Okay, I admit it, I am a chocoholic! The problem is I don’t quite know how I ended up in this predicament. The thing is, as a child I preferred sweets such as sherbet dips or sugary cola cubes but as the years rolled on my taste changed and instead I preferred the smooth taste of Galaxy chocolate.
As a mum I believed I deserved my little treats. After all, let’s face it, there’s nothing like getting the kids to bed, putting your feet up and relaxing with a whole bar of chocolate! Mmm, I’d only intend to have a few little chunks but one or two pieces just wouldn’t hit the spot and three would in no way quench my thirst for hot, melted chocolate dripping down my throat. I mean, I deserved it didn’t I? Having run around all day like an idiot with the kids, trying to get them fed, off to school, do their washing and then – fed again; well, I believe all women need some chocolate sustenance whenever possible to keep them going throughout the day!
The problem I have now is that I still eat chocolate as though I have been deprived for years but the children have all gone, flown the nest and yet I have more chocolate in the house now than when all the kids were home! So the question I am asking myself is … Could I really be eating far too much chocolate?
Did you know Death by Chocolate is real?
It’s true and the first recorded ‘Death by Chocolate’ case occurred in the 17th century in Mexico. Upper class Spaniards were so addicted to chocolate that they refused to adhere to a church dictating a chocolate ban that forbade them from eating or drinking any food during the church services. As a result, the people of the town refused to listen to the ban and instead chose to attend worship services in convents. The Bishop who passed the law was later found dead due to poison being mixed into his daily cup of chocolate, (serves him right I say). Also, I have found out the word ‘chocolate’ comes from the Aztec word, ‘Xocolatl’, which ironically means ‘bitter water’.
Did you know the biggest bar of chocolate ever made was created in the year 2000 and weighed a staggering 5,000 pounds! This wasn’t done in Lincolnshire, oh no, this was done in a very exotic country, Turin to be exact, in Italy. Although I do eat a lot of chocolate, my American friends are famous for eating an average of 22 lbs of candy each year, that’s approximately 2.8 billion lbs annually which is split almost equally between chocolate and sweets. Most Europeans consume far less than this. However, while the US produces the chocolate and consumes the most pounds every year, the Swiss consume the most per capita, followed closely by me – oops sorry, the English!
So it appears I am not alone. For some strange reason most of the planet is addicted to chocolate and no matter how much we hear too much chocolate is bad for us there is no way of enticing us away from it. Yes, its official, our addiction is certainly growing and it’s not getting any less. So to encourage my friends to eat more chocolate and still have one of their five a day, here’s a fantastic yet strange recipe and I hope you let me know if you make it.
Happy Chocolate Munching!
Chocolate Beetroot Cake!
- 200ml Flora Cuisine
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 3 medium eggs
- 2 tsps vanilla extract
- 100g plain chocolate, broken into pieces and melted in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water
- 100g plain flour
- 100g self-raising flour
- 100g drinking chocolate
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 200g cooked beetroot, and whizzed in the food processor until very finely chopped
- 2 tbsps raspberry jam
- 150ml whipping cream, whipped until thick
- 115ml whipping cream
- 100g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
1. Preheat oven to gas mark 5/190°C /170°C fan/375°F.
2. Beat together the Flora Cuisine, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until mixture is smooth; about half a minute in the food processor should do it.
3. Add melted chocolate and mix together thoroughly.
4. Sieve the plain and self-raising flour, drinking chocolate, and baking powder together into a large mixing bowl.
5. Make a well in the centre, add in runny chocolate mixture and fold the mixture together. Fold in the finely chopped beetroot.
6. Divide the mixture among two greased, lined 18cm (7 inch) prepared cake tins. Bake in the oven for 30–40 minutes until cooked through.
7. Cool on wire rack and remove greaseproof paper from the base of each cake.
8. Sandwich the two cakes together. If necessary, level the top of one cake off slicing off any prominent risen peak. Spread the newly levelled top with a nice thick layer of jam. Turn the other cake upside-down and spread the whipped cream evenly over the base before turning it the right way up again and putting it on top of the jam-covered layer.
9. To make the ganache, place the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture combined. Pour into a bowl and whisk until fluffy and cool. Spread the ganache smoothly and evenly over the top of the cake.
Great Tip: Run a potato peeler across a chocolate bar to create some pretty chocolate curls for decoration.