Such A Divine Decadence!
A Chocolate Glossary
Source: The Great Food Almanac ~ A Feast of Facts From A to Z, ©1994 by Irena Chalmers.
How To Melt Chocolate
Always melt chocolate with gentle heat because it scorches easily. If chocolate is to be melted alone, make certain that the container and utensils are absolutely dry; a tiny drop of moisture will cause the chocolate to become lumpy and stiff. If this should happen, stir in one teaspoon of vegetable shortening for each ounce of chocolate. Remember that unsweetened chocolate liquefies when melted, but semisweet and baking chocolate will hold their shapes until stirred. For faster melting, cut or chop chocolate into smaller pieces.
To melt chocolate, place it in a heavy saucepan over low heat and stir until melted. Or, place chocolate in top of a double boiler and melt over hot water, stirring until smooth.
To melt chocolate in a microwave oven, place a 1-ounce square in a 1-cup glass measure. Microwave, uncovered, at MEDIUM (50% power) for 1 to 2 minutes, or until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from microwave and stir until completely melted and smooth. Add 10 seconds for each additional ounce of chocolate.
To melt chocolate morsels in a microwave oven, place 1 cup chocolate morsels in a 2-cup glass measure. Microwave, uncovered, at MEDIUM (50% power) for 2 to 4 minutes, or until morsels are glossy. Remove from microwave oven and stir until smooth.
It's always best to use the type of chocolate specified in your recipe to produce the best results. If, however, you need to make substitutions, use the following information as a guide.
To substitute for:
How To Store Chocolate
Store chocolate tightly wrapped or covered in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator. If refrigerated, let it warm to room temperature before using.
Occasionally, there may be a slight graying or "bloom" on the chocolate. This does not alter the quality or flavor and when used in a recipe, the chocolate will regain its color.
Source: Chocolate Fantasies, ©1987 by Oxmoor House, Inc.
Most people enjoy chocolate and agree that it tastes wonderful, yet they also have misconceptions about its effect on health. Here are some facts about chocolate that you may not know.
Chocolate And Fat
Chocolate contributes less than two percent of the fat in the American diet. The main sources of fat are meat, full-fat dairy products, and fried foods.
While chocolate contains some saturated fats, studies have shown that not all types of saturated fats raise blood cholesterol levels. For example, stearic acid is a saturated fat that makes up one-third of the fat in chocolate. Stearic acid does not raise blood cholesterol levels. In addition, oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat (also found in olive oil), makes up one-third of the fat in chocolate. Eating foods with oleic acid as part of a healthful eating plan has been shown to be beneficial for heart health.
Chocolate And Caffeine
Chocolate contains very little caffeine, as shown in the chart below.
Caffeine Content (mg) of Selected Foods & Beverages
Chocolate And Obesity
Obesity is a disease in which a person has an excessive amount of body fat. Most often it is caused by regularly taking in more calories than burned off with physical activity. Obese people often eat the same amount or fewer sweets, including chocolate, than people who are not obese. Obesity can also stem from genetic or hormonal disorders, or from taking some types of medications for a long period of time.
Chocolate And Polyphenols
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which come from the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao. As a result, chocolate contains many of the same healthy compounds from plants, including minerals (copper, iron zinc, and magnesium) and specific antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols, like those found in tea and red wine are currently being studied for their potential health benefits.
Chocolate And Allergies
Allergies to chocolate are very uncommon. If you have been diagnosed with food allergies by a board-certified allergist, you must read labels and avoid the foods or ingredients that cause the allergic reaction. A registered dietitian can help you plan meals and select foods that exclude the food to which you are allergic.
Chocolate and Diabetes
Diabetes occurs when a person's body doesn't properly regulate blood sugars (blood glucose). Eating certain foods, even simple sugar, does not cause diabetes. All people with diabetes should follow their physicians' and dietitians' instructions for meal planning, physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, and medication. So, if you have diabetes, ask your health professional how to incorporate chocolate into your eating plan.
Chocolate And Headaches
Research shows that most headaches and chocolate intake are not related. Experts agree that most often it is stress, irregular sleep patterns, hunger, and hormone changes that trigger headaches.
Tooth decay happens when carbohydrates (both complex and simple) mix with natural bacteria in the mouth. This creates acid that breaks down the enamel on teeth. Chocolate, which contains carbohydrates, is not more or less responsible for tooth decay than other carbohydrate-containing foods like bread, raisins, crackers, and fruit. In fact, chocolate actually clears the mouth relatively quickly, reducing the time it spends in contact with the teeth.
A recent study looked at why we crave chocolate and concluded that people do not become addicted to chocolate. Instead, the study found that people desire chocolate because they enjoy the sensation of eating it.
Chocolate And Hyperactivity
Pediatricians say there is no link between the sugar found in chocolate or other foods and restlessness or attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
Chocolate And Health ~
Remember that chocolate can fit into a healthful eating pattern. Be sure to eat a variety of foods. Enjoy chocolate in moderation to add flavor and pleasure to eating!
Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, February, 2000.
| Chocolate! No
other food has gained such exalted status in both the New and the Old Worlds, and one must
ask what it is about chocolate that provides its very special panache. Those who love
chocolate cannot explain their passion, but claim if desire has a taste, it must be the
taste of chocolate!
Like any form of passion, chocolate seduces us by its uniqueness ~ Its silken texture and sensuous melting in response to our body temperature, combine to promise a world where we so often dont get what we want. Marie, Marquise de Sévigné, a 17th-century French letter-writer tells us that (chocolate), "It flatters you for a while, it warms you for an instant; then all of a sudden, it kindles a mortal fever in you."
The Aztec emperor Montezuma was so crazy about hot chocolate that he drank 50 golden goblets of it every day. It wasn't the hot chocolate that we know today; his was thick as honey, dyed red, and flavored with chili peppers. And when he was done, he threw the goblets away, the way we dispose of paper cups. The goblets weren't important to him, but the chocolate was. He believed it "strengthened his purpose" when he went to visit his wives.
Chocolate may not actually be an aphrodisiac, but it does have some very pleasant qualities. It contains both theobromine, a mild relative of caffeine, and magnesium, a component of some tranquilizers, so it could be said to perk you up and calm you down simultaneously. It also contains stearic acid, a saturated fat that, unlike other saturated fats, may actually lower cholesterol -- at least fractionally.
Few would claim that these constituents make chocolate into a health food, but unquestionably it is beneficial for the soul. And probably never more so than when a boy buys a heart-shaped box of chocolates and takes it to his sweetheart.
Chocolate will indeed, in all of its consummate perfection, forever remain the perfect lover.
IN MOLE SAUCE
1 cup uncooked white rice
Cook the rice according to the package directions, without salt.
While the rice is cooking, sauté the onion and garlic in oil in a large nonstick skillet until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, salsa, cocoa, cumin, and allspice. Bring to a boil, stirring well.
Add the chicken; reduce the heat. Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 25 minutes.
Arrange the rice on a serving platter and top with the chicken. Stir the sauce; pour over the chicken and rice. Sprinkle the top with chopped cilantro, if desired. Makes 6 Servings.
Sodium Alert: Not recommended for those on low-salt or sodium-restricted meal plans.
Per Serving: 309 Cal; 5 g Total Fat (1 g Sat Fat); 35 g Carb; 72 mg Cholesterol; 531 mg Sodium; 30 g Protein; 6 g Sugars; 2 g Dietary Fiber. Exchanges: 2 Starch; 1 Veg; 3 Very Lean Meat; 1 Fat.
1/2 cup flour
Heat skillet or griddle on medium heat. Whisk dry ingredients together. Add liquid ingredients and mix until mostly smooth.
Spray skillet or griddle with nonstick cooking spray. For each pancake, pour about 3 Tbsp of batter. Cook until edges are firm, flip, and cook other side.
Top with fresh berries or fruit and a dollop of frozen light whipped topping, thawed. Makes 2 Servings.
Per (2-Pancake) Serving: 242 Cal; 6 g Total Fat (00 g Sat Fat); 40 g Carb; 1 mg Cholesterol; 473 mg Sodium; 9 g Protein; 3 g Dietary Fiber; 12 g Sugars. Exchanges: 2 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 1 Fat
PEANUT BUTTER PIE IN CHOCOLATE CRUST
8 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed
Lightly coat a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray. Scatter the cookie crumbs evenly over the bottom. Set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat together the peanut butter, light cream cheese, and fat-free cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in the milk and lemon juice. Fold in the whipped topping.
Spoon into the pie plate, spreading evenly over the crumbs. Drizzle with the chocolate syrup. Using the tip of a knife, decoratively swirl the chocolate syrup. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 4 hours, or until set. Makes 8 Servings.
Per Serving: 336 Cal; 13 g Total Fat (5 g Sat Fat); 43 g Carb; 14 mg Cholesterol; 227 mg Sodium; 13 g Protein; 1 g Dietary Fiber. Exchanges: 3 Starch; 1 High Fat Meat; 1/2 Milk; 3 Fat.
2 Tbsp plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
*Nutrition Bonus: Because of its tiny fat content, cocoa is a health-conscious chocoholic's best friend.
**These doughnuts have not added cholesterol-raising saturated or hydrogenated fats.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Thoroughly coat the molds of 2 mini-Bundt pans with nonstick cooking spray or oil. Sprinkle molds evenly with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar, tapping out the excess. (If you only have 1 pan, bake the recipe in 2 batches).
In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk egg and egg white until frothy. Add brown sugar and the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar; whisk until smooth. Add yogurt or buttermilk, oil and vanilla and whisk until blended. Add the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula just until moistened.
Spoon about 2 generous tablespoons of batter into each prepared mold, smoothing the surfaces.
Bake for 8 to 10 minute, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly. Loosen edges and turn the doughnuts out onto a wire rack to cool. (If baking in 2 batches, cool the pan, clean it, then recoat it with cooking spray or oil and sugar).
To Make Glaze:
In a bowl, whisk confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough of the milk to make a smooth, thick glaze. When the doughnuts are completely cool, set them fluted-side up, on a wire rack over wax paper. Spoon some glaze over each doughnut, letting it drip down the sides. (Alternatively, dip the doughnuts in glaze). Makes 12 Doughnuts.
Per Doughnut: 220 Cal; 5 g Total Fat (0.5 g Sat Fat); 41 g Carb; 19 mg Cholesterol; 185 mg Sodium; 3 g Protein; 00 g Fiber. Exchanges: 3 Starch; 1 Fat.
Helpful Hint: To duplicate the crispy outside of a good fried doughnut, thoroughly coat molds of a mini-Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust with granulated sugar before spooning in batter!
1 cup packed light brown sugar
*To further reduce fat and cholesterol: use an egg substitute with less than 2 grams of fat per serving. Fat and calorie content may vary between brands.
**See sidebar at left for best method(s) for melting chocolate.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray (or use nonstick cookie sheets) with nonstick vegetable spray; set aside.
In a mixer bowl, cream brown sugar and shortening until light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate, egg and vanilla; mix well.
In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix lightly. Add to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing well after each addition.
Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until brown. If baking 2 sheets at a time, change racks about half way through baking time to ensure even baking. Makes 5 Dozen (60) Cookies.
Per (2 Cookie) Serving: 105 Cal; 5 g
Total Fat (2 g Sat Fat); 14 g Carb; 7 mg Cholesterol; 112 mg Sodium; 74 mg Potassium;
CHOCOLATE ANGEL TRIFLE
1 (3.4-ounce) package regular or fat-free
white chocolate instant pudding mix
Prepare pudding mix according to package directions, using a whisk and 2 cups fat-free milk; let stand 5 minutes
Combine spreadable fruit and amaretto in a small bowl, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth; set aside.
Cut cake into 1-inch cubes. Arrange half of cake cubes in a 2-quart trifle bowl or straight-sided glass bowl; brush with half of fruit mixture. Spoon half of pudding over cake. Repeat layers with remaining cake, fruit mixture, and pudding. Sprinkle with toasted almonds. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes to 8 hours. Makes 8 Servings.
Per Serving: 221 Cal; 2 g Total Fat (Trace Sat Fat); 45 g Carb; 1 mg Cholesterol; 342 mg Sodium; 5 g Protein; 1 g Fiber. Exchanges: 2 Starch; 1 Fruit; 1/2 Fat.
CHOCOLATE CHESS PIE IN GINGERSNAP
1-1/2 cups crushed reduced-fat gingersnaps
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, combine pie crust ingredients, stirring well. Press over bottom and up sides of a 9-inch glass pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes and remove, leaving oven on.
Meanwhile, for filling, combine cocoa and brown sugar in a large bowl, stirring until smooth.
Stir in chocolate, then add remaining filling ingredients, whisking or beating until well combined. Pour into baked pie crust (Note: It isn't necessary for this crust to cool before you fill it). Bake for 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Makes 8 Servings.
Note: Save up your Carbs for a serving of this luscious dessert!
Per Serving: 295 Cal; 5 g Total Fat (2 g Sat Fat); 57 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 264 mg Sodium; 6 g Protein; 3 g Dietary Fiber. Exchanges: 4 Starch (Carb); 1/2 Very Lean Meat; 1 Fat.
2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
Combine all of the ingredients. Store in an airtight container. For each serving, add 1/3 cup mix to 3/4 cup boiling water; stir to dissolve. Yield: 2-2/3 cups Mix, enough for 8 (1 cup) Servings.
Per (1-cup) Serving: 104 Cal; 2 g Total Fat; 17 g Carb; 3 mg Cholesterol; 93 mg Sodium; 8 g Protein. Exchanges: 1 Nonfat Milk.
1 (14-ounce) container firm tofu, drained
**To press tofu, cut the block in half to form two thin rectangles. Place on one end of a kitchen towel or four-ply paper towels in a flat-bottomed bowl. Cover with waxed paper and more paper towels or the top of the kitchen towel. Weight it with a heavy pot or pan for 30 to 45 minutes at room temperature. Dry it off and you're ready to continue with the recipe. Getting the extra liquid out of the tofu will allow it to take on the taste of your marinade without diluting the flavors.
Place the tofu in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; add the coffee mix, cocoa powder and cinnamon. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Use a spatula to wipe down the sides of the work bowl.
Add the whipped topping and continue to process. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 9 Servings.
Per Serving: 180 Cal; 7 g Total Fat (5 g Sat Fat); 23 g Carb; 1 mg Cholesterol; 84 mg Sodium; 193 mg Potassium; 5 g Protein; 00 g Dietary Fiber. Joslin Choices: 1-1/2 Carb (bread/starch); 1 Fat.
CHOCOLATE ORANGE BISCOTTI
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick vegetable spray.
In a food processor or in a bowl with an electric mixer, beat together sugar, margarine, eggs, orange juice concentrate and orange zest until smooth. Add flour and baking powder; mix just until combined.
Divide dough in half; to one half, add cocoa and mix well. Divide chocolate and plain doughs in half to produce 4 doughs.
Roll each piece into a long thin rope approximately 12-inches long and 1-inch wide (Note: If dough is sticky when forming into logs, try wetting your fingers. Use extra flour if dough is still too sticky). Place 1 cocoa dough on top of (or beside) each plain dough. Ensure the plain and cocoa doughs touch one another.
Bake 20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Cut logs on an angle into 1/2-inch slices. Bake another 20 minutes. Remove to cool on wire racks. Makes 40 to 48 Biscotti.
Per (2 Biscotti) Serving: 122 Cal; 4 g
Total Fat (00 g Sat Fat);
RICH NONFAT FUDGE SAUCE
1/2 cup sugar
*Optional items are not included in nutritional analysis
In a small sauce pan, stir together sugar, cocoa and cornstarch; gradually stir in evaporated milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with whisk, until mixture boils. Continue cooking and stirring until thickened and smooth.
Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Serve warm or cold according to your preference. Cover leftover sauce and refrigerate. Makes 7 Servings; 14 Tablespoons Total.
Per (2 Tbsp) Serving: 80 Cal; 00 g Fat; 19 g Carb; 00 mg Cholesterol; 25 mg Sodium; 55 mg Calcium; 2 g Protein. Exchanges: 1 Starch (Carb).
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter; mix well. Press into a 10-inch springform pan, covering the bottom and sides. Chill while preparing the filling.
In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar with an electric beater. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and the cocoa; mix well, then pour into the chilled crust.
Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until firm. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. (Leave the oven on).
In a medium bowl, with a spoon, mix the sour cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until well combined. Spread over the top of the cheesecake and bake for 5 minutes.
Let cool, then refrigerate overnight before serving. Garnish with berries and drizzle with Sinfully Rich Fudge Sauce (above), if desired. Makes 16 Servings.
Ed. Note: Be sure to save up your fats for a splurge on this fantastic dessert!
Per Serving: 279 Cal; 17 g Total Fat (11
g Sat Fat); 24 g Carb;
TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BUNDT
1 pkg (18.25-ounces) reduced-fat devil's food cake mix
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or spray coat and flour a 12-cup fluted cake or tube pan and set aside.
Mix all ingredients, except white chocolate, in large bowl on low speed until blended. Mix on medium speed 2 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350°F until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely.
Using a small spoon or pastry bag, drizzle melted white chocolate over top of cake. Makes 16 Servings.
Per Serving: 189 Cal; 5 g Total Fat (1 g Sat Fat); 33 g Carb; 27 mg Cholesterol; 418 mg Sodium; 4 g Protein. Exchanges: 2 Bread/Starch; 1 Fat.
Vegetable oil spray
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with vegetable oil spray.
Sift together into pan the combined flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and baking soda.
Make three wells in the flour mixture. Pour vanilla extract into the first well, vinegar into the second and melted margarine into the third.
Put applesauce in a small bowl and gradually stir in water. Pour over batter and mix with a fork until entirely moist. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Makes 9 Servings.
Per Serving: 183 Cal; 1 g Total Fat (00
g Sat Fat); 41 g Carb;