Chocolate, glorious chocolate. The ancient drink of royalty, the rich creamy addiction of today. Where does it come from and how does it make its way to our homes? We received a sneak peek at Chocolate: The Exhibit, on display at The Academy of Natural Sciences, and embarked on a journey of chocolate, from tree to home, and from ancient Aztec worlds to our cupboard today.
A cacao bean is made up of 3 parts – the rind, white pulp, and the seed. I asked if the white pulp surrounding the seeds is used for anything. The person I asked did not believe so, but I have breaking news for you. At the produce convention I was just at I learned that in the last year or so a business has started making smoothies from that white pulp. So there you have the scoop, the pulp is indeed useable.
The part we generally use is what’s inside the seed. The hull or outside of the seed is used as part of the fertilizer mix for growing mushrooms and the bean, the glorious cocoa bean, well we know what that is, right? With cocoa nibs, cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, chocolate bars, and an endless variety of ways we can eat or drink our chocolate, that unsweetened little bean is used in so many parts of our lives.
Once upon a time it wasn’t so. Before Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies and super easy homemade chocolate syrup, chocolate was reserved for royalty. Special chocolate drinking cups were made and special ornate jewelry was worn while drinking the “food of the gods”. In fact, at that time the cacao bean was considered so valuable that it was a form of preferred currency.
Are you ready to put on your formalwear and enjoy a great chocolate recipe with us?
10 Great Chocolate Recipes
Dark Chocolate Cherry Hand Pies – luscious cherries and dark cocoa nibs pair together for a beautiful filling tucked inside flaky pie crust.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup – nice and easy with just a few ingredients, you can whip together this decadent chocolate sauce in no time without extra junk added.
Homemade Mocha Sauce – we’re taking homemade chocolate syrup up a notch and adding a hint of coffee to this special dessert and drink sauce.
Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs – oftentimes assoiated with Easter, you can make these treats in any shape for any season.
Chocolate Cherry Vanilla Bean Ice Cream – there might be no real words for this. I am so in love with this ice cream. If you don’t like cherries you can skip them but I might need to go make this right now. I hear it calling my name.
Chocolate Spiced Chiffon Cake – Rich and bursting with chocolate, this chocolate cake is second only to my Divinely Chocolate Cake.
Divinely Chocolate Cake – layer upon layer of chocolate in contrasting flavors and textures, one slice will be enough for just a few hours and then you will be back for more.
Homemade Hot Cocoa – rich and decadent on its own, a few simple added spices enhance the chocolate flavor. I dare you to add a scoop of your favorite ice cream to change it up some more.
Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies – a twist on a classic Lancaster County filled cookie, you won’t want just one of these. Now you can have them anywhere you live.
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Frosting – Salted caramel? Dark chocolate? Where does the goodness end? This will make your day and melt in your mouth. You might eat it by the spoonful instead of topping your cupcakes with it.
This exhibit and these chocolate recipes are rated A+ for all chocoholics by yours truly, chocolate aficionado, and 3 chocoholic kids.