I have ever tried one that is any better. If you get a real craving for chocolate, it is guaranteed to give you that chocolate fix.) I know you don’t who Marie Wiggins was, but it doesn’t really matter. The brownies are g-o-o-o-d.

BROWNIES

4 eggs,slightly beaten                                           3 squares unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar                                                        2 sticks butter
1 cup flour                                                           1 cup nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt

Icing:
1/2 stick butter                                                     1 square unsweetened chocolate
1 pound powdered sugar

Beat the eggs in a large bowl and add the sugar; continue to stir well. Mix flour and salt and add to the creamed mixture. In the meantime, melt the two sticks of butter and 3 squares of chocolate over low heat until blended. Cool slightly and add to the other mixture; add nuts. Pour into a greased and floured 10 X 15 inch jelly roll pan. Bake at 325F. for 35 minutes. Cool slightly and ice.

To make icing, melt the margarine and chocolate, add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth and spreading consistency. (This is a little dry; so, I add a little cream.)

CHOCOLATE BOWLS WITH CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

12 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped or 12 oz. dark chocolate morsels
Small balloons. Blow until about 2-1/2 inches in diameter.
Parchment paper

Melt 1/2 chocolate a small double-boiler. Stir until smooth. Add the remaining chocolate , melt and mix until smooth
Blow up balloons to about 2-1/2 inches in diameter and tie.
Drop a teaspoon of the chocolate onto the parchment paper to make a disk.
Dip the balloon into the chocolate to cover 1/3 of the balloon.
Place place each the disk set.
Chill. Pop the balloon and remove.
Viola!! A chocolate bowl
Makes 8 or 10 bowls..

How to make a moo–no, a mousse

2 T. butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
3 eggs, separated
1/4 c sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Melt butter with chocolate in a double-boiler.
Slightly whisk egg yolk and add to the butter, melted chocolate mixture.
Beat egg whites for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 sugar. Then, beat another 3 minutes until stiff peaks form.
Beat cream for 1 minute. Add remaining sugar and vanilla until soft peaks, about 2 more minutes.
Add beaten egg whites to the chocolate mixture, fold gently. Then, fold in whipped cream in the same manner.
Chill.

Spoon the chilled mousse into the chocolate bowls.  Garnish with a fresh raspberries and mint.

We’re trying this tonight. Hope it works for us and you, too.

Happy eating,

Jo Ann Miller,
ABW and Consultant
Gourmet Gallery







           

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