Dark Chocolate - Drink Secrets

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate : Delicious Treat or Health Tonic?

When it comes to chocolate, nothing is more decadent or more versatile than rich dark chocolate. The various types of chocolate are produced through variations in the quantities of the various ingredients. For dark chocolate this means that there is little or no milk added, it is mainly made up of cocoa, fat and sugar. In the United States there is no official definition for dark chocolate, but European rules require chocolate sold as "dark" to contain a minimum of 35% cocoa solids.


Dark chocolate can be eaten as it is, although it is a very rich chocolate and the semi bitter taste can be an acquired taste. It is also commonly used in cooking, and many brands also sell more expensive, high quality bars with a much higher cocoa percentage of between 85% and 99%. It is characterized by a darker color than "sweet" chocolate and by its more bittersweet taste.

Suggested Health Benefits from dark Chocolate

The consumption of high cacao content chocolate, such as dark chocolate has been connected with positive health benefits thanks to antioxidants which can benefit the circulatory system. There are also suggestions that eating dark chocolate can reduce the risk of heart disease, stimulate brain activity, prevent coughs and has anticancer properties. Of course excessive consumption of dark chocolate is also attributed to increasing the risk of obesity when there is no corresponding increase in activity, but the cocoa butter fat is actually removed during manufacture, and although other fats may be added in its place, dark chocolate contains little or no milk making it a slightly better choice than sweeter milk chocolate.


Of course the majority of consumers eat chocolate for the sheer pleasure rather than the suggested health benefits and dark chocolate is especially decadent. It is very versatile as it can be eaten alone, used in cooking and even turned into a deliciously rich drink.

Deliciously Decadent Chocolate Drink

To make a rich and creamy hot chocolate drink, heat 2 oz of heavy cream with 8 oz of milk, adding a cinnamon stick and a vanilla bean split lengthwise. The mixture should be kept on the heat for around 15 to 20 minutes. The cinnamon stick and vanilla bean should then be removed and 2oz of finely chopped dark chocolate added.


The mixture should be kept on a low heat and stirred until the chocolate has completely melted. The drink can then be served in a coffee mug topped with whipped cream. This is the perfect drink to enjoy on a cold winter evening. If you prefer an even more decadent taste, adjust the recipe to 4 oz each of cream, milk and chocolate. You may even try adding a dash of liqueur in a complimentary flavor such as crème de cacao, Orange Curacao or even crème de menthe.


Chocolate aficionados may actually tell you that dark chocolate is the only 'real' chocolate and that chocolate should not contain milk. In fact many high end chocolatiers will insist that a good chocolate should contain a minimum of 60% cocoa solids.


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