Casanova Was On to Something
“Giving chocolate to others is an intimate form of communication,
a sharing of deep, dark secrets.”
–Milton Zelman, publisher of “Chocolate News”
I just adore Valentine’s Day! How could one not be devoted to a holiday that is all about love? Oh and chocolate. Yes, I think of Valentine’s Day and I suddenly get this warm, fuzzy feeling and the incredible desire for chocolate. Chocolate was discovered by the Mayans somewhere way back in time. They drank it as bitter drink that was mixed with chilies and spices, sugar hadn’t been thought up yet. The Aztecs caught on to the rage around 1400 AD and soon the cocoa bean was so important to them that it turned into their form of monetary exchange. In fact, bless their souls, they were the ones who soon found out the aphrodisiac qualities of this divine plant. Enter stage left, the Spanish. While they were looking for gold they stumbled upon another great treasure, chocolate. It was soon brought home and voila! the European world was enchanted!
There is a reason that chocolate has a lusty reputation. It contains substances called Phenylethylamine and Seratonin, both of which (simply put), are mood lifting agents found naturally in the human brain. They are released into the nervous system by the brain when we are happy and when we are experiencing feelings of love, passion or lust. Ingesting chocolate also releases these two wonderful substances into the body multiplying the euphoric results plus giving a substantial energy boost, (at the critical moment?) Casanova was reported to think that chocolate was the reason for his virility; in fact he partook in chocolate before he frolicked with his conquests.
It has also been found out recently that women seemed to be more susceptible to the effects of chocolate than men. So the men through out history that have delivered chocolates to their lovely ladies have been successful for a reason! (Even though Casanova was not know for sharing his chocolate!) I, of course, had to endure a week of testing many chocolate recipes to bring you this sweetheart of a recipe. This little nugget is really a chocophile’s dream! The portions are quite small but very satisfying. If you can’t find dark chocolate you can substitute any form you like.
Chocolate Decadence with Raspberry Sauce
½ cup of white sugar
¼ of 1% milk
3 scant tablespoons of dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 ½ tablespoons of butter
½ once of unsweetened chocolate chopped
5 tablespoons of unbleached flour
1 teaspoon of a good vanilla
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 large egg white or egg (depending on the fat you want)
8 teaspoons of chocolate chips, preferable dark
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 4 ramekins with cooking spray and then sprinkle some sugar into them, shaking and turning to coat. Put those aside to wait for their divine purpose. Combine sugar, milk and cocoa in a small saucepan, stirring well with a whisk. Bring it to a boil over medium heat then cook till the sugar dissolves, about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and add the butter and unsweetened chocolate.
Stir until everything melts into a fragrant, smooth sauce. (Try not to drool in the sauce here!) Add the rest of the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to the sauce and whisk till well blended. Spoon two tablespoons of the chocolate mixture into the each of the ramekins, then top with 2 teaspoons of chocolate chips. Divide the rest of the chocolate sauce evenly between the ramekins to cover the chocolate chips the best you can. Bake for 20 min or till barely set. Let them cool for ten minutes as you dance around the kitchen thinking chocolate thoughts. Invert them onto dessert plates and serve warm drizzled with raspberry sauce and maybe a bit of low fat vanilla ice cream. (tee hee!)
Nutritional Information: CALORIES 315(31% from fat); FAT 11g (sat 5.7g,mono 2.8g,poly 0.8g); PROTEIN 4.1g; CHOLESTEROL 13.4mg; CALCIUM 27mg; SODIUM 140mg; FIBER 1.6g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 52.1g
12 ounces of frozen unsweetened raspberries,
about 2 cups¼ to ½ cup of sugar to taste
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
Let raspberries set out for about 30 minutes until partially thawed. Puree in a blender with sugar and lemon juice. Squeeze puree through a fine sieve set up over a bowl for a gorgeous, silky sauce. Store in the fridge till you draw little hearts with it on the chocolate decadence for your sweetie(s). Have a great Valentine’s Day filled with love and chocolate!