by Andrew Strauss

The most famous name in chocolate cakes is the German Chocolate Cake, but the interesting fact is that it was not `German’ at all. It merely used chocolate brand which was called `German’s’ because it had been developed by an Englishman named Sam German in 1852! He was working for Baker’s Chocolate Company.

The recipe for this chocolate cake was first made popular by a Dallas housewife in 1957, and probably due to the fact that German baking is one of the best in the world, the name not only stuck, but also lent the cake its squarely German touch. The result was an instantly popular cake which carried up the sales of the chocolate too. Actually the popularity of the cake can be attributed to the fact that in The Southern US, buttermilk chocolate cakes have been a hit for decades, and the fact that German’s chocolate is sweater than regular baking chocolate, also helped. Coconuts and pecans which are available in the area too, only added to the taste.

In classical terms, the most famous chocolate cake of all times, worldwide, is the Sachertorte, the Viennese chocolate cake with its three layers of luscious chocolate sponge, interspersed with layers of apricot jam. The whole cake is then thickly iced with velvety chocolate. The result was probably why chocolate is synonymous with sinful!

It took its name from its creator, Chef Franz Sacher, who created it in 1832 for the Prince Clemens Lothar Wensel Metternich of Austria. Sacher was then an apprentice cook, all of 16 years old, and the Prince’s demand was met with a cake that used only the available ingredients, nothing more. The recipe made him so prosperous that he went on to open several Café’s and restaurants.

Whatever the origins, the chocolate cake has always been one of the most irresistible temptations…after all how many other desserts you know have been named `Death by Chocolate??’

TrufflecakeChocolate Cake Recipe

2 cups flour

125 grams chocolate (squares)

3 eggs

1 cup softened butter

1 cup sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

¼ cup milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease two cake tins of 7 inch diameter.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a deep pan of boiling water.

Cream together butter and sugar and add the eggs one at a time, beating well. Add the melted chocolate and beat till well combined.

Sift the flour and cocoa powder together and fold into the chocolate-egg-sugar-butter mix. Don’t beat too much. After the mixture is blended well, pour into the baking tin . Bake for about 45 minutes, or till well risen.

For the sandwich icing :

100 grams unsalted butter

1 and a ½ cup icing sugar

1 tbsp cocoa powder

½ tsp vanilla essence

Beat together all these ingredients to form a light chocolate cream. Use to sandwich the two cakes together.

The top layer can be either dusted with castor sugar or cocoa powder, or both, Stencils may be used for decorating further.

For a different look, and in a bid to be creative as Chef Sacher, try using apricot or raspberry jam to sandwich layers, alternating with chocolate cream, white cream or plain chocolate layers, before closing with the second cake layer. Icing can also be made to have a royal touch if chocolate cream is poured over this whole cake sandwich.

And if you think you can’t take the pain of making a chocolate cake yourself, you can simply order a chocolate birthday cake online.

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Chocolate Cake, Chocolate birthday Cake
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Written by : John Parks

The first step to making your own chocolate from scratch is roasting the cocoa beans. Roasting cocoa beans is pretty much like roasting coffee beans, only with some more specific requirements. You have the option of either roasting the beans in your own oven or use a coffee bean roaster Roasting the beans first not only gets rid of the contaminants that could be on raw cocoa beans, but most importantly, it brings out the flavor that everyone is familiar with. It’ll take anywhere from 5 to 35 minutes at 250 – 350 degrees F. Start roasting the beans at a high temperature, and then gradually bring it down. When the beans start to crack, you’ll know the process is complete.

The second step is the crack the beans into small nibs, while removing the husks by hand. If you did a good job of roasting the beans, the husks should be very easy to remove. You can speed up the process by stirring the nibs with your hands while blowing the husks away with a hair dryer. If you find yourself working with a large batch of beans, a special purpose-grinding mill can be bought for around $100.

The next step is to grind up the nibs and turn them into a cocoa liquid. To do this, hand-feed the nibs one handful at a time into a food processor or an electric cocoa grinder. A mix of cocoa liquid and husks will come of out the spout, so keep repeating the process until only the husks come out. The biggest challenge is finding a food processor that is powerful enough to do this, as most ordinary juicers, coffee grinders and food processors won’t be able to handle liquefying the nibs.

Now you’ll have to conch and refine your chocolate. This is a process that affects the taste, texture and smell of your chocolate. Normally, these processes have to be done separately, but both can be done at the same time with a good wet grinder. The way you’ll conch and refine largely depends on the type of equipment you use. After this, you’ll have to “temper” the chocolate, so that it’ll gain a shine and be hard enough not to melt in your hand. You can do this by hand or with a special tempering machine for larger quantities. All you have to do is to spread the melted chocolate out on a hard, non-porous kitchen top and bring it back together until the chocolate cools down to a thick and gooey mess. Do this as many times as needed until the chocolate comes to a shine. All that is left to be done is to pour the chocolate into any mold and cool it down. Then it’s “bon appetite”!

Making chocolate from scratch is a learning process; so if this is your first time, don’t expect that very first batch to be perfect. In the long run, practice makes perfect and you’ll even end up adding your own twist chocolate making by adding ingredients of your own or using different techniques.

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For more information on chocolate, visit http://www.howtomakechocolate.net.

Chocolate truffles are a rich treat that make a wonderful gift or dessert. Fresh homemade chocolate truffles can be a luxurious way to end your next dinner party.

Godiva Chocolate Truffles

Godiva Chocolate Truffles

STEP 1:
Boil the water. Pour a little more than 4 cups of water into a saucepan. Place on high heat, and bring the water to a simmer.

STEP 2:
Prepare the chocolate. Break the chocolate into small squares so that it will melt faster. Place these pieces in a small saucepan.

STEP 3:
Melt the chocolate. Place the small saucepan containing the chocolate over the medium saucepan with the water. Try to keep the bottom of the small saucepan from touching the water below it. Stir constantly as the chocolate melts; it should take around 8 minutes for the chocolate to fully melt. Do not cover the chocolate; the condensation will affect the texture of the chocolate.

STEP 4:
Add the cream. Slowly add the cream to the melted chocolate. Do not remove the pan from the heat. Keep stirring until the cream has completely mixed with the melted chocolate. Then remove the pan from the heat, and let it rest until it has cooled.

STEP 5:
Add the butter. Once the chocolate has cooled completely, bring the saucepan of water to a boil again, and place the pan containing the chocolate on the heat once more. Add the butter, and stir until it has melted completely. Then remove the pan from the heat again.

STEP 6:
Let the chocolate cool. Once this mixture (now called ganache) is done cooking, pour it into a large bowl. Use a spatula to remove as much as you can from the pan. Cover the surface with plastic wrap so that it does not develop a film, and refrigerate until the ganache becomes stiff (about an hour).

STEP 7:
Form the truffles. Remove the bowl from the fridge, and place it on your work surface. A countertop works well for this. Then place the cocoa powder into a bowl. Use a teaspoon to scoop up a small amount of the chocolate ganache. Roll in the palm of your hand as quickly as possible to make a small ball. Work quickly, or they will begin to melt and become unmanageable. If necessary, make them in batches, re-chilling the bowl of chocolate before starting again. Once rolled into a ball, roll each truffle in the cocoa powder until they are coated.

STEP 8:
Serve. Place the finished truffles in a serving bowl or on a tray.For the best results, use a high quality baking chocolate. You can also roll the truffles in chopped nuts or powdered sugar instead of cocoa powder. These hand-rolled chocolate truffles are very sweet. They make an excellent holiday or hostess gift for your friends and family.

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Author: Julie Spear

It seems like a nightmare for some to realize that there does exist sugar-free Belgian chocolates. After all, doesn’t it sound crazy? Chocolates, especially those made by heavenly Belgian chocolatiers, are supposed to be sweet and without the magic touch of sugar the taste would be entirely different!

Is this a joke? Has the world gone mad? Well, no and yes. It is not a joke and the world is still crazy about chocolates. Even the diabetics crave for it and the concoction of a sugar-free Belgian chocolate will finally allow them to have a little taste of this legendary sweet. What’s more is that being sugar-free doesn’t mean that it does not taste as good as those with sugar. Who would think of the day when Belgian chocolates would not cause any rise in blood sugar levels. It’s amazing how science today can make these things happen.

What makes these chocolates still taste sweet even without the presence of sugar is the substance Maltitol. Maltitol is a corn-based sweetener. It tastes, functions, and gives massiveness to food just like what sugar does. With all these factors, the use of maltitol is beneficial for diabetic individuals as well as those who eat low carbohydrate diets. And maltitol also prevents tooth decay.

Being sugar-free, just about anybody who needs to cut down on sugar can taste, at least, this kind of Belgian chocolate. Some attest to the fact that there is no difference at all, but still there are others who say there is a distinct taste of the prized chocolate being sugar free.

sugar free Belgian chocolates

sugar free Belgian chocolates

With sugar-free Belgian chocolates, diabetics and the health conscious can freely experience the pleasure of eating this mouth watering delicacy, feeling the meltdown of these sweets in the mouth, which then leads to the release of endorphins. Endorphin is a kind of hormone that can make you feel good. That’s why people who feel a bit down crave chocolates.                                                                                          Photo credit: http://www.chocolate.com

But the best feature of a chocolate that is sugar-free is that it has its health benefits which recent studies have proven. These chocolates are not only sugar free but have also have low amounts of calories. Moreover, Belgian chocolates that are sugar-free compared to green tea and red wine contains more antioxidants. An antioxidant is a group of substances that are organic which may include vitamins A, C, and E, carotenoids, and selenium. Antioxidants are believed to be efficient in the prevention of stroke, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases.

In addition to antioxidants, sugar-free Belgian chocolates may also contain flavonoids. Flavonoids, which its activities resemble that of antioxidants, can prevent allergic reactions, fights off viruses, prevent inflammation, and an abnormal increase in platelets. It is basically benefits the cardiovascular system as it lessens blood platelets and thwarts off abnormal clotting. It is also believed to prevent the occurrence of cancer.

Being sugar-free, you don’t have to worry about the rise in sugar blood levels while thinking that chocolates contradictorily reduce the danger of high blood pressure. Without sugar, this contradiction is eliminated. The reduced incidence of high blood pressure is due to the fact that cocoa beans have nitric oxide and nitric acid that is associated with low blood pressure.

So, with Belgian chocolates that are free of sugar, there is no way that diabetics and the health conscious can avoid this sweet taste of heaven. Nothing will stop them anymore from taking a bite of these precious little things. Just don’t eat more than you can digest, though.

About the Author:

Want to find out about who invented chocolate and chocolate pictures? Get tips from the Chocolate Facts website.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.comThe Sugar Free Belgian Chocolate

Believe it or not chocolates are good for your health. There have been studies that were conducted by major research institutes that people who constantly eat chocolates have a longer life span than those who don’t usually eat them.

Chocolates are also filled with antioxidants that fights off cancer, cardiovascular diseases, thwarts off strokes, and lowers down blood pressure. Chocolate also has large amounts of iron and magnesium.

Other than its health benefits, chocolates can make you feel much better in a more legal and tasty way compared to alcoholic beverages and medications. The ingestion of chocolates induces the release of hormones called endorphins which promotes a state of happiness or a feel-good emotional experience.

Chocolates are also believed to be an aphrodisiac. It has been so since the time of the Mayan and Aztec civilizations in South America. It is believed that ingestion of chocolates stimulates sexual energy and consequently makes people fertile.

It is also said to relieve exhaustion because of its nutritional aspects. Energy bars of athletes are mostly chocolates mixed with another substance for energy enhancement.

The team up of chocolate’s health benefits with the best chocolate confection the world, Belgian chocolates, then there may be no more stopping for people who are still skeptics of the chocolate magic that has been driving people crazy since it’s coming to European shores.

With chocolates, nothing beats the Belgians in making this sweet taste of heaven make its way to salivating chocolate crazy individuals. Belgian chocolates are deemed to be the alpha male of all chocolates. Even its rival Swiss counterparts bow to its gastronomical powers.

The distinctive factor of Belgian chocolates that makes it outstanding is the excellent quality of the ingredients and the perfect chocolate making techniques that has been refined through the centuries.

seashell-shaped Belgian chocolates

seashell-shaped Belgian chocolates

Belgian chocolates come in many shapes in sizes. One of the preferred forms of Belgian chocolates is the seashell shaped

ones. After all, a seashell is a symbol of many positive things in life. Seashells are thought to be gifts from the ocean. With its various shapes and forms, it is the symbol of uniqueness and beauty.

One great symbolism of the seashell is created by Boticelli in one of his artistic creations. In his painting of “The Birth of Venus“, the seashell is depicted as the vessel of beauty, rebirth, love, and godly attributes to the earth.

Therefore, seashell shaped Belgian chocolates are perfect for symbolizing the chocolate’s representation of heavenly experience of a sweet filling wrapped in a beautiful chocolate shell or praline. One bite will surely bring you to the heavens.

With the Belgian seashell chocolate’s rich in symbolism, it has become a popular item for gifts to loved ones. As gifts, packages for these chocolates should also be perfect. With the finesse of Belgian craftsmanship, chocolates are made of excellent materials which include top notch delicious fruits, high quality chocolate, and natural vanilla.

Guylian Seashell Shaped Chocolate

Guylian Seashell Shaped Chocolate

Artificial flavoring, which is common among inferior types if chocolates, is never included in the ingredients of Belgian chocolates.

In the quest for Belgian seashell chocolates, do not just opt for ones that are sold in supermarkets that claims to be made by the use of Belgian techniques of chocolate making. The most likely that you will be having a taste of real Belgian chocolates is in Belgium.

There are no other places here on this planet where you can perfectly eat Belgian chocolates. Plus, with the country’s fine tourist destinations, Belgian chocolates, especially the seashell shaped ones, are the perfect snack as you go on sightseeing in the beautiful country of Belgium.

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Allan Wilson specializes in providing ready made affliliate sites and private label articles. To speed up your website creation results visit Allan’s site at: http://www.readymadeaffiliatesites.com

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Written by Bob Monk

The word “Chocolate” is derived from the word “xocolatl” of the Aztecs of Mexico. The Aztecs associated chocolates with the goddess of fertility, “Xochiquetzal“.  No wonder, even today chocolate is considered aphrodisiac.

The Spanish Conquistadors learned about chocolates from the new world and introduced it to Europe through Spain in the year 1502. Spanish explorer Herman Cortés learned how to convert the bitter cocoa bean to the wonderful chocolate drink from the Aztecs and brought this treasure back in Spain.

Chocolate grew in popularity with the Spaniards and the preparation method remained a secret with Spain for over 100 years. It’s a wonder then when we discuss who makes the best chocolates, we discuss about Belgium or France or Switzerland but hardly any body discuss chocolates made in Spain.

In France, Chocolate was received with skepticism and was considered a “noxious drug”.  In 1615, a French Queen, Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII declared chocolate as the drink of the French court and saved the day for the French and Chocolate.

In the early 17th century, chocolate traveled to Italy and England and very soon became popular. In 1650, chocolate became quite a rage in Oxford.

So far, from its introduction to Europe in 1500 till 1650, we do not find any association of chocolates with the Switzerland or Belgium. And we are still left wondering, how come these two countries became synonymous with highest quality of chocolates.

In fact, Switzerland began making chocolates only in 1800. At that time, they had lots of cows but not much cocoa or sugar. Another interesting little known fact about chocolate is that it was available only as a cocoa or a liquid form till 1879. It was Rudolph Lindt who thought to add cocoa butter back to the chocolate. Adding the additional cocoa butter helped the chocolate set up into a bar that “snaps” when broken as well as melting on the tongue. And in 1876, M. Daniel Peter of Switzerland attempted to add milk to chocolate to produce a smoother chocolate although it took him 8 years to perfect the technique in collaboration with Henry Nestle who has perfected the art and science of evaporated milk.

Lindt

Lindt

From then on, the Swiss became the master of making milk chocolates.

A Belgian company, Berwaerts, was the first to sell chocolates as tablets, pastilles, and figurines in the year 1840. In 1912 the Belgian confectionery Jean Niihau created the “praline“, a chocolate pastille or shell filled with delicate chocolates. In 1929, the Drape family, the original owners of Godiva, added to the Belgian reputation by inventing and introducing chocolate truffle. Today Belgium produces 172,000 tons of chocolate per year with more than 2,000 chocolate shops throughout the country. Chocolate is now a way of life for the Belgian people.

Today, we are fortunate to enjoy the fruits of the labor of love of all these countries and people and have access to the finest of chocolates from around the world. From the evolution of the chocolates over the centuries and from our personal tasting experiments we can safely conclude that when it comes to milk chocolates, “Swiss chocolates” wins hands down. When it comes to chocolate bars, the Swiss chocolate bars are rich, creamy and sweet.

Swiss ChocolatesHowever it has more sugar content and less cocoa compared to the French or Belgian Chocolate Bars.

Lindt, the world famous chocolate company, makes chocolate bars both in Switzerland and in France and both are top of line. However our taste buds tell us that chocolate bars made in Switzerland are creamier and has more milk whereas chocolate bars made in France is more mellow and has a wider range of flavours.

However in the category of covered chocolates or truffles, we would give the edge to the Belgian chocolates. The Belgian chocolates / Pralines are richer in flavours, has more cocoa and less sugary. They are also filled with incredible fillings which simply burst in the mouth with an explosion of varied taste. It is said that there are over 600 compounds in the chocolates, and when tasting a Belgian Praline, one can really feel and enjoy the best of the best.

Let us keep in mind that there are good chocolates and no so good chocolates that are made everywhere. Today, we find very good quality chocolates are being made in America and people are experimenting with chocolates like never before. You will find chocolates with chili, tea or even bacon. More about that later. For now, dig in the web store of http://www.Giftswish.com and find out the widest selection of chocolate bars and chocolates from around the world.

About the Author

Bob Monk is the president of Giftswish.com, the leading online retailer of high end Gourmet Foods

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Belgian chocolates provide many options that can meet everybody’s needs when talking about chocolates. Belgian chocolates have become the food of the champions, the indulgences of wealthy people, the sole favorite of the average masses, and the lures of lovers.

Yearly, Belgium can produce about 172,000 tons of chocolates from 2,000 chocolate outlets all over the country. So, the supply is unlimited for your gift baskets.

Belgian chocolate basketChocolate gift baskets are increasingly becoming popular. Belgian chocolates have soothing tastes that fits any age group. Belgian chocolate gift baskets can work effectively because most everybody is a chocolate lover.

Some people just love chocolates with particular flavors and some don’t care about the brands anymore as long as it is chocolate. People have different reasons why they like chocolates. Some like its sweetness, some like its bitterness, some like its nuts, and some like its caramel fillings. Others may prefer white chocolates.

Different varieties of Belgian chocolates in gift baskets can satisfy chocolate lovers all day. Belgian chocolate gift baskets suit all types of occasions.

Most kids also love to receive such gifts during special occasions. Rose or heart shaped Belgian chocolates are perfect for your gift basket if it is intended for your girlfriend.

She could never resist such a wonderful treat. In addition, Belgian chocolate baskets can be combined with a bottle of wine if you are planning for a romantic evening.

Chocolates are known to be aphrodisiacs. It is associated with simple sensual pleasures upon consumption. Some studies revealed that serotonin as well as other chemicals such as phenethylamine is responsible for mild sexual stimulation. Furthermore, giving chocolate gifts to your sweetheart is a traditional ritual of courtship.

There are also different methods when packing Belgian chocolates in gift baskets. It depends on the receiver. There are also chocolates in gift boxes already with finest materials. If you prefer this, you don’t need to make the basket gift wrapping.

One good idea to make Belgian chocolates gift baskets really especial is to send it to someone you do not know really well. The recipient can be surprised that such an expensive gift is given to them. Likewise, you do not have to worry whether the person likes your gifts or not.

Low calorie Belgian chocolates are fine for health conscious people who are afraid of calories. They can appreciate it well since you are also concerned with their health as well as never deprive them of enjoying chocolate treats.

Recently, some research claims the highly medicinal benefits of eating chocolates.

You can try the most sublime confection of chocolates called Belgium pralines. These chocolates are beautifully sculpted in shells concealing a central filling of surprising flavors and textures.

Many chocolate manufacturers still make Belgian pralines by hand. There are also luxury chocolates which provide the best ever tasting chocolates ever manufactured. However, this is not a good gift for allergy sufferers and diabetics. Instead you can select from chocolates that are dairy-free, sugar-free, and which suits diabetic people.

The creation of Belgian chocolates is truly a genius undertaking. The manufacturers really see the importance of chocolates in the lives of many people even from the past centuries until now.

These treats make people happy regardless of whatever reasons. So, never fail to incorporate chocolate gift baskets into your lives and continue the tradition in touching other people’s lives. It is only a matter of giving chocolates.