Chocolate: 1 INGREDIENT, 3 CHEF CREATIONS. VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE.


January 31, 2013 in The Ingredient, Chocolate: 1 Ingredient, 3 Chef Creations. Vote for your favourite.
Chocolate: The Stuff of Cravings
Which of these three recipes look most appetising to you? Vote on your favourite now!

Crispy Duck Breast with Artisanal Chocolate Mole Sauce
26
VOTES


Crispy Duck Breast with Artisanal Chocolate Mole Sauce

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Edgar Kano
Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Mexico D.F.
Roasted Venison with Chocolate and Caramelized Apple
25
VOTES

Roasted Venison with Chocolate and Caramelized Apple

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Weimar Gomez
Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai
White Chocolate and Banana Samosas
54
VOTES

White Chocolate and Banana Samosas

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Frank Ruidavet
Executive Chef of Four Seasons Hotel Amman

The
Basics

With roots in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America, chocolate has existed for more than 2,000 years and is made from cocoa beans—the dried and fermented seeds of the cacao tree. However, the journey from seed to sweet is a long one, spanning many centuries and processes—though we'd say it's well worth the wait. (Wouldn't you?)
SEASON: Almost year-round, with biggest harvests from October - March and April - August.
REGION: Africa, South America, Central America.
TASTE: Ranges from bitter to sweet, depending on the type.
SELECTION: For the deepest and most authentic flavour, look for 75% cacao.
PREPARATION: Grated, melted, chopped or eaten in chunks, chocolate's versatility lends itself to almost any kind of dish

Flavour Profile

Interesting in essence, the chocolate in Mole sauce delivers deep flavor, whether it's from scratch or the jar.
Cookies, candy bars and brownies, oh my! Chocolate is a key ingredient in many desserts—and even savoury dishes—yet few of us know the unique origins of this crave-worthy flavour. The ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures of Mexico and Central America mixed ground cacao seeds with various seasonings to make a spicy, frothy drink. Over the centuries, many cultures have used cacao seeds as medicinal remedies and even as a sacred symbol in religious ceremonies. But today, we use chocolate as a key ingredient in cooking up delectable sweets that give us pure, unadulterated pleasure. Why? Chocolate contains mood-elevating endorphins, as well as Phenylethylamine, the same chemical released by the brain when people fall in love. Whether dark, white or milky, there's a perfect chocolatey taste for every palate.

Benefits

 
Go ahead, indulge! A 2011 Swedish study found that women who ate more than 45 grams of chocolate a week had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke than women who consumed 9 grams or less. Of course, dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate, with its especially heart-healthy inflammation-fighting properties that reduce cardiovascular risk. You can also forget that old wives' tale about chocolate causing breakouts, since dark chocolate has been found to actually be good for your skin. Additionally, dark chocolate is composed of antioxidants called flavonoids that offer some protection from UV damage from the sun. But still, we suggest using sunscreen!
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