Thursday, November 6, 2008

Chocolate Week: Day 6

The Power of Chocolate:

Feeling dark? Dark chocolate has proven health benefits (Thank You, Lord!) Among them, lower blood pressure and antioxidants that fight free radicals in your body. Before you run to your nearest Godiva counter, remember people, moderation!

Is chocolate an aphrodisiac? According to this article, no. But I did have to laugh when I read "The most recent study, published in May in the journal Sexual Medicine, looked specifically at women, who are thought to be more sensitive to the effects of chocolate." Ha! Really? They honestly needed a research study to conclude that?

I mentioned I craved the sinful stuff on a daily basis. But little did I know, it's because of the bacteria in my gut?! And yet another great quote from researchers, "In fact, the study was delayed because it took a year for the researchers to find 11 men who don't eat chocolate." Combining that with the aforementioned research, I'd say it'd take about 10 years to find 11 women who don't eat chocolate.

And with all my heart, I truly, truly pity those who have a genuine chocolate allergy. (P.S.- If you are one, I guess this week of cocoa-goodness on my blog has been disheartening to say the least). But hey, you've still got carob chips. Just in case you didn't know this, dogs should not be fed chocolate, but carob chips are okay.

And this could easily be a myth, but carob pods are believed to have been eaten by John the Baptist while in the wilderness; hence their nickname "St. John's Bread." One more Biblical reference for you, the prodigal son from Luke 15 ate carob pods with the pigs after he had squandered his inheritance.

Enjoy the recipe below, it's carob-free :) Nuthin' but the good stuff!

Milk Chocolate Bar Cake (the crowd pleaser!)

1 (18.25 oz) pkg. Swiss chocolate cake mix (Duncan Hines)
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
10 (1.5 oz) Hershey's milk chocolate candy bars with almonds, divided
1 (12 oz) whipped topping, thawed

1. Prepare cake batter according to pkg directions. Pour into 3 greased/floured 8-inch round cake pans. Bake at 325F for 20-25 minutes or until wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.

2. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar at medium speed with a mixer until creamy.

3. Chop 8 candy bars finely. Fold cream cheese mixture and chopped candy bars into whipped topping.

4. Spread icing between layers and on top/sides of cake. Chop remaining 2 candy bars. Sprinkle half of chopped candy bars over cake. Press remaining chopped candy along bottom edge of cake.

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