Cacao Benefits and Truffle Indulgence
Chocolate might be the best invention ever. Always there for you, comforting and ready to take all your sorrows away. This time of year and coming February, the amount of chocolate bought will surprise you. We love gifting this sweet bliss, or just indulge in it by ourselves, no matter the consequences. My recipe today is all about the perfection of a chocolate truffle, made with chocolate ganache and coated in raw cacao powder. Obviously, all excesses are wrong, but when you’ll read about cacao’s benefits you’ll ask for seconds.
Cacao is one of the best superfoods in existence with extensive benefits for your health. After water, cacao is the healthiest known powder for humanity, because it helps to prevent primary diseases and balances the cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, decreases the high blood pressure, and the risk of cancer. I am going all scientific here, but Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine”. Nothing better than a genius word of wisdom.
Going even more deep in our research, cacao contains over 700 known compounds, and the most interesting are the antioxidant ones. They protect the cells our bodies from premature destruction, and also reduce the risk of diseases. It also helps reducing the bad cholesterol, which is a major factor in the promotion of coronary disease. We learnt that tea, apples, onions, and red wine help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but cacao has the highest antioxidant content, so you better start using it now!
Another aspect of the benefits of cacao and chocolate involves mood. Cacao is rich in the production of serotonin and dopamine, possessing anti-depressant properties. Now you get why everybody loves chocolate. Cacao provokes a luxurious, serene sense of sumptuous delight. It masters the art of feeling good. Cacao also contains caffeine in modest quantities, but it can also give a boost and stimulate our central nervous system. You know that feeling of being in love? Cacao makes you experimenting similar senses, and may account for why it is so highly prized.
“I bring to you a special drink from far across the West,
Although it’s nearest loves on whom it’s said to work the best.
Good cheer it always brings, and your full years renews.
First take a sip, my dear, and I shall presently;
And know I serve it to you with all the warmth that’s due:
For we must take good care to leave descendants for posterity.”
– a chocolate love poem, late 1700’s
By boosting the sense of well being, studies have found that women typically experience stronger cacao craving than men. Cacao might be a soft drug, having effects on your brain chemistry and on your body. I hope I have kindled your interest with these general information about cocoa. The one I am recommending is the Raw Cacao Powder from Bioglan Superfoods, rich in antioxidants, high in protein, fibre and packed with magnesium for whole body protection and natural immunity. Plus it naturally contains theobromine and anandamine that boost your mood – Cacao the Happy Superfood!
- Yield: 50
- Prep Time:30 minutes
Nutrition facts (per portion)
- Carbohydrate Content:1%
- Fat Content:6.1%
- Protein Content:2%
- Saturated Fat Content:19%
- Sugar Content:2%
- Double cream – 300ml
- Unsalted butter – 1 knob
- Clementine fine grated zest – 1
- Dark chocolate 70% – 300g
- Sea salt – 1 pinch
- Brandy – 1 splash
- Mixed nuts optional – 1 handful
- Bioglan Superfoods Cacao – 3 tbsp
- Put the cream in a pan over a medium heat and let it heat up, until just hot not boiling. As soon as tiny bubbles start to appear, add the knob of butter and the clementine zest.
- Once the butter has melted, pour this hot mixture over the chocolate pieces, whisking as you go, so the chocolate melts nice and slowly. If the mixture splits slightly, don’t worry, you can bring it right by adding a splash of boiling water.
- Add a pinch of salt to the mixture; Stir in a splash of brandy.
- Once completely melted and smooth, pour your melted chocolate mixture into a nice little serving dish or bowl. Pop this in the fridge for about 2 hours to set. About 30 minutes before you’re ready to make your truffles, pull the bowl out of the fridge and let the chocolate warm up to room temperature.
- Put your mixed nuts into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to bash them up quite finely. Get some little saucers or bowls and put the nuts in one and your cacao powder in the other. Put a teacup filled with boiled water on the tray and pop a few teaspoons in there for scooping the chocolate.
- Start making the truffles and roll them in cacao powder, crushed nuts or anything else you might want.
Recipe inspired by Jamie Oliver.