100 g cocoa paste (cocoa powder with paste-like texture that comes from cocoa butter)
8 g achiote* (or ground nutmeg)
¼ vanilla pod
10 g whole peppercorns
4 g chili (or less if you prefer)
*For those not familiar with achiote (its Latin name is Bixa orellana), it comes from the Amazon where it is used as a dye. It is also used in cosmetics (to protect skin from the sun) as well as in the kitchen as a colouring agent and spice. As a medication, it can reduce fever and hepatitis (inflammation of the liver). Only the seeds are edible and their pleasantly sweet and fruity aroma with slightly bitter taste recall nutmeg. Which is why if you can’t find achiote seeds, you may substitute nutmeg.
Remember that this type of chocolate is very different from the traditional chocolate as we know it today. This mixture does not contain sugar, but, of course, you can add it for a smoother flavor. We recommend using cane sugar.
1) In a separate bowl, mix the cocoa paste with the water. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan, cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
2) Add the vanilla pod, achiote or nutmeg, peppercorns and chili to the pan and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3) Remove the chocolate from the heat and whisk. You can whisk the chocolate by pouring it from one container to another several times two (e.g. a carafe and a pan) or with a hand whisk.
4) Whisk until the mixture forms a nice foam, then pour the chocolate into cups and serve.
Sit back and savor the bold flavors and the satisfying feeling that you have leapt back in time several centuries. Note that the chili and pepper flavours may be too strong for little ones. Adjust spices as needed before serving.
In general, there are three distinct varieties of cocoa tree:
– Forastero (yellow cocoa beans). This kind represents around 70% of the world’s production. It grows almost everywhere in the world, but mainly in Western Africa. Its cocoa is not very aromatic and, therefore, not very widely used for the production of fine chocolates.
– Criollo (red cocoa beans). Criollo is a cocoa variety originating from Belize and maybe related to the first cocoa trees grown by the ancient Mayans more than 2,000 years ago. It grows only in Latin America and represents a mere 5% of world production of cocoa. This variety is very susceptible to diseases and its cultivation is very difficult. It is highly valued by producers of chocolate for its unique taste.
– Trinitario (a hybrid of the Forastero and Criollo varieties). This hybrid partially contains the taste quality of Criollo and at the same time it is resistant to diseases like Forastero. In Chocotopia plantations in the Yucatan region of Mexico, we grow cocoa trees of the Criollo variety, because we prefer quality to quantity and we want to ensure the sustainability of our production.
Although the cultivation of cocoa is widespread, its worldwide production is endangered. Experts argue that a cocoa shortage may occur by 2050. How is it possible? On the one hand, there is the fragility of cocoa trees, climate change and the pressure on the industry to produce constantly lower prices, on the other hand, the chocolate consumption has increased considerably in Asia, especially in India.
Hint: Eat good quality chocolate to benefit your health as well as our planet! AtChocotopia we care about the environment and the conditions in which our Mexican farmers live. Good natural quality and diligent care of those who work for us, is our recipe for good quality chocolate.
In the 15th century, cocoa beans were so rare that Aztecs used them as currency. Just like today, each thing had its value. For example, one rabbit was sold for 10 cocoa beans, one turkey for 40 cocoa beans and one slave for 100 cocoa beans!
Did you know that the scientific name of the cocoa tree is Theobroma cacao L.?
The letter L. stands for the surname of Carl von Linné, the Swedish natural scientist who laid the foundations of modern botanical and zoological systematic nomenclature (binomial names of plants and animals). He classified more than 6,000 plants and more than 4,400 animal species. He became so famous that it was sufficient to just add the letter “L”. (He is the only scientist, who had this distinction!)
And what does “Theobroma” mean?
In Greek, theos means god and broma is food. Thus, the name means “food of the gods”. And the word cocoaoriginates from the word cacahuatl from the Nahuatl language, part of the Uto-Aztecan family of languages, spoken by 1.5 million indigineous Mexicans today.
The first cocoa trees were cultivated by Mesoamerican Indians (Mayans and afterwards Aztecs) in Mexico around 2500 BC. Europeans later exported the trees and established plantations in Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil. The consumption of cocoa in Europe continued to grow, therefore, in the 19th century, more plantations were based in Asia and Africa, in particular, on the Ivory Coast, which remains the biggest exporter of cocoa in the world.
A bit of geography…
Today, cocoa is grown in 45 countries around the world. All of these countries are situated between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, because they need a hot, humid climate. Cocoa trees are very sensitive to cold and grow only in altitudes from 0 to 800 meters above sea level. On the other hand, they do not tolerate direct sunlight, therefore, they need shade from larger trees. In the wild, cocoa trees can grow to a height of 10 meters, but cultivated varieties do not exceed 3 meters.
How does cocoa grow?
Cocoa is obtained from cocoa pods, which grow directly on the trunk of the tree. Pods may contain 16 to 60 seeds and they are harvested twice a year. Raw cocoa beans are very bitter, which is, in fact, to our advantage, because monkeys do not like to eat them!
This week and for Valentine’s Day, we are offering you a delicious chocolate cake that is easy to make. His name is already a whole program and will certainly make you want to put on your kitchen apron! Her name: Chocolate orgasm.
Ingredients for 8 people
200 g (72% chocolate)
200 g butter (for an even more delicious cake, you can use semi-salted butter)
100g caster sugar
1 spoon of flour
Optional: For frosting:
150 g dark chocolate
75 g butter
Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler with the butter.
Add the sugar, the whole eggs one by one, mixing well between two. Add the flour.
Pour the preparation into a small silicone mould about 20 cm in diameter. Of course, you can use individual moulds. Before You will have taken care to line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the walls well because this cake cooks very little and its release is delicate.
Cook for exactly 20 minutes.
If you want to make a frosting. While it is cooking, prepare it by melting the chocolate and butter.
When the cake is cooked, unmould it immediately and pour the frosting in the middle of the cake, which is still hot.
With a spatula, gently pour the chocolate on the sides.
Let it cool at least overnight but not in the refrigerator.
February is generally synonymous with snow and skiing. It is also synonymous with love because on February 14, we celebrate Valentine’s Day which has become the feast of lovers. But why did Valentine’s Day become the feast of lovers? To answer this question, we have to go back to the 3rd century AD. At that time, reigned the emperor Claude 2 known as Claude the Gothic who spent his time making war and who thus had a great need of young men to carry them out. However, this emperor who did not like Christians prohibited marriage because he considered that the young married men did not make good soldiers. For his part, the priest Valentin de Terni liked to secretly marry young couples according to the Catholic rite. Anyway, you can guess what happened next, the emperor had the priest arrested and he was severely beaten and beheaded on February 14 (269, 270?). But like all very old stories, you have to know how to disentangle the true from the false and the most important is not only to enjoy this holiday and to please the person you love by offering them chocolate for example. But then comes another question: Why offer chocolate on Valentine’s Day? To please the loved one? Yes, but not only because chocolate by its sensual side (here I am referring to human senses such as sight, smell, taste and touch) and by the pleasure that its tasting generates is very close to the act lover. Finally, everyone has their own pleasures! In addition, cocoa has long been surrounded by a legend, that of being an aphrodisiac. But is it really a legend?
Among the Aztecs, cocoa called “xocoatl” was a highly respected drink which only the tallest (nobles, priests) could access. It is said that the Aztec emperor Moctezuma consumed 50 cups of it and since he had many wives, this gave rise to the connection between love force and cocoa. In more recent history, it would seem that Casanova and the Marquise de Pompadour also consumed it before starting crazy romantic nights.
It should not be forgotten that when chocolate arrived in Europe, it was sold in pharmacies because it was perceived to have healing properties like drugs. It also had a sulphurous reputation because in 1838 in the hygiene treaty the doctors É. Tourtelle and J. Hallé wrote about chocolate that he had “the faculty to awaken venereal desires and to excite the pleasures of love”
Currently and with the progress of science, it has been discovered that cocoa contains a large number of active substances such as antioxidants, the caffeine of phenylethylamine, also called “pleasure hormone” which provides a sensation of pleasure close to the But, as much to tell you right away, it would take an enormous amount to feel a real aphrodisiac effect. There remains the imagination and the pleasure … of eating chocolate.
In Japan, the feast of Valentine’s Day is very recent since it was born in the second half of the 20th century. In fact it takes place in two stages: February 14 (Valentine’s Day) and March 14 (white day).
On February 14, women offer chocolates to men. But there are two types of chocolate, giri-choco (translated as courtesy chocolate) and honmei-choco (translated as destiny chocolate). The giri-choco is a chocolate generally bought in stores and is offered to men whom they meet regularly (like work colleagues, neighbors …). Honmei-choco is for men who are very important to them. They can be bought in stores but they are very good quality or they can be made at home. In all cases, the honmei-choco will be offered in a heart-shaped box.
And what do men do in all of this? Well, they patiently wait for March 14 to offer a gift to the woman who gave them chocolate on February 14. If it is a giri-choco, the man will offer in return white chocolates (hence the name) and if it is a honmei-choco, the man will rather offer jewelry or lingerie (but still white!).
The white day is a holiday that can be found in South Korea and in certain regions of China. There are now even other types of chocolate which tend to sell more and more: the tomo-choco (translated by friendship chocolate) which is offered mainly between young girls and the jibun-choco (translated by chocolate for yourself) and which is either for singles or for a little narcissistic people.
Belgians are famously proud of their chocolate, and for good reason: It’s generally high-quality and very finely ground with a high cocoa content, giving the final product a velvety texture and unbeatable flavor. We recommend making this cozy drink with a Belgian milk chocolate, but any variety you like will do.
– 40 cl milk
– 170 g dark
– 80 g milk
– 1 teaspoon
vanilla extract (or vanilla sugar)
– A pinch of
tablespoon white sugar (optional)
– Pour half
of the milk and the chocolate pieces in a small saucepan.
– Heat the
chocolate over medium low heat until it is melted. Don’t forget to keep stirring.
– Add the
rest of the milk, the vanilla, and a little whipped cream.
– If desired,
add cinnamon or a little white sugar.
the heat and stir vigorously to obtain a homogeneous mixture. Be careful not to
boil the milk.
– When all
the ingredients are well mixed, pour your chocolate into a cup and garnish with
whipped cream and chocolate flakes/shavings.
From the 17th to the 19th centuries, chocolate was sold in pharmacies. It was used for its many healing properties and as an excipient – that is, to improve the taste of certain compounds.
Because we are convinced of the health benefits of
chocolate, we offer a range of chocolate-based cosmetics in our store to treat
your skin (shower gel, hand cream, body cream, body butter) and your hair
(shampoo and conditioner). We also offer you a unique experience: a cocoa
butter-based massage oil for chocolate-scented moments of relaxation.
A dark chocolate bar rich in antioxidants called Oxanti.
Made with cocoa beans from Ecuador, this bar, which contains 65% cocoa, is
specially designed to provide you with your optimal daily dose of antioxidants.
A square of 7.5 grams per day will bring you all the
benefits of antioxidants. Thanks to a unique conching system that helps to
maintain the natural antioxidant content, this chocolate acts as a gentle,
natural blood thinner, lowering blood pressure and therefore lowering the risk
of heart disease and cancer. The bar is designed to bring you a month of
benefits, combining the delicacy of Belgian chocolate with the natural
qualities of cocoa.