Taste and Savor's Chef Nancy Waldeck shares delicious chocolate recipes on 'Atlanta & Company.'
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Four things to know about chocolate:
- Cocoa beans were used as currency by the Mayan and Aztec cultures.
- It takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate.
- Chocolate can be healthy – it contains polyphenols and flavonoids, and has shown to have a short-term effect of lowering blood pressure.
- Americans eat 18% of the world’s chocolate production!
Dark Chocolate Bark
4 (3.5 OZ) 70 – 90% Dark Chocolate Bars
½ cup candied ginger
½ cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup of toasted nuts
Melt the chocolate in a pan, or in the microwave. Pour the melted chocolate on a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle the ginger over the chocolate and place in the fridge until the chocolate hardens. Break the bark into pieces and serve.
Chocolate Dipped Fruit
Melt (3.5 OZ) 70 – 90% Dark Chocolate Bars and dip dried fruit into the chocolate. Place on parchment paper and pop into the fridge until firm.
8 OZ Dark Chocolate (at least 70%)
¼ Cup Coconut Oil
3 TB Water
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
Pinch of sea salt
¼ Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Cup Pistachios, Chopped Finely
Step One Melt chocolate with oil, water, vanilla and sea salt in sauté pan over low heat. Pour into an 8 x 8 pan and refrigerate 2 – 3 hours until firm.
Step Two Using a small ice cream scoop or portioner, make about 24 small balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll in either cocoa OR the walnuts. Place back in the fridge to keep up to two weeks.
Wine for Chocolate
Ruby Port is an excellent match for dark chocolate. It’s a rich and robust mix of indigenous Portuguese grapes that's sweet enough to pair with the treat. Good news – it's one of the least expensive ports because it's a blend of different years or vintages and is matured in oak for just two to five years. Don’t hold on to your ruby port – it's ready to drink when you buy it and does not need additional aging.