Are you preparing to celebrate love and romance?
Every year we celebrate the 14th of February. This is after all the month of love and all we need to mark this day are people we love and cherish, delicious food and a great atmosphere, which we can create together.
And what’s better than to show love and affection with chocolate?
I am sharing with you 6 perfect chocolate recipes from some of the world’s best chefs.
I also decided to choose recipes for the specific occasion and relationship, so in case you still don’t have plans for the Valentine’s Day, chose a recipe to choose what you can do this day.
BONUS: Mayans chocolate elixir recipe
But first, let’s talks a bit about chocolate.
Are we obsessed with chocolate? Perhaps.
The reason might hide behind our desires to satisfy a sweet tooth. But is it as simple as that?
After an enjoyable dinner, a quick, easy bite of something sweet is needed. We are used to it. We often celebrate happiness and joy with food. Most prefer sweet food, and for most – sweet means chocolate. And there’s a perfectly logical explanation for this need, backed with psychological and scientific research and studies. It’s that simple.
But it seems that our obsession stretches back to almost 4,000 years to pre-Columbian cultures of Mesoamerica where cocoa and chocolate were first used for medical purposes.
What do we know about cocoa?
The history of the Valentine’s Day is interesting, but what do we know about the history of chocolate? The history of chocolate and cocoa is quite intriguing.
As you probably know, the cacao plant, Theobroma cacao, which means “food of the gods”, is believed to have originated in the Amazon.
Olmecs of Southern Mexico were the first civilization that fermented cacao, and ground and roasted cacao beans for drinks. The uncovered pots found in Mexico had traces of certain cacao chemical, although there’s not much evidence of the civilization.
So, the first people who used cocoa for medical and culinary purposes are the people we know very little about.
The next civilization that was bewitched with cacao’s divine powers was Mayan civilization.
For them, preparing chocolate was a major cultural event. Making a cocoa drink celebration was bringing people together, strengthening the community.
This magical plant was part of their identity, and it was used in sacred rituals.
However, they didn’t eat chocolate, but rather enjoyed the delicious chocolate drink, as Aztecs.
The legend tells a story about Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec king and the god of cocoa. He received cocoa as a gift from the gods, and with its power established a society that enjoyed great wealth. The king was poisoned and went insane, and because of his madness, disappeared in the sea. Aztecs believed that their king will return.
But instead of their king, the first who returned was Hernando Cortes, who was mistaken for the Quetzalcoatl. The first thing they did was to offer him cocoa. He later discovered that the plant was valued as gold, and soon realized the nutritional benefits of cocoa.
Before him, in 1502, Columbus landed on the island close to Honduras and was offered cocoa as well.
Cortés imported the first cocoa beans into Spain and introduced the exotic drink. It is believed that this recipe was kept secret for 80 years.
Explorers and traders introduced the cocoa drink to other European countries, and soon the novelty became the main delicates for the aristocracy.
At the same time, the church was fighting its own battle with chocolate, claiming that the drink was sinful. Finally, the aristocracy had their say in the dispute.
The French gave birth to the first chocolatier in 1659. The first “praline”, the almond coated with caramel, was made by the duke of Plessis-Praslin and his chef Lassagne. The first chocolate factory in the UK was set up in the 18th century. In 1765, the people in the U.S. were introduced to chocolate.
The first eating chocolate was created by adding cocoa butter and sugar to cocoa liquor In 1848.
Milk powder and the first milk chocolate were created in Switzerland. In the 1900s the focus turned to Belgium, where many famous chocolate companies started. The production of chocolate now took place all over the world, and the price of cocoa and sugar significantly dropped.
The real praline was invented in 1912 in Belgium. In the 1930s, Belgians found a way to transport and store chocolate in its liquid form. Chocolate survived wars and transition, and although people were becoming more concerned with healthy food and diets, the sweet delicates kept its glory.
In the 20th century, chocolate trends changed as chocolate was combined with herbs, fruits, nuts, and flowers. In 2000, organic chocolate and kosher chocolate were produced.
Today, we cherish chocolate, always rediscovering the powers of sacred plant and its health benefits.
A Mayan Chocolate Elixir Recipe
Mayans people consumed the chocolate drink in many occasions and at most meals. They believed chocolate drink had aphrodisiac properties and couples drank it on occasions of marriage and engagement.
The chocolate drink was used in its purest form, and it was quite different to what we love today. It was thick but rich in flavor, lightly sweetened, and mixed with herbs, spices, and chili.
Mayans made chocolate drinks with the ingredients they had available. Here’s the recipe for Mayan Chile Chocolate Elixir, courtesy of Kakawa Chocolate House.
3 ½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
4 tablespoons agave or honey
2 tablespoons chile powder
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Note: Before you start, remember that chocolate burns easily.
Heat 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Wait until the water almost boils, then turn off the heat and add chocolate. Wait until it is melted, turn the heat back on and stir, but don’t wait to come to a full boil. Add agave (or honey), chili powder and vanilla. Add agave or chile powder as much as you like, in case you like it sweeter or spicier.
Enjoy it hot!
6 chocolate recipes from some of the world’s best chefs
Are you up for date night? Nothing says love more than couple cooking, right?
You can make this Valentine’s Day to be an amazing cooking adventure with a little help from the world’s best chefs.
Are you looking for the best recipe to spark flames? Try this great recipe by Mario Batali – Tejeringos with spicy chocolate.
For a delicious surprise
Are you planning a surprise? You only need a half an hour to make these chocolate chip cookies.
Do Italian cuisines satisfy your sweet tooth? If you like Italian food, you will love this perfect combination of flavors.
Not all people are romantic souls, but you can make a memorable romantic experience.
Taste Chocolate Pistachio Fudge by Nigella Lawson!
The most common misconception is that vegans cannot eat chocolate. The opposite is true. For all vegans who want a taste of heaven here’s a perfect recipe.
Enjoy a bit of heavenly atmosphere with Vegan Chocolate Pots by Jamie Oliver
For family celebration
You can celebrate love with your family because the Valentine’s Day is not only about partners love. Organize a kitchen party and enjoy a quality time with your nearest and dearest.
Start a party with a Chocolate Mousse recipe from Sandra Lee.
Do you have your favorite recipe for a specific occasion? Share with us.