Chocolate, Chocolate and Chocolate! Chocolate is one of the most popular foods and flavors in the world. The different types of chocolate (milk, dark, etc.) contain varying amounts of cocoa solids and cocoa butter as well as other ingredients such as fats, milk, sugars and additives. The darker the chocolate, the more actual cocoa solids and less fats and sugar. This is why many people have claimed that dark chocolate is the healthiest of all varieties. There are many studies that have suggested that chocolate, specifically dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and can reduce high blood pressure as well as the risk of other cardiovascular problems. Studies have also shown that as part of a low-fat diet, chocolate can reduce your cholesterol.
For me, I just LOVE it…in all its forms even white chocolate, which actually contains no cocoa solids but does have cocoa butter. My number one selling item at Epicure is my “Ultimate Dark Chocolate Brownie” followed by my “Hazelnut Milk Chocolate XTREME Brownie with Nutella and Mixed Nuts,” at number two. One of my favorite chocolate dishes is chocolate cake, but I rarely have the time to bake one. Solution: 2 minute chocolate cake in a coffee mug. This recipe is quick, unbelievably delicious and is very flexible in terms of flavors. Add espresso powder, almond extract, cinnamon, dried cherries or shredded coconut…the choices are endless.
Dark Chocolate Cake in a Cup
This is a great spontaneous dessert for the kids, or you can fancy it up by using ramekins instead of a coffee mug. The better the ingredients, the better this cake will taste so use the best chocolate powder and the best vanilla you can find. Makes 1 coffee cup.
3 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
(or melted butter)
2 tablespoons chocolate chips
(white, milk or dark)
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
(or any flavored liqueur)
Blend all dry ingredients in a coffee cup using a fork. Add egg, oil, chips, zest and liqueur and mix. Place cup in microwave and cook for 90 seconds. You will see the cake rise above the rim of the cup but it won’t spill over. When done, sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!
Michael Love is the Specialty Chef at Epicure Gourmet Market and Café and the creator of “Epicure with Love,” an all-natural gourmet line of food including soups, prepared entrées and desserts. Michael is also available for private and group cooking instruction and can be hired for dinner parties and events. Contact: Michael@epicuremarket.com.
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