ON THE PLATE: Chocolate can be good for you
“Go on treat yourself!” is what my dear friend used to say.
We all owe it to ourselves to break out from time to time and for my money – a treat of ‘something decadent’ and very chocolatey is an affordable yet luxurious indulgence.
I do consider myself to be a chocoholic – as I have a small amount every day.
The ancient Mayans, however, consumed chocolate in some form at most meals! Cocoa residues were found in a Mayan pot dating from some 2,600 years ago.
The specially fashioned pot had a long spout to pour from one pot to another, creating a rich creamy foam. Throughout its long history chocolate has been consumed not only for its taste, but also for medicinal purposes, and while it is hardly a health food it can and does assist in cases where feebleness, depression, lassitude, need treatment. It is one of the richest sources of energy.
Eating chocolate triggers the release of uplifting hormones or endorphins.
Research has shown that it can trigger the same chemical reactions as some anti-depressant drugs.
As if we needed any more excuses to occasionally indulge in a comforting hot chocolate on a wintry day, or a self-saucing pudding for dessert, a handmade truffle to enjoy with coffee at the end of dinner?
The point to remember is that if you choose really good chocolate – you only need a tiny amount to enjoy that euphoric feeling.
Classification of chocolate is by the chocolate liquor and cocoa butter content as unsweetened, bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk or white.
Dark chocolate should contain at least 50 per cent cocoa liquor. White chocolate does not contain any cocoa liquor and therefore is not really chocolate at all. Coverture is a specialty cooking chocolate – its high percentage of cocoa butter ensures an even ‘coating’ and a high gloss.
So who was it that said, “moderation in everything, except chocolate and wine”?
Why not make tiny muffins so that you can enjoy a hit of chocolate without too much guilt?
And if they are going to be baby muffins, well might as well cram them with as much chocolate as is possible!
So, here’s a recipe for triple chocolate muffins to enjoy, every other day, if you must.
I’ve used baking paper cones instead of paper cups in the muffin tins. The recipe makes approximately 12 muffins.
Ration out as you see fit! But remember, chocolate can be good for you – in moderation, of course!