Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chocolate; My Drug of Choice

     So late last night as I am laying in bed trying to wind down after the 1/4 bag of lovely dark chocolate York Peppermint flavored hard shelled candy goodness, with a side of Dove Dark Chocolate Promises (maybe 2, or 3, or 4, I seem to have lost count!) I realized that chocolate, no, dark chocolate truly is my personal drug of choice. Others may have alcohol, prescription medication, hot bubble baths or even a few crazy hobbies (I don't know, is stamp collecting even in still?!) but I have chosen my special dark cocoa to get me over a few rough spots here and there. Last night, after a particularly nerve racking and emotionally challenging day (yeah it felt a little pathetic considering I had only spent the day with my kids, but whatever) I needed something to settle my nerves a little. Since I don't drink, getting sloshed was a little out of the question. Prescription meds are also not in the books because I try to avoid any long term mood altering chemically ridden entirely addictive colorful little pills, and lets just say that a hot bath or some side hobby was not going to cut it. Then I remembered my parents sweet little chocoholic stash in the top drawer of their dresser, and life was about to get good again.
     
     INTERMISSION:     For each of your individual nutritional and educational benefits, I am including another new and favorite website AllChocolate.Com in which you have the joy of not only discovering the many health benefits of chocolate (namely dark chocolate) but plenty of fabulous recipes, information, tips, tools, history, and pretty much anything else your little chocolate heart could possible imagine (I know I could scarcely believe it myself!) The most important health facts of which I will summarize in part below;
Chocolate (namely dark) is full of anti-oxidants (the same kind of natural compounds found in fruit, vegg, grain etc). It has also been studied to show positive effects on the cardiovascular system (including reduced blood pressure, increased blood flow etc) which would explain the amazing and quick effects of such a divine food on my system last night, increased blood flow and decreased blood pressure are all positive results when it comes to regulating your emotions and getting enough of that all important life-sustaining  element...oxygen...to your brain! Also, according to this fantastic website, chocolate has a low glycemic index (how your body reacts to the sugars you eat), plenty of minerals, and that ever important effect on your endorphins (my personal favorite).
  
     I believe it would be safe to say that dark chocolate, in moderation, is not only healthy but a nutritional and positive alternative to the other drugs out there for sustaining one's mental and emotional health and well-being. In fact, I fully support it and would go so far to say that dark chocolate is an absolute necessity when it comes to one's health (both mentally and physically!) as I can attest to it's personal benefits in my own life, *sigh*. I would also like to propose that dark chocolate can actually help with my headaches. I was so excited last night to discover, yet again, another piece of evidence to support my migraine/headache theory. I gave in to some cheapy milk chocolate less than worthy cup of hot cocoa (due to a rather crazy romp in the snow at 22 degrees, with some cabin fevered kids) and sustained a miserable headache that was not to be calmed with any assortment of OTC medicinal complexes. By the time I ate my fill of dark chocolate before bed, I had my headache completely under wraps and and my mood quite calmed down. Coincidence? I think not! For I have done, at my own personal sacrifice and the benefit of my blog and my dear readers, many personal studies of such nature for the last several weeks. The result? Dark Chocolate always wins! And for me the most important affect was I've had no sugar hangover the next morning! Glorious, Glorious food! If this is but one weakness for me in this life, then so be it! And for your personal enjoyment, thanks to a friend who shared her secret a couple years back, a delicious double chocolate cake recipe fit for a king!

     Double Yummy Chocolate Cake Goodness


1 boxed chocolate cake (I prefer Pillsbury)
1 c sour cream
required ingredients in the box less about 1/4 c water
1 small box chocolate pudding mix
1 1/2 12oz bag mini chocolate chips


Follow directions on box for regular cake mix, add the other ingredients, heat oven, lightly spray two cake pans and fill as even as possible then bake for about 45-60 min (depends on oven, just make sure you check frequently toward the end and remove when cake tester is clean and cake pulls from side of pan) Cool and top with fabulous frosting following this recipe (including a delicious frosting layer in the middle!)


     Better Homes and Gardens Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting


1 6 oz package semisweet chocolate
1/4 c butter
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 c confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)


Melt the chocolate and butter either in a double boiler or in the microwave (stirring every 20sec); cool slightly. Blend in cream, vanilla, and 1/4 tsp salt. Slowly beat in sugar till spreading consistency and frost those beautiful double chocolate cakes!

3 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh that cake sounds amazing! I'm a little hesitant about the sour cream icing, but I might give it a try, I'm a huge fan of butter cream. I love that you had a whole post about chocolate!

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  2. Must leave work now.

    Must go home and bake a cake.

    More importantly, THAT cake.

    Yumm.

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  3. You're my new best friend. I will love you (and any one else who justifies my chocolate addiction) forever!

    ReplyDelete

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