chocolate

What is Chocolate ? Glossary | Benefits, Uses, Recipes with Chocolate | Viewed 38180 times

What is chocolate?


Chocolate is a name given to products that are derived from cocoa which are then mixed with some sort of fat (e.g. cocoa butter, oil) and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid edible product. To make chocolate, the cocoa bean is roasted and shelled, leaving only the nibs, or centres .It exists in several types according to the proportion of ingredients used in a particular recipe. Chocolate comprises a number of raw and processed foods produced from the seed of the tropical cacao tree. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining chocolate with sugar. Chocolate has become one of the most popular flavors in the world. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays: chocolate bunnies and eggs are popular on Easter, chocolate coins on Hanukkah, Santa Claus and other holiday symbols on Christmas, and hearts on Valentine's Day. Pure, unsweetened chocolate contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.




How to select chocolate


There are many fine chocolate boutique, cafés and brands springing up all the time in cities around the world. When tasting a chocolate for the first time, buy from a source you know is fresh. When buying from a local supermarket always check the dates. Chocolate does not simply "expire" on the date and can last for a few years from the time it was made if properly stored.

Culinary Uses of chocolate in Indian Cooking


· Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate
· When included as a cooking ingredient in cakes, desserts, sauces etc. they add a touch of real chocolatey flavor.
· Chocolate is best used in conjunction with other ingredients and used to make tasty treats such a chocolate cookies, muffins and chocolate mousses.
· Chocolate is the best option for use in cooking as it gives the chef greater control over the consistency and sweetness of the dish.

How to store chocolate


Store chocolates in plastic wrappings in refrigerator.

Health benefits of chocolate

We love to indulge into chocolate and it does have some benefits but only when had in limited quantities occasionally. Some research indicates that in small quantities the antioxidants and the cocoa in it may exhibit heart protecting by fighting the harmful free radicals. Remember the more the cocoa, the more healthy is the chocolate. Some studies have also shown that a small piece of chocolate can bring a smile on your face as it soothe the brain. However uncontrolled consumption of chocolate on a regular basis leads to obesity which in turn can be a root cause of other ailments. It is also high in sugar content and thus too much consumption can cause dental carries. Mood swings, acne and bloating may be some of the other side effects of chocolate. 

Glycemic index

High(above 70)