Chocolate, highly appreciated by women but also by men, is undoubtedly the favorite delicacy all over the world. Reminiscent of childhood or a moment of sensuality, its sweetness takes on multiple faces, revealing explosive, warm, soft and refined aromas.
At the time of the Maya
For the Maya, chocolate was almost as important as gold. Then called “Cacahuaquchtl” (“the tree”), the cocoa tree allowed to produce the food of the gods. Precious and delicious commodity that the Spanish colonists hastened to bring back to Europe: it then became a very popular drink in the courts in the sixteenth century, but remained reserved for the elite.
For chocolate to become more democratic, it was only in the 19th century and in the first industrialized chocolate factories. The 1840s saw the appearance of chocolate in the form of tablets.
Where does chocolate come from?
At the origin of chocolate we find the cocoa tree. But before you can move on to tasting, several steps are required:
– the harvest of the cocoa pod, the fruit of the tree, which contains dozens of cocoa beans (not to be tasted as it is, gentlemen, their taste is extremely bitter!);
– the drying, then the roasting of the cocoa beans;
– the grinding of the beans to obtain the cocoa mass.
It is from this paste that the chocolate is obtained: sugar and cocoa butter are added according to the type of chocolate to be obtained (intense dark, milk, white chocolate, etc.), then the desired shape is given.
Although cocoa plants are found in Africa, South America or Asia, some countries have made it their culinary specialty. Among these, the Swiss, but also the Belgians who, in addition to hosting big names in chocolate (Milka, Lindt, Sprungli), have been able to develop a recognized know-how to date.
Chocolate, this friend of health
No more feeling guilty when biting into a square of chocolate! The studies are formal: chocolate, under certain conditions, is good for your health!
First, it contains some good things:
- phenylethylamine, which provides an antidepressant effect and a feeling of well-being;
- caffeine and theobromine, psychostimulants;
- minerals: magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, fiber;
- polyphenols: a study by INRA (National Institute for Agronomic Research) shows that chocolate contains many of these powerful antioxidants, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer.
Chocolate has many virtues, it is good for morale and also for health! According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who regularly eat chocolate have a lower risk of stroke. Another, this time British, showed that eating chocolate could reduce the risk of heart disease.
So, can we eat chocolate every day?
As with everything, moderation is key. To enjoy all the benefits of chocolate, it is best to choose dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70%. And for those who want to limit the intake of sugars and calories, good news: according to a study published in the magazine Appétit, dark chocolate is more effective in satisfying hunger than milk chocolate!
White, dark chocolate, almond, orange peel, mint or pepper, for dessert (dark chocolate) or served with meat (chocolate chicken), to taste or cook, chocolate reveals the secrets of aromas and reveals wonderful flavors.
So, for men who want to indulge themselves by paying attention to their line, opt for dark chocolate, low in sugar and fat.
To avoid: chocolates with nuts and seeds, real calorie bombs. Chocolate still holds many mysteries. But a good way to eliminate these gray areas is obviously to taste chocolate … in all its forms! The chocolate and pear fudge is perfect for a little bit of chocolate pleasure.
Dark chocolate and pears (recipe for 6 people)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
100 g of dark chocolate
1 jar of pears in syrup (850 g)
50 g of butter
20 g of flour
45 g of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
1- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie.
2- When the chocolate has melted, add 50 g of butter and stir over the heat off.
3- Separate the yolks and beat the yolks with 25 g of powdered sugar, flour and cocoa powder.
4- Add the melted chocolate.
5- Beat the egg whites with the remaining 20 g of icing sugar, then add them little by little to the chocolate.
6- Cut the pears into cubes and add them to the mixture.
7- Pour the mixture into the previously buttered molds so that the dough does not stick.
8- Place the preparation in the freezer for at least 6 hours.
9- Preheat the oven for 20 minutes on thermostat 6 (180 ° C) then bake the molds for 10 minutes.
10- Let it cool for a few minutes, unmold … and enjoy your meal!