Chocolate is meant to stir our senses, bring out emotions of the sensual kind and when it isn’t being so theatrically seductive, chocolate brings out the child in us. Atleast in my case, its the quickest way to calm down the inner child in me when its throwing a strop.
I have read studies that suggest chocolate is an anti-depressant and ones that suggest it is a depressant! Quite extreme comparisons, if you ask me. It could be that depressed people might consider chocolate self therapy and eat more as self-prescription.
Chemically, chocolate is supposed to have a marijuana like effect on our brains because of the 300 plus chemicals it contains. The problem is that these chemicals are obviously present in very minute quantities. Caffeine is one of the well known ingredients in chocolate along with Theobromine which imitates Caffeine and produces the same effects, Phenylethylamine which is a psychoactive stimulant and Anadamide (Anand which purely means ‘bliss’ in Sanskrit), the chemical which is also present in marijuana. Blame the nature for that chocolate high!
These 300+ chemicals in chocolate upon consumption cause our brain to release neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters connect neurons by passing signals between them. This increased activity of information being passed back and forth makes us more alert.
In layman’s terms, all the chemical talk means that chocolate has substances which are generally responsible for bringing about the same effect an upper does but not necessarily in quantities to make it happen if eaten in human like proportions! Yet the sight of chocolate makes most of us happy, may be it is the visual effect that stimulates our brains to produce neurotransmitters that make us feel content within that moment.
Chocolate is widely known to be good at reducing risk of heart troubles but again common sense will tell you, they are talking about bitter dark chocolate, not necessarily the milk chocolate we all adore!
Wired has an informative video on how chocolate is made.
How to make chocolate at home
This is a lovely recipe for Chocolate Cheesecake by my favorite, Cake Boy Eric Lanlard
And now Mr Hell’s effin Kitchen Gordon Ramsay teaches us how to whip cream and melt chocolate to make a quick mousse! Lovely. Head over to Channel 4.
For the quirkier souls, here’s my favorite- Chocolate Pasta. Check out this recipe by Kelsey Nixon.
This is yet another lovely and unconventional use of chocolate (for many of us), Chocolate Chicken Mole by Ingrid Hoffmann. I did try it cooking this once and it was yummy!
More random photos to please your senses!
I think the image above is pretty cool. Serving chocolate in frozen strawberry cups seems like a cool idea.
This Below? Frozen Hot Chocolate. Check out the recipe.
Finally, one of my favorite desserts. The classic vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate fudge. Here’s a recipe for the fudge. I usually make mine with milk powder though.
Before I end this post, I want to add a link to one of my favorite websites on the net- Chocolate Covered Katie. She has a huge collection of some really cool and healthy chocolate recipes. You won’t regret it!
Among all the crazy effects chocolate is meant to have on us, one includes creating that “in love” feeling! Wouldn’t life be a lot easier if we fell in love with chocolate instead of men and women.