Archive for June, 2012

Are People Who Eat Chocolate Smarter?

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

einsteinAlbert Einstein use to eat a three ounce bar of dark chocolate everyday. Thomas Jefferson had his chocolate imported from France and Spain. Theodore Roosevelt always had chocolate packed in his steamer trunk for his excursions into the wilderness and it isn’t by coincidence that more chocolate is consumed in California’s Silicon Valley than in any other place in America. If this is all true, then one has to assume that chocolate is “brain food” and the smartest people in the world eat chocolate.

We are right in the middle of what one might say is the most important election of our life times. Then, it’s only logical that if these people—chocolate eaters—are so smart, they should be able to accurately predict who is going to be the next president of the United States. More than that, chocolate lovers should also be able to forecast who will control the Senate and The House of Representatives.

This week Choclatique launched the first-ever chocolate election poll to predict who will take a bite out of the 2012 election. As experts in chocolate, we felt compelled to add our expertise for the debut of the world’s first and only chocolate political poll.

American FlagNow chocolate lovers can cast their vote at www.PresidentialPoll2012.com and follow the voting progress of their favorite candidate during the Presidential Election, as well as which party will control the House of Representatives, Senate and even the Supreme Court. These poll results are ‘easy to swallow’ and practically foolproof, with a “fudge” factor of + 2%, for people who eat chocolate “never” lie.

Our Presidential Poll is a great indication of both political preferences and the overall mood of the nation since the world’s greatest mood elevator is chocolate. We think you’ll find it fun to play politics in a non-threatening, safe environment that is a ‘tasteful’ way to predict the election.” My partner, Joan Vieweger, is the lead pollster for this campaign, as well as a leading market researcher for several Fortune 100 food companies.

At the same tome Choclatique is also unveiling our new Capitol Collection, a new line of truffles, each piece representing either Democrats (blue donkeys) or Republicans (red elephants). Each individual piece of chocolate is a hand-decorated white chocolate truffle filled with soft, creamy, dark chocolate ganache.

BlueDonkeyThese limited edition, authentically American-made chocolates are available now through the November 2012 Election with 15 percent of the proceeds benefiting Operation Homefront. Supporting returning veterans, Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors.

This is where Democrats and Republicans can put aside their differences and unite with chocolaty, bipartisan goodness. “We have created the perfect union in our Capitol Collection established upon principles of peace, freedom, equality, justice, liberty and the love of chocolate for all.

RedElephantThis stately collection is available in Donkeys, Elephants or Bipartisan gift boxes, which come in an array of sizes including: 8-pieces ($18.00), 15-pieces ($30.00) and 30-pieces ($55.00). For election viewing party favors, customers can purchase mini gift sets of two pieces (12 sets of two for $50.00). Orders can be placed at www.Choclatique.com. Choclatique ships nationwide in elegant, reusable, leather gift boxes with hand-tied ribbon that are sealed for ultimate freshness.

For additional media information, please contact:
Tracy Rubin
JCUTLER Media Group
323.969.9904

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Chocolate

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

If you’re like most women, you’re totally smitten with chocolate. People have been obsessing over this comfort food for thousands of years (the Mayans considered cacao a cure-all and the Aztecs used it as money). And all that obsessing has yielded some pretty surprising studies–and findings. Here are five things you need to know about your favorite indulgence.

sprinter

1. It Can Boost Your Workout
Skip the expensive sports drinks and protein shakes. Research shows chocolate milk is just as effective a recovery aid.

A study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism compared the effects of a recovery drink and chocolate milk on endurance athletes’ ability to recover after a series of bike sprints followed by an endurance ride the next day. They found that chocolate milk was just as effective at relieving muscle soreness after the sprints, and preparing the athletes to perform in the endurance test the next day. Better yet, everyone preferred the taste of chocolate milk.

pms

2. Your Period Doesn’t Make You Crave It
Half of American women experience chocolate cravings. Of those who do, about half crave it right around “that” time of the month.

And while it’s nice to have your menstrual cycle to blame when you find yourself noshing on half a package of chocolate chip cookies, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that menstrual hormones aren’t the culprit. They compared the cravings of pre- and post-menopausal women and didn’t find any change. They did, however, find a higher prevalence of cravings among women who suffer from PMS.

Why? Annmarie Kostyk, a chocolate expert who studied at the Professional School of Chocolate Arts, Ecole Chocolat, in Canada, says this has a lot to do with the psychology behind comfort foods. “Chocolate is sociologically considered a comfort food, and people crave comfort foods when they feel terrible,” she says.

time to wake up

3. It Won’t Wake You Up
It’s a common misconception that chocolate is packed with caffeine, says Kostyk. In reality, the amount of caffeine in chocolate is miniscule compared to what’s in your other daily pick-me-ups.

An ounce of dark chocolate contains about 20 milligrams of caffeine, while an ounce of milk chocolate contains about 5 milligrams–the same as an 8-ounce cup of decaf coffee. In comparison, a cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams and a cup of tea contains about 50 milligrams of caffeine.

4. It Contains Flavonoids
Flavowhats? Flavonoids are a type of phytochemical, or plant chemical, that are found naturally in chocolate. Due to their unique chemical structures, flavonoids can exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cell-protective effects, says Giana Angelo, Ph.D., a research associate who specializes in micronutrient research at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Consuming foods rich in flavonoids has also been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

To reap the benefits, stick to dark chocolate. The average commercial dark chocolate contains about 60 percent cocao and has been found to contain 536 milligrams of flavonoids per 1.4-ounce serving. Research has shown that as few as 80 milligrams of flavonoids a day can lower blood pressure.

theobromine

5. It’s Not All Bad for Your Teeth
How could a food that’s long been touted as a cavity-causer actually have teeth-protecting properties? It turns out that theobromine, an organic molecule that occurs naturally in cocoa, can help strengthen tooth enamel, according to research from Tulane University.

In fact, it takes 142 times less cocao extract to have about twice the protective benefits of fluoride, according to the American Dental Association. Unfortunately, theobromine isn’t too beneficial in chocolate bars, where the sugar and milk counteract the dental benefits. Enter Theodent, a fluoride-free mint toothpaste that packs a punch of theobromine.

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Freshly-Baked Chocolate Oatmeal Crumble

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

BabyOkay, let me start by telling you that I don’t like oatmeal. It goes back to when I was a kid and my mother used to force hot oatmeal down my throat for breakfast. Now Mom was not the best cook in the world and oatmeal was no different than anything else she made—unimaginably bad. So when I finally started eating oatmeal, it was in the form of an Archway cookie.

Chocolate Oatmeal CrumbleFast forward 35 years or so when we created the original Freshly Baked Chocolate Oatmeal Crumble in our test kitchen. Well, that’s not the whole story—we started out trying to make chocolate oatmeal brownies, but we accidentally left out a few essential ingredients and came up with the most delicious baked chocolate breakfast.

Now this is the important part of this story—I am always in search of finding new ways to incorporate chocolate into breakfast offerings that are a lot more healthful than a chocolate covered doughnut or filled croissant. So, as strange as this may sound, it is not only healthful, but your kids will be asking for more baked Chocolate Oatmeal Crumble every day. Even Mom could make this easy recipe and would be proud of the results.

Chocolate Oatmeal Crumble2For the next seven (7) days, if you have a great chocolate breakfast recipe and want to share it with our readers, send it to me and we will send you a free 30-piece box of Choclatique Chocolate—a $65 value. We’ll even put your name on the recipe. No kiddin’!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Hold: Overnight
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup dried blueberries or cherries
1/4 cup Choclatique Dark Chocolate Chips
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Beat together the oil, sugar and cocoa.
  2. Mix in the eggs, milk, salt, baking powder and oats.
  3. Beat well, then stir in the blueberries or cherries (or a little bit of both) along with the chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon into a lightly buttered 8 x 8-inch glass baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle the top with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Refrigerate overnight.
  7. The next morning, take the baking dish out of the refrigerator and preheat oven to 350º F.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven until firm, about 35 minutes.
  9. Cut and serve hot, with butter and milk, if you like.

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Little Bitter Things

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

Amaretti CookiesAmaretti is the Italian name for macaroons, which means “little bitter things.” Crisp and crunchy on the outside and soft inside, these small, domed-shaped cookies originated in Venice, Italy during the Renaissance.

Amaretti cookies are made from either ground almonds or almond paste, along with sugar and egg whites, and can be flavored with chocolate or liqueurs. Oftentimes, two baked cookies are sandwiched together with ganache, buttercream or jam.

Traditionally, these cookies are served with a sweet dessert wine or liqueur, but they are also wonderful with a bowl of ice cream, sherbet or mousse. Another favorite way to use these cookies is to finely ground them and then add them to desserts (such as trifles) for added texture and flavor.

Choclatique Amaretti Cookies

This is the classic Italian almond macaroon with a Choclatique twist. We always have them available in a cookie jar near the Chocolate Studio. When first baked they are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. As they sit, they get crunchy throughout.

Yield 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
3 cups blanched slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Choclatique Rouge Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300º F.
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor, grind the almonds into a fine meal. Add the sugar, cocoa powder and continue to process for another 15 seconds.
  4. Finally, add egg whites and almond extract, continue to process until a smooth dough forms around the blade.
  5. Using a teaspoon or a very small scoop, place well-rounded spoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Cookies should be at least 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Cookies will be done when they begin to slightly crack on the top.
  6. Allow cookies to cool completely on the paper before removing.
  7. Store in a cool, dry place.

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