Hybrid Dessert: Creme Brulee Pancake Souffle

The dessert is offered by a coffee shop in Tokyo. The price is 1,429 Yen (about US$13).

Chocolate Snorting Offers New Way to A High

Chocolate Shooter

When Belgian chocolatier Dominique Persoone created a chocolate-sniffing device for a Rolling Stones party in 2007, he never imagined demand would stretch much beyond the rock ‘n’ roll scene. But, seven years later, he has sold 25,000 of them.

Inspired by a device his grandfather used to propel tobacco snuff up his nose, Persoone created a ‘Chocolate Shooter’ to deliver a hit of Dominican Republic or Peruvian cocoa powder, mixed with mint and either ginger or raspberry.

“The mint and the ginger really tinkle your nose,” the 46-year-old said in his chocolate factory in the medieval city of Bruges. “Then the mint flavor goes down and the chocolate stays in your brain.”

Tattoo-clad Persoone, who has collaborated with celebrated chefs such as The Fat Duck’s Heston Blumenthal and elBulli’s Ferran and Albert Adria, has a history of culinary innovation.

Alongside the classics, he has created chocolates flavored with bacon and onion, oysters and even grass.

It took some perfecting to create the snorting powder as chocolate itself was too dry. Before the successful formula was discovered, Persoone used a mix that included chili pepper.

“It’s a very bad idea,” he said.

The chocolate shooters, which sell for 45 euros ($50) each, have been exported to Russia, India, Canada, Australia and the United States.

The packaging bears a warning against excessive sniffing, but Persoone insists it is safe. He was inspired by the role of the nose when tasting food and, he says, a certain idea of fun.

“The mentality when you think about sniffing is: ‘Oh it’s kinky, guys who do that stuff…'” Persoone said.

“I’m not the bad boy promoting drugs, not at all … Life is boring. Let’s have fun.”

Source: Reuters

Video: Origins of Chocolate with Jacques Torres

Master Chef and Chocolatier Jacques Torres talks about the origins of chocolate, the ingredients in chocolate and shows the ingredients from cacao pod to finished product.

Watch video at You Tube (2:01 minutes) …..

Heart Health Benefits of Chocolate

Why a little, in moderation, may be beneficial for your heart

Chocolate has gotten a lot of media coverage in recent years because it’s believed that it may help protect your cardiovascular system. The reasoning being that the cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids.

Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, it appears that we also benefit from this “antioxidant” power.

Antioxidants are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes, such as breathing, and from environmental contaminants, like cigarette smoke. If your body does not have enough antioxidants to combat the amount of oxidation that occurs, it can become damaged by free radicals. For example, an increase in oxidation can cause low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol, to form plaque on the artery walls.

Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavanols have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.

These plant chemicals aren’t only found in chocolate. In fact, a wide variety of foods and beverages are rich in flavonols. These include cranberries, apples, peanuts, onions, tea and red wine.

Are all types of chocolate healthy?

Before you grab a chocolate candy bar or slice of chocolate cake, it’s important to understand that not all forms of chocolate contain high levels of flavanols.

Cocoa naturally has a very strong, pungent taste, which comes from the flavanols. When cocoa is processed into your favorite chocolate products, it goes through several steps to reduce this taste. The more chocolate is processed (through things like fermentation, alkalizing, roasting, etc.), the more flavanols are lost.

Most commercial chocolates are highly processed. Although it was once believed that dark chocolate contained the highest levels flavanols, recent research indicates that, depending on how the dark chocolate was processed, this may not be true. The good news is that most major chocolate manufacturers are looking for ways to keep the flavanols in their processed chocolates. But for now, your best choices are likely dark chocolate over milk chocolate (especially milk chocolate that is loaded with other fats and sugars) and cocoa powder that has not undergone Dutch processing (cocoa that is treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity).

What about all of the fat in chocolate?

You may be surprised to learn that chocolate isn’t as bad for you as once believed.

The fat in chocolate comes from cocoa butter and is made up of equal amounts of oleic acid (a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), stearic and palmitic acids. Stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fat. You may know that saturated fats are linked to increases in LDL cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

But, research shows that stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, neither raising nor lowering it. Although palmitic acid does affect cholesterol levels, it only makes up one-third of the fat calories in chocolate. Still, this does not mean you can eat all the dark chocolate you’d like.

First, be careful about the type of dark chocolate you choose: chewy caramel-marshmallow-nut-covered dark chocolate is by no means a heart-healthy food option. Watch out for those extra ingredients that can add lots of extra fat and calories. Second, there is currently no established serving size of chocolate to help you reap the cardiovascular benefits it may offer, and more research is needed in this area. However, we do know that you no longer need to feel guilty if you enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate once in a while.

So, for now, enjoy moderate portions of chocolate (e.g., 1 ounce) a few times per week, and don’t forget to eat other flavonoid-rich foods like apples, red wine, tea, onions and cranberries.

Source: Cleveland Clinic

Orange Peel Coated with Chocolate


2 thick-skinned medium oranges, halved
1¼ cups sugar
1 cup water
4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped


  1. Squeeze juice from orange halves. Discard pieces of orange and membranes, but do not remove pith.
  2. Cut each orange skin into 10 strips, 1/2-inch thick.
  3. Place peel in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to boil. Repeat procedure 4 times, cooking the last time until peel is translucent. Drain well.
  4. Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium—high. Continue cooking for 1 minute. Add orange strips and cook until syrup is reduced, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat if liquid begins to cook away. Place in a single layer and dry orange strips on a wire rack set over a baking sheet for 24 hours.
  5. Melt chocolate in a bowl or top of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water. Dip half of each orange strip in chocolate. Cool on waxed paper. Let set at room temperature. Store in a covered container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

Makes 80 pieces.

Source: Chocolate and Petits Fours

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