Tag Archives: Chocolate

5 Best Australian Chocolates You Must Try This Valentine’s Day

Heavenly Chocolatey Delight
Heavenly Chocolatey Delight

Pamper your loved one with a chocolatey surprise! For a heavenly delight, melt into some bliss with the collection of finest chocolates. They are not just made of sugar but are intelligent and balanced combination of cocoa, cocoa butter, and cream with variations. Your loved one and you’ll not worry about calories and sugar with these. Discover and experience the heavenly pleasure this Valentine’s Day.

Here are 5 best Australian chocolates you must dig deep into this time:

Haigh’s Chocolates: Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate maker since 1915, making finest chocolates. Today, this brand is a national icon and has reputation for creation, innovation and high-quality. They have a rich collection of milk, dark or milk peppermint, truffles and a lot more to offer. Try this year’s Valentine’s Day 2016 themed chocolates from Haigh’s.  

Haigh's Finest Collection of Chocolates
Haigh’s Finest Collection of Chocolates

Daintree Estates: It’s one of the oldest chocolate makers and the only chocolatier to use locally grown cocoa beans, sugar and dairy products for making chocolates. You’ll also find single-origin 70% dark chocolate in its rich assortment.

Daintree Estates
Daintree Estates

Lindt: Discover the world of chocolates, finest of quality, and the best of creation. These chocolates will just melt into your mouth. It has rich collection of different flavours and they are soft, enjoyable, a joy for the senses. Try them out in different varieties like gift boxes, sharing boxes, and blocks and bars.

Smooth Chocolate Making in Lindt Factories
Smooth Chocolate Making in Lindt Factories

Whittaker’s: They have finest collection of thin, finely crafted delights flavoured with nuts, fruits, or simply milk.

Tempting Whittaker’s Chocolates
Tempting Whittaker’s Chocolates

Kennedy and Wilson: Last but not the least, Kennedy and Wilson chocolates offer you a heavenly delight! They are passionate chocolate makers dedicated to produce a chocolate that tastes like a chocolate and not just sugar. These chocolates are a unique combination of cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and cream.

Kennedy and Wilson Scrumptious Chocolates
Kennedy and Wilson Scrumptious Chocolates

 

The making of Chocolate bars

Chocolate making Process

Chocolate’s journey from a cocoa tree to the bar we all love is really fascinating one. The process of making chocolate varies. However the basic process is the same. Let us take an over view of how the cocoa is turned into the brown solid food with surreal taste.

Harvesting – Cocoa harvesting is done twice a year with the ripe cocoa pods being plucked. Immediately the pods are cut my machetes to reveal the white pulp which contains the cocoa beans. The beans are indeed seeds of the cocoa tree.

Fermenting – This is the second step of the process where the cut pods are placed in wooden boxes and the pulp is allowed to ferment for a week. Fermenting is essential for flavor development.

Drying – After fermenting the beans are separated from the pulp and are dried out in the sun. The single layer dries quickly. After proper drying out which prevents fungal growth the beans are packed in sacks to be transported. This is where the role of the farmer ends and of the manufacturer starts.

Roasting – The dried out beans ar4e bought by chocolate manufacturers and then are roasted in machines meant for it. Temperature is regulated to prevent burning.

Winnowing and grinding – The roasted beans are winnowed to remove the shell and get the crust. The crust is the ground into what we call chocolate powder.

Tempering and Molding – The powder is further purified by tempering and then the chocolate paste is made and the mould makes them into the bar which we buy and eat.

Chocolate is addictive?

Chocolate is addictive?

I cannot resist eating chocolate whatever the situation. Chocolate makes me really happy and swings my mood from good to bad. So is this addiction? Well I do not know, but there are some views floating on this topic. I went ahead and read a few and was happy to know that it is not addictive. Let us go more in detail.

  • The Psychologists say “No” – As per clinical Psychology chocolate is not an addiction. You can call it craving. This is because addiction is more general. An addictive substance will affect all without discrimination. However chocolate craving is found more in women, and can be linked to hormonal changes rather than addiction.
  • Contains mood enhancing chemicals – Very similar to drugs that have the potential to be addictive, chocolate also has mood enhancing chemicals. Theobromine a chemical found in cocoa is said to have a stimulating effect on the brain. However according to scientists it is one-tenth of the effect hence does not qualify as addictive.
  • Contains a chemical found in Marijuana – One researcher found out that chocolate contains. Piomelli a substance found in chocolate and Marijuana gives a high to the brain cells. However chocolate has very less of the substance. However it is present which makes me think that it can be addictive.

Decide for yourself whether chocolate is addictive or not. I am going to continue eating it no matter what!

Chocolate is evolving

Choc-Bacon-sticks

As you all know I am a chocoholic. I am always curious to try all different sorts and types of chocolate out there. We’ve heard of chili chocolate or other interesting flavors like lavender infused chocolate. Can you believe that now there is such a thing as bacon chocolate! Who would’ve imagined 20 years ago that someone would be so clever to combine fatty,delicious bacon with creamy, delectable chocolate! I have not yet tried this dreamy combination, have any of you? Comment if you have and let me know how it was!

weirdchocolate

While on my last trip to the United States I also saw some other interesting flavors such as smokehouse BBQ potato chip, peanut butter banana, peach, beef jerky and chili dark chocolate. It’s even possible to buy chocolate covered potato chips these days. What will they come up with next? Am I excited to try out these flavors? Well, I have to admit that since I am a chocoholic and so passionate about chocolate I will try these flavors at some point. Would I choose this chocolate as my first choice? Definitely not, but as I said before I am open to trying any type of chocolate out there!

The world offers so many different types of chocolate. Whether it be Mexico and it’s chili chocolate, Japan with it’s many different types of Kit-Kat flavors or Europe with it’s extensive variety of chocolate, I believe there is something for everyone, even for the people who claim they “don’t like” chocolate. They just haven’t had the right kind yet, or that’s what I believe at least!

Development of the Chocolate Drink

Warming  luxurious hot chocolate drink with marshmallows

What do you think when you imagine drinking chocolate, a woman curled up in an oversized sweater in a comfy chair in winter? Children coming from the snow drinking mugs of chocolate. I think that is the general perception these days; drinking chocolate is for women and children. You might be surprised to know that has not always been the case. As we saw in the early post chocolate has a long history and was often seen as a sacred magical drink. drunk by the elite few, which would be mainly the  warriors caste. The Aztecs viewed chocolate and blood as sacred liquids and as such was often used in initiation ceremonies for warriors, it was a symbol of power, strength and virility often drunk daily, so they could face all those challenges that warriors had.  Brought to Europe by the Conquistadores, it became a popular drink for priests and monks, especially the Cistercian Order who had a special room to prepare and drink chocolate, known as the chocolatería; today in Spain and around the world you can find Chocolatería.

It is around this time that milk and sugar were added to what was in effect a bitter tasting drink, these additions increased chocolates popularity. So much so that  ‘chocolate houses’ later to become Gentlemens Clubs started to appear. This is  where the elite (men) would consume it, combined with gambling and Politic they became quite notorious.One such Chocolate House was Mrs Whites, it was also a very popular gambling club that became known as The Hell Club and gained quite a bit of notoriety at the time, it is still there in London now known as Whites.

Whites Club in London originally a Chocolate House
Whites of London

The Chocolate Museum, Penang

Last year we went to Malaysia on holiday and randomly discovered a chocolate museum whilst wandering around Georgetown, Penang! Well, you can imagine what a highlight that was for me, no sooner had I seen it and I was in the door. Actually it was more of a shop than a  museum, but it had a small display about how chocolate and coffee is made and with free entry, it was a nice way to spend half an hour. Unsurprisingly due to its tropical climate and location near the equator, both coffee beans and cocoa beans are grown in Malaysia, if you’ve ever tried the local coffee called “kopi” you’ll know how good it is…and it’s even better combined with chocolate!

Switzerland loves chocolateThe display at the museum is quite basic but is colourful and bright using paintings on the wall to show the process. The most interesting thing for me was probably the chart detailing which countries eat the most chocolate (in the form of a bar of chocolate), unsurprisingly chocolate-loving Europeans topped the chart, with Swiss people eating the most, closely followed by Austria and Ireland, whilst us Aussies were somewhere in the middle to lower end of the scale. Talking of scales, Brazilians are easy on theirs because they eat the least, despite producing chocolate, they must be keeping svelte for all those carnivals. The best thing about the museum shop was the free samples, including exotic ones – I liked the chili dark chocolate and tiramasu milk chocolate, but the sesame was good too!

Intro to Chocolate

Mayan Interest in Chocolate

Chocolate has a history going back to 1900B.C; there is mention of chocolate drinks from Aztec and Mayan histories called xocolātl  (bitter waters). The name entered the English language from Spanish although there is scholarly dissention about its actual origin. It is made from the   Theobroma cacao seeds – which by the way translates to “Food of the gods” good name! It is also known as cacao or cocoa tree, in my opinion and after the seeds have been fermented; this is done to reduce the intense bitter taste and improve the flavor; they are then dried, cleaned and roasted.  Then they go through a number of processes to get to the chocolate we know today.  Cocoa solids produced from chocolate liquor in this process, is known to contain certain chemicals that a have a physiological and psychological effect on the body; so I am not imagining the pleasure of chocolate it is effecting the serotonin in my brain and literally making g me feel better. Some research say it can help lower blood pressure, I have to find that so I can state I am eating it for medical reasons..mmm wonder if it will ever be on prescription!!!. One of these chemicals is toxic to animals especially dogs and cats so please don’t “treat’ your pets to a piece of chocolate however much they want it.

Do not give pets chocolate , it is toxic to them