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Labor Day Recipe for Dark Chocolate Strawberry Cake Pops

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Strawberry Shaped Dark Chocolate Cake Pops

When Labor Day rolls around and you plan to have a few people over, an easy recipe or two is always helpful. One Labor Day recipe that is sure to deliver in both taste and presentation are dark chocolate strawberry cake pops. This recipe will literally take the labor out of making an impressive Labor Day dessert. All this easy recipe requires is a little bake time, a cake pop pan, quality dark chocolate and some time. The final result is a Labor Day recipe that is an amplified version of chocolate covered strawberries. All you have to do is grab a pop and eat. (more…)

Labor Day Dark Chocolate Tarts with porter beer and blueberries

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Chocolate Blueberry Tart Recipe

Dark chocolate and blueberries are a great dessert pairing. When used in a tart recipe along with your favorite porter beer, the end result is a decadent sweet treat with a lot to offer. Fruit desserts with chocolate work so well because fruit and chocolate balance and complement each other. Deep complex flavors enhanced with fruit is the secret to a good tart recipe. With Labor Day weekend coming up, why not celebrate with a batch of dark chocolate blueberry tarts? Here’s how to make these mini chocolate and fruit desserts. (more…)

7 Proven Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

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By Kris Gunnars, BSc |

Woman Taking a Bite of ChocolateDark chocolate is loaded with nutrients that can positively affect your health.

Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Studies show that dark chocolate (not the sugary crap) can improve health and lower the risk of heart disease.

 

1. Dark Chocolate is Very Nutritious

If you buy quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content, then it is actually quite nutritious.

It contains a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.

A 100 gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains (1):

  • 11 grams of fiber.
  • 67% of the RDA for Iron.
  • 58% of the RDA for Magnesium.
  • 89% of the RDA for Copper.
  • 98% of the RDA for Manganese.
  • It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium.

Of course, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) is a fairly large amount and not something you should be consuming daily. All these nutrients also come with 600 calories and moderate amounts of sugar.

For this reason, dark chocolate is best consumed in moderation.

The fatty acid profile of cocoa and dark chocolate is excellent. The fats are mostly saturated and monounsaturated, with small amounts of polyunsaturates.

It also contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine, but is unlikely to keep you awake at night as the amount of caffeine is very small compared to coffee.

Bottom Line: Quality dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.

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Macaron vs Macaroon

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These two often get confused. There is a coconut Macaroon (\ˌma-kə-ˈrün\) and then the French pastry Macaron (\ˌma-ka-ˈroh\).

The French Macaron is delicate and airy and has an almond, sugar and egg whites-based shell. The shells have a light, crunchy texture on the outside and are slightly chewy on the inside. These shells are held together by a filling, typically made from a ganache butter-cream, meringue or jam.

According to Dominique Michelle, (Historian of food and kitchen), the earliest records for the base of the macaron cookie recipe dates back to the Renaissance. She finds its origins in Arabic countries, such as Syria (which still is today one of the top 10 exporters of almonds), because of the “Age of Exploration and Discovery”, which is the time when Europeans explored the world.

For more information please visit Mr. Macaron.

Bakers Journal – Oct 2013

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The Final Proof: October 2013

Dark for the heart

Written by Jane Dummer, RD

Have you ever wondered if dark chocolate really does your heart good? The simple answer is yes, but there is a more complex explanation. Cocoa has long been associated with the heart (and love). Now, modern-day studies are showing the association between cocoa and heart health. Studies have concluded flavanol-rich chocolate and cocoa products may have a statistically significant effect on lowering blood pressure. Cocoa’s mineral content is impressive providing 200 milligrams of potassium and 15 per cent of your daily magnesium need in just one ounce.

Cocoa’s mineral content provides an impressive 200 milligrams of potassium and 15 per cent of your daily magnesium in one ounce.

In June, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that theobromine, one of the active compounds in cocoa, may raise HDL (happy) cholesterol. Can there be too much of a good thing? The simple answer is yes. As wonderful as it is, the cocoa bean contains approximately 50 per cent fat. One ounce of unsweetened, dark chocolate provides a hefty 148 calories and 16 grams of fat versus cocoa powder at 21 calories and 0.5 grams of fat per ounce.

I’ve never been a chocoholic and I’ve always had more of a salt tooth than a sweet tooth. However, I may be in trouble now. One of the top trends discussed at IFT in Chicago in July was the increase of chocolate products such as salted, dark chocolate caramels (yum); wasabi-infused dark bars and hot cocoa with chili. These products are giving consumers (including me) both a salty and a bittersweet experience. Think moderation! Food Technology magazine senior editor Don Pszczola explains: “There are a variety of new ways to add appeal to chocolate through unusual mixtures of textures and flavours from everything to colour and shape. This is a growing trend for cocoa and chocolate applications.”

Jill Frank, head chocoholic and owner of online The Dark Chocolate Bakery, explains the reasons she decided to specialize in dark chocolate in a country (U.S.) that loves milk chocolate and candy bars.

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