Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Monday, March 23, 2009
Chocolate is one of the most popular sweet-tasting treats in the world and has been for centuries. But part of the myth surrounding chocolate is that if it tastes so good, it must be bad for your health. But the surprising news from the scientific community is that this reputedly decadent treat actually has some health benefits, especially if you choose your chocolate wisely
Is Chocolate A Health Food? Chocolate contains more than 300 chemicals, and has been the subject of a number of studies by universities and other scientific organizations.
Here's a quick rundown of the results. (Note, we have no way of proving or disproving these claims so we offer them here as a stimulus for further research. If you're really interested in the subject, this may provide you with a starting point.)
* Cacao, the source of chocolate, contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay. Of course, this is counteracted by the high sugar content of milk chocolate.
* The smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation.
* Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a mild mood elevator.
* The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat which may raise good cholesterol.
* Drinking a cup of hot chocolate before meals may actually diminish appetite.
* Men who eat chocolate live a year longer than those who don't.
* The flavanoids in chocolate may help keep blood vessels elastic.
* Chocolate increases antioxidant levels in the blood.
* Mexican healers use chocolate to treat bronchitis and insect bites.
* The carbohydrates in chocolate raise serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being.
What Chocolate Won't DoThere are many myths and half-truths about the effects of chocolate on the human body. Here are the latest findings on several of them.
* Studies show that chocolate is not a causative factor in acne.
* Cacao contains the stimulants caffeine and bromine, but in such small quantities that they don't cause nervous excitability.
* Chocolate is not addictive.
* Chocolate contains stearic acid, a neutral fat which doesn't raise bad cholesterol.
* Chocolate doesn't make you 'high'. You'd need to eat a huge quantity (about 25 pounds at one sitting) to feel any noticeable effect.
Other Benefits of Chocolate....
* contains essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium, and vitamins A. B1, C, D, and E.
*Cocoa is also the highest natural source for Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is linked with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and pre-menstrual tension (PMT or PMS).
* The fat in high quality plain chocolate (although technically a 'saturated fat') can be considered cholesterol free as it does not fur up the arteries or contribute to high cholesterol levels.
Most part of the article is being extracted from http://www.momscape.com/.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Was also browsing at their shop showroom and ended up buying some dark chocolates of Ariba and Mara Clasifi variety and white chocolate. Was informed that Ariba is much bitter compared to Mara. Yesterday, we were using Felcor Rondo dark chocolate/couverture. For your info, the dark variety has greater cocoa butter content and less sugar compared to white or milk chocolate. In addition, the dark chocolate variety is healtier as it has anti oxidant. So for those who are watching their waistline, go for the dark choc variety which has less sugar content and good supply of antioxidant.
Also bought some nice box packaging to display the chocolate, as you would see from the photos, to better display their varieties. As the chocolates are handmade, their sizes may varies but attempt to have a consistent size will be practised.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Today's training has helped me to better understand our Malaysian cocoa bean better and the reason for the high cost of chocolate.
Making chocolate has many steps which require lots of work and patience which explains its costing besides the cost of raw material which are imported. The cocoa bean in Malaysia is apparently acidic therefore tastes sourish. Beans from other countries are used achieved the desired tastes.
We were taught the basics of making chocolate using dark chocolate, ganache and praline, my favourites!
The photos in this blog displayed the varieties of chocolates that we were taught to make and they truly are mouth watering! I could hardly stop myself from licking my fingers and eating the left overs in the mixing bowl.
Since the chocolates are home made, no preservatives are being used (hooray!). Furthermore, the chocolates would only be made upon receipt of orders therefore they are fresh!