Looking for a new excuse to take a trip to Godiva? Today is National Chocolate Day, and keeping with the festivities, it is the perfect time to indulge in a sweet treat. Don’t feel guilty–the health benefits of eating chocolate occasionally have been proven to match the delight in taking each little bite of perfection. The antioxidants found in certain dark chocolates including cocoa provide great benefits including lowering blood pressure and fighting off free radicals. If the gourmet likes of Godiva are too expensive during this tough economic time, try one of these three fun recipes with easy ingredients that can be found at a local supermarket. For the lactose intolerant readers, we have a fun and easy recipe to make sure National Chocolate Day is enjoyable for all!
For the Lactose Intolerant: Spiced Soy Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 cups light chocolate soy milk
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1. In a medium saucepan, combine soy milk, peanut butter, and cinnamon.
2. Cook over low to medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture is smooth and peanut butter is melted, about 5 minutes.
3. Serve in mug. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cocoa powder, if desired.
Makes one 12-ounce serving
7.5 grams soy protein per serving
For the Health Conscious: Chocolate Pavlova
Calories per serving: 337
For the pavlova:
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
For the topping:
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup shaved dark chocolate
1/4 cup melted chocolate for drizzling
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Whisk the egg whites and salt on high speed until they hold their shape. Add the sugar gradually until the mixture stands in firm peaks. Add the lemon juice and whisk just to incorporate. Sift the cocoa powder into a small corner of the bowl and lightly fold it into the meringue using a plastic spatula. Do not over-mix or you will lose the rippled effect. Pour the meringue onto the parchment-lined sheet pan in an oval shape, roughly 3 inches by 5 inches and 2 inches high. Place into the bottom of the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
3. Switch off the oven without opening the door and leave the pavlova in the turned-off oven for one hour. Remove and set aside.
4. For the topping: Whisk the whipping cream into semi-stiff peaks and spoon on top of the pavlova. Sprinkle with raspberries and shaved chocolate before serving. Finish with drizzled chocolate.
For the Shamelessly Indulgent: Chocolate Cake
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl and slowly whisk in wet ingredients.
3. Pour into greased 9 by 12-inch baking pan and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
4. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve.