Thursday 6th July 2017
This Friday marks the celebration of World Chocolate Day! As if we needed anymore excuses to indulge in our favourite chocolate treats, the 7th July marks 467 years since chocolate was introduced to Europe (we’ve been thanking the food gods since). So we think it’s only right that we celebrate the ultimate comfort food.
Good days, bad days, breakups and makeups, chocolate not only helps us in our times of need but there’s a wide range of health benefits as well! Although most of them only apply to the dark variety (75%+ cacao) so unfortunately eating three share bags of Maltesers still isn’t considered good for you (we tried). Here are a few reasons you should scoff some of the good stuff.
The flavonols found in dark chocolate have been to reduce sun damage caused to the skin (although we still recommend using suncream). It’s also packed full of boosting minerals such as potassium, zinc, selenium and iron to make you look and feel great.
We know it sounds mad but eating dark chocolate (in moderation) has been found to improve insulin sensitivity so it could delay or prevent the onset of diabetes. (source)
Flavanols again (good aren’t they?) are thought to reduce memory loss in older people, and the anti-inflamatory qualities have been found to help treat brain injuries.
Let’s be honest, there isn’t much that doesn’t go with chocolate and there’s been a massive rise in the amount of foods paired with our favourite treat. From chilli to sea salt, there’s a seemingly endless amount of combinations to try and here’s some of our favourites! We reckon even Willy Wonka would be proud of some of these…
We know this sounds strange but there’s a reason chocolate covered pretzels have been popular for awhile. Sea salt with chocolate tastes amazing and we wouldn’t be surprised if we see more and more bakers using sea salt in their chocolate cakes and cupcakes. If you’re unsure at first, instead of including sea salt in the initial cake mix, try sprinkling some on top of your standard chocolate cupcakes and see what you think. We reckon they’ll go down a treat!
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, why not try including a bit of chilli to spice up your chocolate creations. You can use either fresh or dried chillies and we would recommend using them sparingly at first as you want a pleasurable heat instead of the opposite! If you’re using chillies within the cake mix, ensure you chop up the chillies very finely as large chunks of chilli in cake isn’t desirable (trust us on this one).
This one is probably less unusual than the other two above however it still packs a punch and this blend of flavours goes perfectly together in a rich moist cake. To ensure the ginger doesn’t sink in the cake mix, it’s important to chop it very finely. Again if you’re unsure whether you’d like this flavour combo, you could always sprinkle a small amount of dried ginger on top of your chocolate cake and try it first before committing to a chocolate and ginger cake.
Now we obviously couldn’t write a blog about World Chocolate Day without including a recipe for chocolate cake. This delicious cake is perfect on its own or why not take some inspiration from above and experiment with different flavours and textures. Although can you really beat a traditional chocolate cake? We’ll let you decide.
We’ve focused a lot on dark chocolate in this blog but let’s not forget white and milk still exist and are equally as delicious when used in baking. These cupcakes partner white chocolate with delicate raspberries for an irresistible flavour. They remain one of our most popular community recipes and for good reason! Try them for yourself.
A classic combination! Crunchy peanut butter with delicious dark chocolate make the perfect brownies. Make these for your friends and family and celebrate World Chocolate Day together!
For more inspiration, check out our other blogs here or follow us on social media to stay up to date with all things cake.