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Cocoa craze

Healthy, versatile and delicious — small wonder chocolate is an all-time favourite…



Quick snack Chocolate golgappe

What's a sinful-looking piece of dark chocolate cake doing on my plate? Well, it happens to be one of my favourite desserts, and no one can stop me from having it! Indulge, for chocolates are meant for this. But, stop short of addiction because too much sugar is harmful.

Scientists now claim that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is being promoted for its health benefits as it contains alkaloids linked to serotonin levels in the brain.

Chocolate, though a simple, flavourful extract from pods of the Theobroma cacao tree has many variations — such as dark, bittersweet, cocoa powder, (Dutch and natural), milk, semi-sweet, sweet, unsweetened and white. The last in particular is made with cocoa butter, and does not contain any non-fat ingredients from the cacao bean. Many do not consider this a true chocolate because of the low content of cocoa solids.

Fret not

In case you discover that your stored chocolate has a layer of white or gray discolouration, do not despair. It is just that chocolate demands a lot of respect in storage; so do it at 15°C. If the chocolate is processed, it helps in avoiding discolouration. The biggest enemy of chocolate is moisture, and when you are melting chocolate on a double boiler, be careful for even a drop of water in it will seize it and render it useless.

Joys of molten chocolate

Melting chocolate at home brings me to that lovely chocolate sauce that we pour so lavishly on vanilla ice cream. Why not exploit the virtues of simple bars of dark chocolate freely available in stores and take all the credit for those exotic moulded home made chocolates? Tips — no moisture, clean kitchen tops (marble is best), cool working place, good quality interesting moulds, and covering paper.

Now for a recipe.

Chocolate Golgappe

Ingredients

24 crisp puris (meant for pani puris)

Half cup sweet boondi

One cup chocolate sauce

Coffee milkshake as required

12 pistachios, blanched and slivered

Method

Take the sweet boondi in a bowl. Add chocolate sauce and mix.

Fill up small glasses with coffee milkshake. Break the tops of the puris slightly. Fill them up with the chocolate boondi. Garnish with pistachios.

Keep a puri on top of each glass and serve. While eating, you can pour the milkshake into the puris and eat them immediately.

SANJEEV KAPOOR

Master chef, author, television host

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