December 11, 2013
There are very few of us who don’t like the world chocolate, it makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside and sets the mouth into an uncontrollable drool. Being one of the world’s paramount aphrodisiacs is a hard task, we reckon.
The cacao plant, from which it is derived, has been venerated (and cultivated) for over three millennia in some form or the other. Starting with the Mayans and perfected by the Europeans, the demand for the same has reached staggering proportions.
We recently read an article and while to our minds a lot of the items on the verge of extinction would be hard to live without, the non-availability of the revered chocolate would put our species into an utter state of depression.
Read here to know more.
What has created this disaster in the making? Well it seems to be a unique combination of supply scarcity, high costs, child and forced labour (which we actively oppose) and an added strain on producers that is creating instability in the supply. It is a shortage that could very well render chocolates an expensive (as costly as caviar) luxury in the next 20 years.
Chocolates are grown exclusively around the 10 degree vicinity of the equator (mainly in West Africa which is anyway economically and politically unstable), and to add to the conundrum, is the fact that the crop takes five years to mature and needs to be handpicked under extremely scorching heat.
So we do seem to be in a ‘hot spot’ figuratively and literally.
But we are not here to ponder on this troubling news surrounding chocolates. We are confident that some alternative, ethical and sustainable option would be developed.
We urge you to use this as an excuse to go all out and fulfill your every chocolate fantasy and desire, after all life is dynamic and we should seize every opportunity (and excuse) to enjoy it to its maximum.
Here are two simple recipes to tempt your taste buds . . .
300 gms of chocolate cookies
125 gms unsalted butter
200 ml cream
1 Vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla sugar (Optional)
200 gms dark chocolate (cut roughly)
Make the base by using a food processor and blending cookies until finely crumbed
Melt the butter and add to the crumbs
Blend until combined well
Place in tart tins (12cms) and press mixture evenly at the bottom and up the sides
Chill the crust and prepare ganache
For the Ganache
In a saucepan, add cream vanilla and bring the cream to a boil
Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate and butter
Stir well until melted and well combined
Pour the Ganache over the tart base and chill for at least 2 hours
Resist the urge to keep it all for yourself and share it with near and dear
Chocolate Crispy Bites
300 gms dark chocolate, roughly chopped
110 gms butter, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. honey
100 gms toasted rice cereal
50 gms milk chocolate roughly chopped
Line a pan with baking paper
Place the dark chocolate and butter in a bowl over a dish with simmering water
Stir occasionally until chocolate and butter has melt completely and is well combined
Add honey and stir until well combined
Combine rice cereal to mixture and pour into the prepared baking dish
Press down and create a smooth surface
Melt the milk chocolate in a separate bowl and drizzle over the prepared dish
Set aside until chocolate sets
Lift slice from dish and plate it
Cut into small or large pieces
Gorge on it; we assure you that you won’t be able to stop at just one!
Time to go all out and enjoy a little chocolate game with the goodies you’ve justprepared(not part of the game but as an in-game snack). Here’s how it goes.
It’s called Chocolate Boggle.
Set of clothes (hat, scarf, coat, gloves and a sari)
A Knife and Fork
Fellow chocolate lovers
Keep the bar in its original foil and wrap with several layers of paper
Keep the bar on a plate
The participants sit in a circle
Go for it!
Each participant rolls the dice in turn
A player who rolls six will shout out “SIX!”
They have to dress up by putting on the items of clothing before attempting to eat the chocolate bar with a knife and fork
As this is going on the other players continue to roll the dice.
As soon as another player gets a six, the one in the centre has to stop and the new player needs to dress up and eat the chocolate with a fork and knife
The bar of chocolate needs to be eaten square by square until nothing is left
It must be cut off with the fork and knife and when lifted to the mouth the chocolate should be the only part that touches the mouth
The person to get the last bite is the winner and the prize (which you can decide) is given to them
You can add a spin to it by saying that the one who hasn’t ever rolled a six would be the one to gift the winner
And the thing to remember is, that this isn’t the season to count calories!
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